It’s no huge secret that house-hunting TV shows aren’t totally rooted in reality — there is some staging and casting to make for good television.
But for those of us who guilty-pleasure-watch buyer after buyer playing out their dream home search, it’s easy to internalize what you see on TV.
Here are six reasons that house-hunting isn’t actually like what you see on TV:
1. You have way more than three options when buying a house!
While your agent will try to curate homes that meet your criteria, they certainly aren’t going to call it quits after showing you three “perfect” options.
Some buyers look at dozens of homes before finding the right fit and winning a bid, while others bid on the first one they see. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t see yourself in the first few.
2. You can see all of the listings beforehand on Homesnap.
TV buyers seem to walk into houses without any clue what they’ll see – as if this could ever happen in the age of real estate smartphone apps!
While photos are no substitute for reality, you can narrow down your search by looking at listings on Homesnap before taking the time to set foot in a single entryway.
3. Your agent does more than just let you into the house.
Unlike on TV, your agent isn’t just someone who rounds up some options and unlocks doors. They should be the trusted partner and adviser in your search, lending their expertise to your specific needs.
Agents can keep in touch with you via the Homesnap app, so you can always stay in communication. By sharing listings and saving searches, you can make sure you’re on the same page.
4. You’ll want to approach buying a house with a realistic budget in mind.
Ever notice how television buyers will enter the process with a maximum budget point, and then blow right past it once they see the right home?
While real-life buyers do sometimes adjust their ideas about what they’re willing to pay mid-search, you want to make sure you have a full understanding of what you can afford.
Get a loan pre-approval before you start looking, so you know exactly what’s within your budget.
5. Don’t get stuck on “deal breakers” — go in with an open mind.
TV demands drama, and sometimes the buyers you see will exaggerate their feelings about acrylic counter tops or a small bathroom vanity. In reality, you want to go in with an open mind.
The factors you consider “deal breakers” can evolve once you see the real options. You might be fine with a tiny yard if there’s a park across the street, or okay with a bathroom that needs remodeling if the kitchen wins you over.
6. Generally, you have more than 20 minutes to make this huge decision!
Watching a 30-minute TV show gives the impression that you have to make the call on one of the biggest purchases of your life in a matter of minutes! This is rarely how things work. Don’t put pressure on yourself to give the thumbs up or thumbs down after you first walk-through.
One caveat here: If you’re shopping in one of those notoriously hot housing markets, make sure you talk with your agent about how quickly you’ll need to move, and make sure you know what you’re looking for. You might need to turnaround an offer in a day or two, in these areas.