Insider asked real-estate agents about the best and worst home-buying and renovation shows.
The agents loved series like “House Hunters” and “Holmes Makes It Right.”
But they criticized “Property Brothers” and “Million Dollar Listing” for being unrealistic.
“House Hunters” does a good job of showing the necessity of compromise.
The show follows prospective home buyers and their agents as they view and choose between potential new homes.
“I find ‘House Hunters’ to be the most entertaining real-estate show,” he said. “It does a good job of highlighting that every house has its pros and cons, and I relate to this from my experience doing showings.”
“Holmes Makes It Right” is packed with real renovation information.
HGTV Canada’s “Holmes Makes It Right” follows contractor Mike Holmes as he helps homeowners correct renovation mistakes made by dishonest contractors.
Tuohey said the show features good renovation information and educational content.
“I have a background in construction, but Holmes still expands my knowledge of codes and violations that I would otherwise have been sure to miss,” he told Insider.
“Love and Listings” gives viewers a unique peek into home sales.
Real-estate agent Kit Lockett told Insider that one of her favorite guilty-pleasure TV shows is VH1’s “Love and Listings.”
It tracks Suge Jacob Knight, son of hip-hop producer Suge Knight, as he sells property and mingles with Hollywood’s elite and navigates million-dollar property sales.
“This show captures the growing urban home market that most real-estate shows overlook,” Lockett said, adding that a lot of buyers and agents can connect with the show.
“Tiny House Nation” earned top marks for its creativity.
FYI’s “Tiny House Nation” follows host John Weisbarth and renovation expert Zack Giffin as they design tiny homes for clients across America.
Ashley Baskin, a real-estate agent and advisory-board member for HomeLife Digest, told Insider that she loves seeing the ingenious ways the show’s hosts design small spaces to be efficient and attractive.
“The creativity seen within the tiny-house designs is what really catches my eye,” she said. “It’s amazing what people on the show can do with spaces under 500 square feet.”
“Rehab Addict” is a sweet and authentic look at home restoration.
Real-estate broker and Realtor Marcia Socas of Castro Realty Group told Insider that she thinks “Rehab Addict” is a down-to-earth and relatable show.
The DIY Network/HGTV series follows restoration specialist Nicole Curtis as she repairs and preserves old homes.
“Curtis is so sweet and hardworking, and it’s fun to see her beautiful renovations of old homes,” she said. “The situations she finds in homes are realistic ones, and it’s enjoyable to watch the transformations.”
“Island Life” does a good job of showing properties across a wide price range.
Socas said that one of her favorite shows about buying property is HGTV’s “Island Life.”
It features buyers looking for properties on islands across the world.
“‘Island Life’ takes you to various locations and shows you what can be purchased,” she said. “The fact that the show highlights different locations and various budgets makes it interesting every time I watch.”
On the other hand, “Selling Sunset” was unpopular with agents because of its over-the-top drama.
Netflix’s “Selling Sunset” follows the life and work of Los Angeles real-estate agents at The Oppenheim Group.
Baskin said that although she lives in the area and is familiar with the LA housing market, she finds “Selling Sunset” annoying.
“‘This is an unrealistic depiction of the average real-estate agent’s job and shows nothing but drama,” she told Insider. “The only good thing about this show is being able to view some ultra-luxurious homes.”
“Fixer Upper” doesn’t accurately portray the home-renovation process.
HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” follows hosts and home experts Chip and Joanna Gaines as they work with home buyers to renovate their new houses.
The series saw immense popularity throughout its five-season run, but Tuohey said that the renovations are largely staged and unrealistic.
“Most renovations require proper permitting, and the show doesn’t go into the details of this,” he said. “Everything they do appears to be a breeze, but that’s not the case for 90% of renovations.”
“Property Brothers” is an unrealistic take on home renovation.
HGTV’s “Property Brothers” is hosted by Jonathan and Drew Scott, and the pair help people buy and remodel fixer-upper homes.
But Lockett said that the show doesn’t accurately portray the difficulty that many people face when trying to access funds for a renovation.
“‘Property Brothers’ is so unrealistic,” she told Insider. “It’s not that easy to qualify for a renovation loan. In fact, most loan types do not allow buyers to use the money to renovate a home.”
The agent stressed that it’s important for home buyers to know what they legally can and can’t do with any remaining balance on their home loan.
“Million Dollar Listing” is more drama than reality.
Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” follows competitive LA real-estate agents as they try to sell high-end properties to affluent clients.
Lockett said that the fierce drama between the agents on the show doesn’t reflect the reality of working in property sales.
“‘Million Dollar Listings’ is the ‘Real Housewives’ of real-estate shows,” she said. “Agents don’t really interact that much. The last thing a Realtor wants is to spend their free time bickering with other agents.”
“Love It or List It” oversimplifies the process of home-buying and renovating.
HGTV’s “Love It or List It” profiles homeowners deciding between buying a new house or renovating their existing property.
Tuohey said that in his professional experience, many homeowners struggle with the financial aspect of redesigning a home, and that struggle isn’t well-represented on the show.
“‘Love It or List It’ sometimes drives me crazy because they seem to only feature upper-class homeowners who appear to have limitless options,” he told Insider.
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