What The HGTV Shows Don’t Tell You
Love it or List It? Property Brothers? Which ones are your favorites? I used to love watching hours of these shows. That is until I got into Realestate myself. Now when I watch them, they make me laugh.
I’ve been working full-time as a licensed Realtor now since 2015. Before that my husband and I jumped into the real estate market as investors. We’ve done major house rebuilds and flips of different sizes.
So as I cover the Myths vs Reality section that follows, please keep in mind that I’m speaking out of the very solid experience.
HGTV Myths vs Reality
Homebuyers decide which to buy after just three homes. Not! I’ve worked with homebuyers who take up to six months before deciding which to buy. During those six months, I’ve taken them to see at least 45 houses.
How do I know? I keep a folder for every client I work with and in that folder, I place the listing and any notes for each and every house we look at. Then at closing, I pull that folder out to remind them of how many they actually saw. They are always surprised.
The shows buyers haven’t yet found their dream home.
There’s no way to show the whole buying process, which often takes months, in a 30-minute show. Therefore, the show’s producers work with buyers who are much further along in the process and already found a house.
All homes for sale are vacant.
It’s pretty clear that the show producers prefer to show only vacant homes giving many the impression that all homes for sale are vacant. In reality, I’d say 40% of homes listed for sale at any given time are actually vacant.
Homes always sell at the open house.
If only that was remotely true! Here’s the truth about open houses. When you list your house for sale, chances are far more likely that those who visit your house, will make an offer on another. Open houses benefit real estate agents more than they benefit the seller.
The Seller decides to sell after a five-minute conversation.
I’ve done my share of negotiating on behalf of my buyer clients. First of all, buyers agents do not typically have direct contact with sellers. They contact and negotiate through the listing agent.
I can tell you it takes more than just a five-minute conversation. Protocols must be followed such as submit buyer’s pre-approval and written purchase offer. Negotiate specifics between the party and any counter-offers. This process typically takes 24-48 hours.
Sellers get 100% of their renovation budget back when they sell the house.
At the start of the show, they value the property. By the end of the show, they add the full value of the renovations to the market value of the property.
No one gets 100% back. Some renovations are worth more than others. In general, I’ve seen appraisers here in Michigan value $3000 for every bedroom or bath and around $5000 for a finished basement. Adding an extra bedroom could cost you $18,000 and remodeling a bath a minimum of $15,000.
For instance, for a full kitchen renovation, homeowners can expect to recoup up to 65% of the costs.
- Average cost: $62,158
- Average resale value $40,560