Have you ever wondered on the show House Hunters why the buyer only looks at 3 houses or condos?
Is that all that is available? Do they look at more and just show us the 3? What was wrong with the other ones if that was the case?
TV Show may end up giving a distorted view to home buyers.
One of the more popular shows on HGTV is House Hunters, where the host, Suzanne Whang showcases the process of a home buyer or a family buying a townhouse who are guided around to 3 homes by a real estate agent. After seeing the 3 homes and a regularly placed commercial break the home buyer comes to the real estate agent office or works with the agent on the hood of the agents car to fill out a one page contract form. After another regularly placed commercial, viola, the buyer has the home and we get the opportunity to drop in on them 1-2 months after they have moved into the property they selected. All of this half hour, made for TV house hunting got me to thinking, How does House Hunters compare to the real home search and buying process?
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Don’t get me wrong, if House Hunter called today to ask me to be an agent on the show I would jump at the opportunity. I am just pointing out some of the differences between the show version and the real version of buying a home. Over the course of the next few postings I will be reviewing the House Hunter process with the Actual home buying process while showing some of the glaring and subtle differences along with providing some food for thought for potential home buyers.
Part Two of a Nine Part Series
The premise of the show is truly very simple. A home buyer is shown a grand total of 3 homes by a real estate agent and they end up selecting one of the 3 listings. For over the past 12 months in Northern Virginia alone there has been over 12,000 active listing at any given time. In many cases this does not include the homes being offered by new homes builders or any of the small number of homes that are offered as a for sale by owner. Now, let me ask you, How do you select 3 homes to see out of a possible 12,000 plus homes? There are condominiums that at any one period of time have more than 3 properties that match a particular criteria available at any one time. Take The Rotonda in McLean, VA where there are 3, 4 or 5 plus units available at any one given moment in time. Now, as a responsible agent, it would be in my best interest and in the best interest of the client to show them all of the active listings.
Seeing a number of properties can usually be completed during the course of 1 to 2 days. An experience agent will help the home buyer to evaluate multiple properties. I also stress the part that this can be done all in one day because we do not need to do a wardrobe change between each house showing. The show always has the showing spaced out over 3 different days so you end up seeing the buyers and the agent in multiple different outfits. While this is good for TV, it is just not all that practical in todays world.
How it really works: Most good agents will work with the buyer to establish what it is that the buyer is looking for in a home. Based upon this criteria the agent will compile a list of properties that meet the parameters set forth by the buyer. This list may result in multiple properties that are located in several similar communities. The Agent and Buyer will coordinate and block off a time to perform the actual house search. This scheduling is necessary because the agent needs to notify the sellers of the property that they are coming by so that the seller can prepare the home for showing. If a community contains multiple properties that meet the criteria then the agent will make all of the properties available to the buyer. The agent will also assist the buyer in narrowing the list of possibilities down to a manageable 1, 2 or 3 properties. These properties may require a second look, but this can be handled in one appointment so that the decision making process is aided by all of the houses being fresh in mind.