Buuuuutttt I saw it happen on TV!

Real estate reality TV is fun to watch and becoming more and more popular. As it should, it’s entertaining and shows the fun side of real estate.

But it also sets unrealistic expectations for buyers, sellers, and investors. It seems like every week the show’s star finds the perfect home to flip, hits unexpected repairs, but still makes $50k in profit. All in 30 minutes!

That doesn’t always happen. If ever.

Here are five reality TV myths to help set the record straight:

  1. Every home is a dream home: There are dream homes out there, but most do not have a swim-up bar, bowling alley, and bat cave. But just because it is not a “dream” home does not mean you will love it any less after moving in. Home is what you make it.

2. Short buying timeline: This comes in all shapes and sizes, from the number of homes that buyers see to the handshake closings. Most homebuyers look at ten or more homes during their search. Once you find the right one, an offer must be accepted, then inspections, appraisal, and more negotiations, which can take not only days but weeks.

3. Every deal is a home run: Deals, unfortunately, fall through all the time. Accepting an offer is just the beginning. Be pre-qualified can help start the process if you aren’t paying cash. However, not ever negotiating point has to be a deal killer. This is one of the many jobs of an agent, to negotiate every detail.

4. You need a ton of cash to buy: Even though it’s fun to say “All cash, close in seven days,” most home purchases come from some sort of loan, not backing up a Brinks truck at closing. There are loans that you can get for little money down. Speak with your lender about the loan options for which you might qualify.

5. It’s all fun and games: Real estate is work and, in many cases, it is hard work. Anytime there are multiple humans involved in a transaction, things can, and will, get tense. Plus, most people have an emotional connection with their home. Just remember that if someone offers below ask, it’s not personal.

Reality isn’t always real. Keeping watching and enjoying the spectacle, and when it’s your turn to buy or sell, remember to listen to your agent and keep your expectations based on reality.