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  • House Hunters, Fake?

    Friday, June 10, 2016   /   by Kristin And Mark Stampini

    House Hunters, Fake?

    Is House Hunters Fake?

    Recently I’ve been obsessed with watching HGTV’s House Hunters. More obsessed than usual. Especially with the House Hunters international edition which I always find super intriguing to see how the real estate market compares with that of the United States’. However, as one of the founders of Florida Platinum Group in Palm Beach County and as a Real Estate Agent with many years of experience under my belt. I know that many aspects of House Hunters simply do not happen in real life and a lot of the true aspects of the house hunting process are left out. I start to ponder whether if others, who watch House Hunters without such experience, truly believe that this is how the home buying process goes. It can be a bit more complicated and tedious than that especially if one chooses the wrong agency to work with.
    The Breakdown: How many Houses Did you Say?

    Three. Only three homes are seen being showed on House Hunters to the buyers. Typically it is a couple looking for a bigger home or something that they can expand their family in. Then the agent is seen doing a little research and returning with three homes he or she thinks the buyers will love. Then Boom! Just like that, the buyers pick their favorite out of the selection then they live happily ever after. Right? Wrong. Totally wrong, the average amounts of homes that are showed to buyers are eight to ten according to the National Association of Realtors’ Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report 2015. Here at Florida Platinum Group, we like to do a thorough research and do just that and show eight or ten homes, so that our clients do not feel like they are missing out on their dream home. Even if that means going above and beyond, and doing a thorough consultation, digging deep and eliminating all of the frustration, stress, and confusion. So that buyer is not bogged down with 20 homes to look at. One of our Senior Buyer’s Agents, Steve Shepherd states, “when I first started out, the most amounts of homes I’ve ever shown to a buyer were probably 20 homes, and that’s because we do a thorough consultation with our clients so we can find exactly what they are looking for”. Shepherd also goes on to mention “I find it frustrating that it seems like the agents on House Hunters aren’t really listening to the needs and wants of the clients, and they don’t really find what they were looking for”. As full-time professionals, we stress asking the right amount of questions, that is how we can take away showing so many homes. We stress on finding the best properties that fit the criteria of our clients. Most agents are quick to just show any home to their clients and do not really listen to what they find important. Alex Mendel, another Senior Buyer’s Agent on our team says that the most important question he asks to clients is, “what does a dream home mean to you, and what are your top three must- haves?” Our main focus and goal are to satisfy the needs of our client.


    Moreover, a few very imperative elements that comes into play during the home buying process that gets glossed over in House Hunters, is the market of the homes, the overall length of time that is spent searching before a purchase, some of the most difficult steps (which are not always difficult), the method of home purchase, what buyers want the most from Real Estate Agents and the benefits having one. Homes within a buyer’s market has tons of listings which can be overwhelming for a buyer, homes within a seller’s market, there is not a whole lot to be shown. A lot of times in a seller’s market a home will go under contract in a couple of days and it can get easily missed. Like I stated previously, the average number of homes shown to a client is about eight to ten. However, the overall length of that process according to the National Association of Realtors’ Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report 2015, the average number of weeks searched of all buyers is about 10 weeks. People of younger ages of “34 and younger and 35- 49 tend to spend up to 11 weeks searching” while those around the age


    of “50-89 spend up to 8 weeks”. This signifies the importance of knowing your client, the younger group tends to be first time home buyers that are unsure about that they might want, this is where finding an agent that will be patient, suggestive, knowledgeable and attentive is key. Whereas the older group has a little bit more experience in the home buying process and have more of a clear understanding of what they want and do not need as many suggestions as a first time home buyer.  Furthermore, some perceived difficulties are not that difficult as they are hyped up to be are, “finding the right property, paperwork and understanding the overall process and steps”. 53% of all buyers believe that finding the right property is the hardest, 24% think paperwork is the most difficult and 16% deem that understanding the process and steps is the most difficult. All of these perceived notions that house hunters fails to address all boil down to whether one works with the right agent. Unfortunately, if one works with the wrong agent then all of these difficulties can come to fruition. I see this all the time on House Hunters, where an agent seems to be getting a little agitated with the client, and the client gets frustrated as well. If an individual works with an agent that is not attentive, understanding of the wants and needs of the clients, patient and trustworthy then finding the right property can be a nightmare.


    In addition, House Hunters tends to completely ignore the existence of paperwork when it comes to purchasing a home. However, there is a stigma around paperwork that it is hard to understand. Once again only IF, an agent does not properly guide their client through the paperwork, simplify it and make it as easy to understand as possible. To make paperwork less daunting we give our client the contract first so they can review it and ask any questions they might have before they make an offer so they know what they are getting, so they know there is no hidden language, and it gives them the ability to ask questions now rather than later. We are able to hit all the key points up front especially with a first time home buyer so that they can feel comfortable. I also find it shocking that during the home buying process on House Hunters that the reality behind finding the right agent is not shown, as this is where finding the right home ultimately comes from. Up to “88% of all buyers”, whether they are older or younger, their “method of home purchase is through a real estate agent or broker”. If House Hunters truly wanted to depict the house hunting process the method of finding the right agent should be shown. Getting stuck with an agent who may not mesh well with the client can be detrimental to the home buying process and can put an overall damper on it.  

    Even if House Hunters does not show everything that goes into the reality of buying a home, I think it is important to keep in mind what really happens. It gives a small snippet of what goes in the real estate world, and regardless it is a fun show to watch that gets you sucked into what homes will be shown, wondering what home will be picked and getting mad at the TV when the buyers on the show do not choose the house you wanted. House Hunter is all in good fun and a show I will always tune into, just make sure you don’t feed into the “reality” of the show.


    Click Here for a Free Chapter of the Owner of Florida Platinum Group, Kristin Stampini’s Book: “What Every Person Needs to Know about Buying a House”


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