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Do you know the difference between HGTV and Real Life?

It seems like there’s a new home-buying, -flipping, or -selling show every week on HGTV. But are these shows truly accurate and representative of the home-buying process? Find out with our short quiz below.

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Have you ever been flipping through the channels, only to find yourself glued to the couch in an HGTV binge? We’ve all been there… watching entire seasons of Love it or List it, Fixer Upper, House Hunters, Flip or Flop, Property Brothers and so many more, just in one sitting.

When you’re in the middle of your real estate themed show marathon, you might start to think that everything you see on TV must be how it works in real life, but you may need a reality check.

Take our HGTV vs. Reality Quiz!

1. The reason House Hunters uses 3 homes on their show is because it’s the average number of homes a buyer views before buying.


True is False!

Can you get it right on the second guess?

3 homes


There may be buyers who fall in love and buy the first home they see, but more often than not the process of buying a home means touring more than three homes.

We’re making a television show, so we manage certain production and time constraints, while honoring the home buying process. To maximize production time, we seek out families who are pretty far along in the process. … Showcasing three homes makes it easier for our audience to ‘play along’ and guess which one the family will select. Through the lens of television, we can offer a uniquely satisfying and fun viewing experience that fulfills a universal need to occasionally step into someone else’s shoes.
-Entertainment Weekly, click here for article

2. The homes on House Hunters are staged, and not actually for sale.


Go You!

The reality is being staged for TV. Many of the homes being shown are already sold and are off the market.

Of the three homes shown on the program, one was the house the Jensons had already bought—and the other two weren’t even for sale. They were the homes of the Jenson’s friends, who’d agreed to help them out and cleaned like crazy in order to get ready for the cameras.
-TIME Magazine, article here



Do you believe everything you see on TV?

3. The families on House Hunters actually purchase one of the homes you see on the show

Inside the House

True! But…often not on TV

Since there is no way to show the entire buying process in a 30-minute show, TV producers often choose buyers who are further along in the process and have already chosen a home to buy.

Because the family was already done with the buying process, HGTV had to stage a fake home search to build the drama necessary for a half-hour program.
-TIME Magazine, article here

The production crews of House Hunters don’t start shooting until after a deal has closed or is in escrow in case things fall through, according to Herman Chan, a San Francisco real estate broker who’s appeared on HGTV’s House Hunters and My Home Is Worth What? He says the properties the homebuyer tours may or may not have been on the market when the homebuyer started looking.
-US News, article here


You picked False?

Try again. I’ll even give you a hint… It’s the other one.

4. Open Houses are the primary way Sellers meet Buyers



Do not pass go, do not collect $100

Inside the House

Nailed it!

Of course this would be great! Open Houses are important to guarantee the most exposure to buyers in your area, but are only a PIECE of the overall marketing of your home. Just realize that many homes are sold during regular showing appointments as well.

Those of us with experience in the business can probably pick out the unrealistic parts of the show and surmise how — with a little selective editing and Hollywood magic — everything came together. In the end, the savvy viewer already knows the show is for entertainment and shouldn’t be used as a basis for serious decisions. After all, it comes back to the old adage. ‘If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.’ There’s no such thing as easy money.
-We Buy Ugly Houses, post here

5. Homeowners often make the decision to sell their home in 24 hours or less.


You just wanted to see what it said if you really picked the wrong answer, didn’t you?

Thanks for taking our quiz, we had a blast making it!

Key in Door

You guessed it!

Similar to the buyers portrayed on the shows, many of the sellers have already spent hours deliberating the decision to list their home and move on with their life/goals.

The good thing is that you see the pros and cons of the house that they end up buying,” Chan says. “They film them talking about the trade-offs. Those are very real conversations that people have. Usually by the end of the show, someone makes a compromise because there’s no perfect house.
-US News, article here

Bottom Line

Having an experienced professional on your side while navigating the real estate market is the best way to guarantee that you can make the home of your dreams a reality!

Despite the condensed nature of reality TV shows, Chan says he believes they still offer useful information. ‘Before the proliferation of reality TV, your only information as a consumer was what your real estate agent was telling you and friend’s anecdotal experience,’ he says. ‘The real estate reality shows are almost like a mini course: Ask about the foundation, or this is how to act at an open house.’
-Herman Chan, Real Estate Broker, cited by US News here

The actual home search process is just as exciting as the constructed one you watch on TV. When you partner with Select Homes, we make sure you are the star. Explore the options below to start your own buying or selling journey.

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