Top 10 Real Estate Reality TV Shows and What We Can Learn From Them

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Here are the top 10 reality TV shows to date that are real estate oriented. Top 10 lists are often subjective, so I know some of you will like others better, but that's the fun of it;p

Here are the top ten real estate TV shows going into 2009 and just a few of the many lessons we can learn from them:

10. Get It Sold (HGTV)"tv plant

Small changes often yield greater results. Yup, sweeping that walkway, vacuuming that carpet, replacing that worn old chair - even the little things make a difference when selling and staging a house.

9. Weekend Warriors (HGTV)

Fixing up a home to make it easier to sell doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Many things we think are hard just take some common sense and the right directions.

8. Secrets That Sell (HGTV)

Don't be afraid to ask for help from professionals if you're a seller - they can save you a lot of time and headaches. Do set a reasonable budget and stick to it. Looks can make the difference between a sale and a fail.

7. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC)

The amount of work that's put into each and every home is a true reminder of the gift every family on this show gets. When a community gets involved, things happen.

6. My House is Worth What? (HGTV)

Sellers may not like to hear the truth about what their homes are worth, but if you get them to listen you can help them more than they know.

5. Designed to Sell (HGTV)

Design a home the right way to begin with and it will sell much faster.

4. Bought & Sold (HGTV)

Sometimes you have to go extraordinary lengths to close a deal, but it can be well worth it in the end.

3. Moving Up (TLC)

Moving out and selling the tiny home a growing family has been in for years can be hard - so many memories, not enough money, etc. - but the right agent can make it happen.

2. House Hunters (HGTV)

Building a home is HARD and INVOLVED. Just buy one - you have so many options!;p

1. Flip That House (TLC)

Yes, even you can make money off flipping a home, but it takes work, skill, pull-through and sound professional advice to make it happen.

Feel free to add to this list and remember to check out the Real Estate Wiki for more great top 10 lists and tons of other real estate information!

If you have a chance, please consider contributing some post or articles to the wiki - we're really looking to gear up for 2009 and any help is greatly appreciated, plus you get a free link and profile:)

If you like this post, please Twitter it:))


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Eugénie Eckler
Right At Home Realty Inc. - Oakville, ON
Oakville, Ontario

Yeah, I do watch some of these when I have the time... there is a big shot Realtor (condos mostly) and he has a show called Big City Broker...   I find it funny.

Jan 22, 2009 03:00 AM #37
Joanne Mills
Exit Realty Premier - Massapequa Park, NY

I am also an avid watcher of many of the do it yourself shows and Realty shows.  I think we need to watch them, because our buyers and sellers are. We need to know what they are thinking and what is influencing there decisions and address the unreality of these some of these shows.

As for million dollar listing show, I think it paints Realtors in a bad way. And I do not enjoy the show at all. I don't think they have put out a new season, but they rerun the old ones in my market all the time. I think it makes it look like we make ton's of money for practically no work and whine while we do it.


Jan 22, 2009 03:08 AM #38
Steve Wisemiller

Hey Randy,

Flip this lawsuit....that's a good one. How about Flip this jail cell!

Jan 22, 2009 03:49 AM #39
Jim Morrison, Home Authority of Massachusetts Home Inspections

I've heard of most of the shows you list, but I think Property Virgins is better than several of the ones you mentioned. It really shows the irrational expectations of buyers who know nothing about real estate other than they want some. House Detectives was a good show that was about my end of the business, the inspection process. It had a terrible time slot like early Sunday morning. I've had many people tell me that the inspection of their house is the most informative 2 hours they've ever spent. I once saw a buyer walk away from a house becuase she couldn't get past the distraction of the many paintings hanging on the walls in a well known landscape artist's home. The house was in rare state of near perfect conditon, with a new state of the art kitchen, yet she couldn't envison what the house was going to be like when it was cleared out of artwork. The paintings were too much of the house's image for her to ignore. I've see a few "quick and dirty" renovation projects done by house flippers that were laughably bad, those should have been on TV. I once inspected a house where a guy enclosed his rear deck to make a bedroom, without running the gutters around the new outside walls. When you laid in bed the rain water was carried right over your head by the old gutter. Talk about clueless.


Jan 22, 2009 04:21 AM #40
Chris & Karen Highland
eXp Realty - Frederick, MD
Integrity, Experience, Enthusiasm!

I've always thought that these shows were out of touch with the real market.  I will say, however that more and more I'm seeing shows about what a seller needs to do to get their home sold.  They seem to be catching on to the buyers market we're in.

Jan 22, 2009 05:34 AM #41
Kevin Ratkovic, ASP

I agree Million Dollar Listing should have made the list! Maybe next year!

