As a Realtor®, I am not a big fan of coming home and watching shows like Get It Sold or House Hunters. (In fact, I had to Google real estate reality shows to share some titles.) The last thing I want to do when I come home from a long day of showings, negotiations, inspections, etc. is sit down on my couch and watch other people “sell” real estate……I have seen shows like this a few times and what I have found has been a bit disturbing to me, and I am sure other real estate agents in the field; or as I’ll say here, living the reality.
I’ve noticed these shows distort the reality of real estate. Shocking, I know, a reality show that isn’t really portraying reality. I have seen these shows imply that a real estate agent knows things like how much a new kitchen will cost or the cost of a new roof. I don’t know if this happens on a regular basis. As I said, I’ve only seen shows like this a handful of times. When I have seen them, I have seen scenarios like I mentioned where estimated costs were given by agents.
I’m not one to say, “That’s not my job.” In fact, I detest that phrase. “I am not trained for that” would be more appropriate in this case.
I am licensed to sell real estate. I have not gone to masonry school, worked as a carpenter, termite inspector, home inspector or painter. I do not know how much a new kitchen or roof would cost and neither do those agents on tv. The shows are recorded after the fact. The buyers have bought those homes prior to taping . It is all staged for the enjoyment of the viewer. Sorry to burst any bubbles here.
If someone asks me how much a new roof is I tell them I can refer them to a roofer. A new roof could cost anywhere from several thousand dollars and upward, depending on the scope/extent of the work to be performed, quality of materials, size of the house and I am sure several other factors I am not aware of. Same holds true for a new kitchen or interior or exterior repaint; costs vary.
These “reality” shows have created an expectation of some buyers that their real estate agent know everything about home repairs, updates and upgrades. Unless an agent is also a contractor with years upon years of experience in each field of construction, no one agent can accurately say what any home improvement project will cost. Also, no agent should. It is a misrepresentation and having the decency to say, “I don’t know but can point you to someone who does” is a lot more beneficial to a buyer than pulling a number out of… thin air.
As your Realtor®, I will keep my eyes open for things like polybutelene piping, a plumbing product used in the ’80s and ’90s that most insurance companies refuse to insure, or Federal Pacific electric panels, known to be a potential fire hazard and also difficult/costly to insure. Typically, these things are clearly marked and visible to the naked eye. I can generally see when a roof may be nearing the end of its life expectancy and share my experiences in the field regarding these items with my clients. Do I know what it costs to replace or repair these things? No. I do not. I am not a roofer, plumber or electrician and do not know what materials a buyer will choose for replacement.
As your Realtor® I will be objective and provide feedback when needed and asked for.
As your Realtor® I will work with you in determining the best price and terms for a home, help you navigate through inspections, appraisals, financing, and all the steps on the path to closing.
As your Realtor® I cannot tell you how much a freshly painted interior will cost, the source of a possible plumbing leak, or the cost of repair. That is simply beyond the scope of my knowledge.
In short, the next time you’re sitting comfortably on your couch or relaxing in your recliner and watching a real estate “reality” show, please keep in mind the bulk of reality of the show is the buyers featured purchased a home, the real estate agent helped in determining an offer price and saw them through to closing.