The problem with real estate reality TV shows is the lack of reality!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Richard Weisser Realty

The problem with real estate reality shows is that they are NOT very real by Richard Weisser.If the plethora of real estate reality shows on television has taught the consuming public anything, it’s the fact that television producers do not understand either the local nature of real estate markets in general or the real estate profession as a whole.

Real estate markets not only vary from state to state, county to county, city to city but also from one neighborhood to the next.

Real estate laws, rules and regulations also vary from one jurisdiction to the next, and there is no NATIONAL real estate governance other than broad laws that include Fair Housing, mandatory disclosures, RESPA, and federally regulated mortgages and other issues of federal significance.

In addition local customs vary from place to place. For example, here in Newnan Georgia it is customary for a seller to contribute towards a buyer’s closing costs.

So when a real estate reality show depicts a transaction in one area, for the rest of us it isn’t very real at all.


And in many cases, it is a disservice to those that may attribute a lot more credibility to these shows than they should.


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED 07/05/2013 10:01 AM
  2. Praful Thakkar 07/07/2013 02:53 PM
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Richard- we have the same issue with staging shows.  Most of us don't come in with a wrecking crew and freebies from hardware or appliance stores.   

Jul 05, 2013 12:02 PM #59
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

"If the plethora of real estate reality shows on television has taught the consuming public anything, it’s the fact that television producers do not understand either the local nature of real estate markets in general or the real estate profession as a whole."  Amen...I have encountered several consumers lately that believe that what they saw on TV is reality.

Jul 05, 2013 12:29 PM #60
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Richard, I can honestly say, and am very proud to admit it, that I have not seen one of these so-called real estate reality programs in years.  What a waste of time.

And I don't believe that I am living in a dream world when I say that.  When I hear the few folks I know who DO watch them talk about what they saw, or what they think they saw... I just have to do my best to hide what is probably a smirk on my face.  Again... what a waste of time.

Jul 05, 2013 01:09 PM #61
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Reality shows is dipicts a truer sense of where American is or is headed.

Jul 05, 2013 01:42 PM #62
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Reality TV makes our job look so easy.  Miraculously, Realtors know the perfect 3 or 4 homes, in just the right locations to show the Buyer.  The Buyer selects a house, makes an offer, and it is accepted.  End of show. That's why many think our job is easy.

Jul 05, 2013 02:30 PM #63
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

Thanks for pointing out that what people are watching on reality TV are producers portrayals the real estate business and that our business varies so greatly based on each area.

Jul 05, 2013 02:40 PM #64
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


It's all about attracting viewers and makiung money. No one REALLY cares about the reality. The sad truth is many people get sucked into believing what they see on the TV, which may be even more dangerous than the headlines. Hollywood knows what grabs attention, and they change shows without an eyeblink if something isn't working.


Jul 05, 2013 02:41 PM #65
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate


And my wife wonders what I'm doing wrong. When you watch these shows, it usually only takes three showings, pick a house, write an offer, and pretty much just move in. I must be doing something wrong.


Jul 05, 2013 04:11 PM #66
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Great points Richard.  I have contacted many of the most popular shows MANY times when they do things incorrectly telling them that they have just taught millions of people how to do something wrong.

For some reason they never get back to me.

Jul 05, 2013 08:51 PM #67
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I hate those darn real estate reality shows.  Real estate is local.  You can't have a show that works on a national scale to be informational at all.  It's pure entertainment.

Jul 06, 2013 07:21 AM #68
Kristine Ginsberg
Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Short Hills, NJ
NJ Home Stager

Richard - I've seen "Selling NY" (because it's half hour away) and Bravo's shows. I always think who do they make all that money??! It doesn't seem too real, but I can't help myself. I love to see the inside of some of these amazing homes so it's good for that.

Jul 06, 2013 10:46 PM #69
Brad MacKenzie
Brad MacKenzie - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

I don't know why we accept the label "reality" when we know that observation changes behavior, even at the subatomic level. I guess we mean "not fiction". If it were a book, a reality TV show would be a novel.  But a very bad one.

Jul 06, 2013 10:47 PM #70
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Brad, you speak of observation changing behaviour (and reality) even at the sub-atomic level.  Sounds like Max Planck and his Quantum Mechanics to me.  I find it very interesting how his research over one hundred years ago can be applied both to Quantum Mechanics (and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle) and to human behaviour and psychology as well.

My favorite quote from all of that continues to be "When you change the way you look at things... the things you look at... change."

Jul 07, 2013 03:36 AM #71
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Richard - Yes, we've all heard that line: "I saw on H_ _ _ that you can..."

The good news is, it puts people in the mood to buy and sell. We're here to teach the correctly in the area where we work. I have no doubt you do a great job helping folks in Newnan, GA!


Jul 07, 2013 06:55 AM #72
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

I do watch these shows sometimes because 1) it makes good T.V. and 2) you may as well know what your clients are watching and believing.

Jul 07, 2013 10:53 AM #73
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Richard!  I included this post in today’s  Last Week’s Favorites.  Please drop by and check it out, and have a great week!

Jul 07, 2013 12:09 PM #74
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

Thank you, Pat, for sending me over, I had missed Richard's blog. I watched those shows for a couple of months, but then the SAMENESS got to me. The "buyers" were not as interesting as my own buyers, and the agent was more of a door opener than what we face every day. 

Jul 07, 2013 03:54 PM #75
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

I agree - 5 years ago - when agents were struggling and being CREATIVE, they were, it is all about the hairdo and the mobile office with wi-fi

Jul 07, 2013 07:54 PM #76
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Richard, I don't watch these shows, or any reality shows to tell you the truth.

OK, I fess up, I cut our cable to almost nothing, so its usually Netflix or public TV for me! And I am glad I did...

Jul 07, 2013 09:15 PM #77
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Jill in #73:  I never have watched these silly shows, but you have given me some food for thought.  It DOES make lots of sense for me to at least have an idea of what many buyers and sellers are watching... if for no other reason than to make sense for ME about where they get some of the doofus things they come up with in person.

Thanks for an idea I had not thought of.

Jul 08, 2013 03:03 PM #78
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