Jan 22, 2009 07:02 AM #42
Kelsey Barklow
Evans & Evans Real Estate - Johnson City, TN
423/948-9154, Marne Drinnon 423/202-2277

What about the first season of Flip This House? I used to faithfully watch the Trademark Properties team in Charleston, SC and I loved that show!

Million Dollar Listings is hilarious - I can't even believe those kids get those listings. What am I doing wrong???

Jan 22, 2009 09:57 AM #43
Flipped out

That is the most realistic show out there

Jan 22, 2009 11:47 AM #44
Stefan Swanepoel
New York Times Bestselling Author & International Speaker - Ladera Ranch, CA

Great post DJ. I will Twitter it tonight.


Jan 22, 2009 02:26 PM #45
Marie LaVoise, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty Clarksville TN

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I so agree with Cindy. The shows are great but...Having worked in California and the TV industry it is amazing how fast things happen when a TV crew shows up. That tile or refrigerator that you or I would have to order would somehow be delivered the same day if there was a TV crew. I have found that clients want us to be more like the agents on TV which is not possible due to reality.  

Jan 23, 2009 03:45 AM #46
Stefan Swanepoel
New York Times Bestselling Author & International Speaker - Ladera Ranch, CA

@ Pat Gordon 

For more info on Twitter see this post on ActiveRain -


Jan 23, 2009 11:25 AM #47
Tre Pryor
REMAX Champions - Louisville, KY
Realtor, e-PRO - Louisville

Great post! Thanks for sharing with us!

-Tre Pryor |

Jan 24, 2009 01:32 AM #48
Mike Hughes
Mike Hughes Team - Hughes Residential - Newton, MA
Services Newton, Brookline, Lexington, Waltham & W

Hi DJ,

Very cool list/ idea.  All of these are great shows and absolutely provide lessons for buyers, sellers and agents.  All of these shows help us to see the process from other perspectives ... sometimes I think we forget how silly, easy or crazy we're being (all parties included).

Best regards,

Jan 24, 2009 04:39 AM #49
Orgen Brown Catalyst International Realty

We are currently have a RE show in development in New York.  Similar but not like anything that's already out there. Hope everyone will watch.



Jan 24, 2009 05:23 AM #50
Thomas McCombs
Century 21 HomeStar - Akron, OH

I am often amused by the premise of these shows.  Some of them start out with a young couple (late 20's?)buying a house for more than half a million dollars and then remodeling it to the tune of $250,000 or so.  Where do they find these people? -- certainly not in my area of Ohio.  

I do, however,  enjoy watching shows in which computer work is done on possible changes to a property.  There has to be many hours of work put into this, but it is made to look like it took almost no effort.

And I often feel that the redecorations that get done just set the stage for the next "before and after" project. As Realtor I would not recommend many of the "improvements" that are made, especially when we hear about what those "improvements" cost.

I agree with an earlier poster on that "big city broker" comment. Can anyone imagine tolerating that man's attitude?

I would be interested in more followup on these shows.  After those improvements were made and that first open house was held did the house actually close, and if so, at what price?


Jan 24, 2009 07:45 AM #51
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

The number of real estate related TV shows indicates that real estate is still an important interest to consumers, regardless of the economy.

Jan 25, 2009 04:55 AM #52
Kenneth Fisher
Cape Fear Real Estate Solutions, LLC - Wilmington, NC, Remax Essential - Wilmington, NC


Good post.  I'm a fan of most of these shows because I like to see the expereinces others go through, especially with flipping.  It's funny though, People see some of these shows and think "oh, its easy to make money in real estate.  I'm going to buy a house move some walls around and sell it for a big profit at the open house".  In reality, it just doesn;t work like many of the real estate shows lead people to believe.  But hey, they are still fun to watch and they give you good ideas.


Jan 26, 2009 06:07 AM #53
Amy Boxer -

Hi DJ!

Thanks for taking a topic we can all relate too and putting a fresh twist on it.  Even though we should all think about these things every time we watch these shows... we don't always.  Best of luck to you!

Amy Boxer - Welcome Home Furniture Rental & Staging

Jan 27, 2009 09:12 AM #54
Cathy Tishhouse
RE/MAX Showcase Homes - Royal Oak, MI
Royal Oak Real Estate

HGTV almost always comes up when I am out with buyer - in particular - but almost everyone - even my parents.  I often watch it to get tips to give clients - and just great viewing all around.  Thanks for the list.

Feb 11, 2009 11:27 AM #55
Jennifer Kipila
Van Dyk Group - Barnegat, NJ
The Muldowney Team - Ocean County Homes

I am going to have to start watching some of these shows.  I never realized that there were so many of them.

Mar 05, 2009 06:20 AM #56
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