There’s nothing like spending a lazy afternoon binge-watching our favorite HGTV shows. From “Fixer Upper” (which, contrary to a recent rumor, is not on the verge of cancellation) to “Property Brothers” (starring our favorite budding country music singers), we can’t get enough of the network’s original programming.
And because we watch so much HGTV, we consider ourselves experts in the home buying process. After all, everything we see on “House Hunters” is totally legit, right?
Well, not exactly.
We’ve already discussed how heavily staged “House Hunters” is (some of the featured homes aren’t even for sale!), but the program’s fictions also creep into the true aspects of the real estate industry. Here are five lies HGTV tells us about buying a home, courtesy of CheatSheet.
1. Lies about Realtors
“It’s a very different world out there in real estate than they’re portraying,” real estate broker Sissy Lapin told CheatSheet. Some HGTV programs “make the agent look like they’re just these lazy people who show two houses and negotiate $1,000 off the asking price.”
In reality, Realtors are licensed professionals who work with home buyers every step of the way, from reviewing house factors to comparing properties to negotiating with the seller.
2. Lies about granite
Granite! Granite! Every kitchen must have granite counter tops — or so “House Hunters” had led us to believe.
But, according to a new Zillow report, granite is no longer as popular as it used to be. The material “can stain and can be hard to maintain,” making modern home buyers partial to different surfaces, including quartz, marble, and butcher block.
So if your listed house lacks granite in the kitchen, don’t worry — that probably won’t be a potential buyer’s deciding factor.
3. Lies about location
Your dream home may be an hour from your office. Think long and hard — do you really want such a stressful daily commute?
Broker Lapin recalled a “House Hunters” episode where a couple chose home upgrades over location, creating a 45-minute drive to work. “I would have made my client, three days in a row, make that drive,” she said.
Location matters in other ways, too — especially for parents, who need to consider the quality of the local school district.
4. Lies about renovations
We love HGTV’s renovation shows, but they depict a seriously watered-down process. In fact, CheatSheet said their “accelerated renovation schedules and suspiciously low budgets” are far from what most clients experience.
The network was recently handed a big dose of renovation reality when a North Carolina couple sued the producers of “Love It or List It” over work that left their home “irreparably damaged.” In the lawsuit, the couple claimed the program “is scripted, with ‘roles’ and reactions assigned to the various performers and participants, including the homeowners.”
5. Lies about buyers
“House Hunters” participants often seem clueless about what they want in a new home, but that all ties back in to the show being staged.
“Buyers are not as naïve as they show them,” Lapin said. In fact, most would-be homeowners spend days poring over sites like Zillow to decide on exactly what they need. Therefore, they know good and well that they can’t get a six-bedroom mansion in the city center for a mere $250,000.
“The buyer, the consumer, is very savvy and I feel like that that’s not portrayed,” Lapin told CheatSheet. “Buyers have a lot of confidence now.”