Aside from my passion in real estate, I love writing and learning about movie and TV production. A while back, a high-school friend of mine, Robin, was on one of the popular Real Estate Reality shows that so many of us are addicted too. As soon as I finished her episode I was online asking her questions about her experience and how it all worked out.
The truth behind “real estate reality” TV was as enlightening as it was awesome. Why? Because the truth set me free! It confirmed it’s an entertainment show and not a true reflection on how buying a home really works.
Robin told me the episode is shot backwards. They had already purchased their condo, they had spent plenty of weekdays and weekends house-hunting with their agent and doing the real work. However, after they closed escrow on their new home, the production of the show started. They walked through their future home and pretended to shop it. Then the producers found two other properties, ones they may or may not have seen prior to buying and they walked through those too – pretending to pick it apart or discuss their likes and dislikes.
Then at the end of the show, they reveal which unit they bought and it’s all smiles and a shot of signing a one-page contract. So not a true picture of what it takes to buy a home!
The relief spilled over me. Of course, I knew these shows were for entertainment. Going on 10 years as a Realtor myself, I’ve rarely showed a home, drew up a contract, got the contract accepted and closed escrow in 30 minutes, minus the commercial spots. But the people, the real buyers, are watching the show and not thinking about it as entertainment as much as following a buyer’s journey.
That’s where the hard part starts for us Realtors! Get a new client in the car, ready to show some homes and they tell you – we only want to do this for about a month. Scrape my jaw off the floor and break the truth to them. In today’s real estate market, at least here on the SF Peninsula – you’ll be house hunting for months! Some people can handle it some cannot. I guess it’s one of those moments where you separate the men from the boys.
So I thought I would write a blog about it and share my ‘Ah-Ha’ moment. Because we, (myself included before I became a licensed Realtor), would sit down and enjoy these shows and in the back of our minds we believed it was that easy.
In the last year or so, the SF Peninsula has switched from a buyers market, with plenty of inventory in various price ranges and condition, to a sellers market, with limited inventory and even the trashy properties receiving multiple offers and over bidding.
Real estate, as all things are, is cyclical. What goes up, goes down, then up again. That’s when I remind my buying clients that life is not like those TV shows, not even close to the ones branded as Reality TV. If you truly want to own a piece of the Silicon Valley, it is going to take work, patience, and flexibility. And the view from my drivers seat is fantastic. There are opportunities out there for each buyer, they just have to open their eyes and their mind – and drop the ‘reality’ from those TV shows.
So get off the couch and in my car – we’ll take you on a real Real Estate journey – just a bit longer than 30 minutes.