Don’t get me wrong, I love watching the home renovations and real estate shows on HGTV, Bravo, TLC, etc. as much as the next person. Who doesn’t get a little choked up when Chip and Joanna do the big reveal on their clients’ home and you see the joy and amazement on their faces? And then you have the house flipping shows where they take a dump and turn it into a palace with people chomping at the bit to buy it in a bidding war the first day it hits the market. The problem with all of this is the fact that these shows are a different flavor of reality TV, and everyone should know be now…there isn’t much reality in reality television. While these shows can be entertaining and provide inspiration, taking them too seriously “can lead to unrealistic expectations, serious disappointment…or worse.
Unrealistic Expectation #1 – You are going to find your dream home by looking at three houses that your agent picks out for you to look at. First off, your REALTOR is not going to blindly take you to three houses for you to look at without any input from you. You may get lucky and find a home right away, but it could take weeks…or months. Location, price-point, inventory all play factors into this. The more specific needs you have, the longer it may take.
Unrealistic Expectation #2 – You are going to get multiple offers the first day it hits the market and/or buyers will be lined up at your first open house.. Again..those same things that can affect how long it takes to find a home (price, inventory, location, etc) can affect how long it takes to sell a home. According to The Greater Nashville Realtors Association, for the month of July the average number of days on the market for a single family home was 25 days. The median residential price for a single family home was $288,243. Within our team, we have seen homes at the lower price points sell pretty quickly, some within days, but more expensive homes tend to stay on the market longer.
Unrealistic Expectation #3 – Thinking you can flip or remodel a house is easy and cheap. Reality is, that it isn’t that easy at all and can be much more costly than one might think. Television shows depict people getting these great deals on homes that they can renovate and increase the value exponentially. What people forget is that the renovators/flippers on these shows are professionals. This is their business, and they have crews and contacts, and because they are on TV, they get supplies much cheaper than you or I can get. I recently showed a house to a client looking for a rental property. He already has several others and is willing to do some sweat equity to get it ready. The photos looked reasonable, but when we walked in there were several red flags…the biggest one being that the kitchen floor was literally caving in. It turned out the current owner bought it cash without having it appraised (or likely inspected) and then realized it was much more than she could take on.. She is probably going to lose tens of thousands of dollars just to get out of this house because it is doubtful that it can appraise for anywhere near what she paid for it.
Take Aways – Don’t quit watching your favorite home renovation or real estate programs, but take them for what they are…ENTERTAINMENT, with some possible inspiration mixed in. Trust in your Real Estate Professional to advise you and and set realistic expectations, and BE PATIENT. It may not happen as quickly as you want, but you will sell your home and find your dream home. As real estate professionals, we understand that buying a home is an emotional decision, but our job is to help you make a good financial decision too.