Real Estate TV Show Rankings
Who doesn’t love a good reality show, especially when it has to do with real estate? While they are definitely entertaining, not all of them are depicting reality. Here are a few popular shows and their rankings (out of 5 possible stars) according to our team.
Love It or List It
Premise: Each episode features a family who is torn between staying in their current home... or selling and moving to a new one. the home and move to a new one. There is a real estate agent who is basically competing with an interior designer to try and win over the family. They go through the process of making the renovations and also looking at homes, and in the end, they decided if they’re going to “love it” aka keep their house, “or list it,” aka sell their house.
Shannon Jones Team Score: 3.5 stars
It’s a great example of how much the location can affect the price of a home, which can be a shock to some homeowners. It also shows real-life examples of how important compromise can be when you’re in the housing market and have to make a decision that impacts the whole family. The show loses a few points from us, however, because renovation budgets are a little unrealistic, and one homeowner sued the show in 2016, stating their renovation was poorly executed.
Here we have the Property Brothers, who are twins in real life-- Drew is a real estate pro and Jonathan is a licensed contractor. Drew will take families through a few of their “dream homes,” and explain the reality of what getting everything on their wish list would actually cost. He then shows them some “fixer-uppers” that could be renovated to meet their needs. Once they choose one, Jonathan creates a design plan, and the family is left with a dream home that stays within their dream budget. For the most part.
Shannon Jones Team Score: 4 stars
We like it because it shows people that even if a home doesn’t show well, it can still be transformed into exactly what you want. It doesn’t get a 5/5 though because the timeline depicted is unreasonable. With renovations, and especially in California, there is a lot of permitting involved so projects tend to take longer.
If you don’t know the Gaines by now, where have you been? In this show, Chip and Joanna Gaines help a couple find a run-down home in their dream neighborhood and then fix it up for them. They also give us a behind-the-scenes look at their own family and working farm in Waco, Texas, which is the cutest thing in the whole world. Of all the shows, the conversation seems much less scripted, especially between Chip and Joanna, which is refreshing. During the renovation, they also reveal common obstacles like plumbing problems, electricity issues, foundation troubles, etc., that people who are actually renovating an old home should expect to run into.
Shannon Jones Team Score: 4.75 stars
We WANT to give them a perfect 5 because they’re just so lovable and Joanna’s designs are gorgeous, but the truth is that the couple they’re working with comes to them with a fixer-upper home already purchased, so the part where they show people “3 options” is made up.
Million Dollar Listing
This is a Bravo show, so if you like that extra “drama” factor, you’ll love this. A lot of it is a narrative between the real estate agents’ relationships, but they are legitimate agents in New York and Los Angeles, making deals and selling houses. It’s fun to see what some of these mega-mansions are actually selling for, and if you think our home prices are high, watch a few episodes of the New York show. You’ll feel much better.
Shannon Jones Team Score: 4.5 stars
It’s Bravo, after all, and we all know Andy Cohen doesn’t stand for bad television. There’s no smoke and mirrors here, probably because they’re dealing with millionaire buyers. Some of the deals are depicted a little more simply than what actually goes on, and it gets a little “scripty” sometimes when they’re talking on the phone for example, but overall this is a fun and entertaining show to watch.
My First Place
This gives a pretty accurate depiction of the home buying process, and how challenging it can be at times. It shows first-time home buyers dealing with things like inspections, bidding wars, hidden expenses, etc. It also shows how exciting and satisfying it is once you make it through the process and can call yourself a real homeowner.
Shannon Jones Team Score: 5 stars!
This is the best out of the bunch as far as being the closest to reality. The only improvement would be the name itself - problems like these can arise during the purchase of any home, not just your first. They can also all be overcome with the help of an experienced and professional team like ours. (Shameless plug.)
Oh House Hunters… so much to talk about here. Yes, it’s nice to put on if you want to binge a show because there are literally hundreds of seasons, but keep in mind that this is 99% fabricated for entertainment value. The couples are paid to be on the show, and it’s not uncommon that they already own a home before they shoot their episode. There have even been reports that some of the homes the couples are “looking at” aren’t even on the market, they’re really friends’ homes.
Shannon Jones Team Score: 2.5 stars
They don’t get a zero because we do like the fact that it can inspire people to enter the housing market, but it’s also setting so many unrealistic expectations. Sorry but you’re just not likely to just pick your favorite home out of three options and close a deal within three days.