Home Makeover Shows: What's Real and What's Fake?

They're entertaining. They're fun. And they're highly addictive. Let's face it: Home makeover shows are one of the biggest cultural phenomena of our time. There's something surprisingly satisfying about watching an ordinary house be turned into the home of one lucky owner's dreams.

Most people want to buy a house that's move-in ready, but if your clients are considering a fixer-upper, they need to go into it with reasonable expectations. It may look like fun and games on TV, but in reality, renovating a home is a major undertaking.

Don't let your clients get fooled by the magic of the home makeover show. Make sure they understand these truths about home remodeling:

  • Renovations take time.
  • Remodeling isn't cheap.
  • Emotions will run high.

Renovations Take Time

On TV, it looks like ripping out walls, adding new plumbing and installing energy-efficient windows can all be completed in just a few weeks. In reality, you better double that time estimate—at least.

From getting estimates from contractors to addressing the inevitable complications, the steps involved in completing a home remodel are lengthy. Homeowners should be prepared to invest a considerable amount of time into a home renovation project.

Remodeling Isn't Cheap

Many home makeover shows display a quick calculation of the costs involved with the project. The numbers may look frightening for a brief moment, but when compared to the added overall value to the house, it looks like a no-brainer.

It's difficult to know how realistic these estimates are. The shows may have agreements with contractors or suppliers to give them free publicity in return for lower prices, or they may be using cheaper materials. In the end, it comes down to doing the math and making sure the numbers work.

Emotions Will Run High

Part of the reason home makeover shows are so addictive is the drama. What will they find behind that wall? How did the contractor miss that? Can they come in under budget?

That part is very, very real. Emotions will run high, low and everywhere in between throughout the home renovation process. Even if the project is completed without a hitch, until that last nail is in place, tensions will be high. You don't have to have nerves of steel to undertake a remodel, but it's helpful if they can withstand a little stress.

Taking classes through an online real estate school is a great way to make sure you have the knowledge you need to help your clients determine if a fixer-upper is the best deal for them. If so, they may well be on their way to being the star of their very own home makeover experience.

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Krista Doyle

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