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Is HGTV Teaching Us Bad Real Estate Lessons Buying a Home?

House Hunters, Property Brothers, Flip or Flop, Love it or List It and Fixer Upper are very popular home buying and home improvement shows but are they teaching us the wrong lessons? Are people who watch coming away with unreasonable and unrealistic expectations?

Finding Your Dream Home

You can’t believe everything you see on TV. There is very little chance you will find your dream home after looking at just three houses. That would be absolute luck if that were to happen.

Real Estate agents have noticed buyers being impatient with the process because they have been influenced by the HGTV shows they have watched. In real life, you may have to look at many more than three properties to find the one for you.

How tight or lose the market is, plays a big factor in how long the home buying process can take.  Nationally the market is currently tight so it can more than a year to find a suitable home, get the contract signed, close and move in.

Lazy Real Estate Agents?

Real Estate Lessons Buying a HomeWatching some of these shows would almost give you the idea real estate agents don’t really do much other than help shave a few dollars off the asking price through negotiations.

In reality, a good agent works with the buyer from start to finish, providing guidance and advice as the process moves forward.  Good agents do not take the hands-off approach seen on TV.

Money Not an Object?

Just because the price of a home seems reasonable in Waco, Texas doesn’t mean it will be the same in San Francisco.  Potential buyers come away from some shows with completely unrealistic expectations of what things cost.

Going over budget is a very bad idea. How many times do you see couples on a show like House Hunters hardly blink at going several thousand dollars over their budget?

You are no longer just handing over a monthly rent check you need to make sure you have some “rainy day” money for repairs and maintenance.

Granite Countertops

If you watch enough of these home-buying and remodeling shows you will come away with the idea granite countertops are a must have an item in a kitchen. Even sellers are asking if they need to change out their countertops to make the home sell faster.

The truth is granite is starting to lose its popularity as homeowners are turning to quartz and butcher block. This Zillow Digs report details some of the new trends in kitchen design.


There are multiple bad lessons learned about remodeling on the popular HGTV shows. First off, the contractors you see on TV are totally dedicated to one project whereas real life, full-time contractors juggle multiple jobs at the same time.

Another thing we rarely see is the process of getting the appropriate permits, hiring subcontractors and negotiating with suppliers. This part of the process has been completed by the time the filming starts.


The HGTV shows can be very entertaining but don’t get sucked into the mistakes. You can learn some valuable lessons about home buying and selling and, chances are, any mistakes you make probably won’t hurt anyone.


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