Home flipping shows have made the real estate business harder on the sellers.


Home flipping shows have made the real estate business harder on the sellers. They have created buzzwords and expectations for all the buyers.

The sellers may have a lovely home where everything works and may need some re-decorating but buyers are looking for upgrades that they see on TV. Some of the re-decorating might be their style but sometimes it's just the current trend. They may need to think about what those trends are and if they really want to live that way. 

Open Concept – Spacious living-dining-family-entry and kitchens. Being able to see thru the entire house to the backyard from the front door. Great for flow of entertaining.

Reality –The noise of each room carries from area to area. Cooking noises and sounds while watching TV. You will need to keep all the areas clean at all times since it’s open to all. Even if you host every holiday and birthday it’s still only 10% of the year. That means 90% of the year you have all this space to heat and cool at once.  Now to create open space in a house built before 2010 you will need to remove walls and put in beams to open the space. That requires engineer plans to confirm that the 2nd floor or roof doesn’t cave in. That is an expense almost never discussed on the TV Shows.

Hardwood floors – Beautifully creates flow throughout the home.

Reality – Actual wood is expensive. Engineered wood is a fine substitute but some viewers only want wood. It is not easy to take care of. It’s not great with dogs. Claws can scratch the wood. Water can damage it. You need area rugs to warm up the space. And then you need gripper backing to keep them in place.

Tile in bathrooms and kitchens – Decorative tiling creates interest and flair to these spaces

Reality – Tiles are expensive and not easy to install. The tiles themselves are expensive and they need machines to cut them to make them fit. You also need spacers, grout, mastic, and edge tile. The shows make it look easy and they don’t tell the prices. The application needs to be watertight because even the smallest amount of water can damage the house.  

Countertops- Granite is the best. Quartz and marble are also good. Waterfall is the best style

Reality – Stone slabs are expensive. Expect $30-200 a square foot. Natural stones can stain and chip. It needs to be sealed and taken care of carefully. It’s not maintenance-free.

Stand-alone Soaker tubs – A spa atmosphere in your own house

Reality - These tubs and the standing plumbing necessary are expensive. No place to put candles, wine glass or kids’ toys. You will need to have the entire room warm since you can get a draft near the window.  Really do you take that many baths to use up that much space in the bathroom?

Double sink – Everyone needs their own sink.

Reality – More sinks to keep clean. Less counter space.

The TV shows are edited to reduce the time between purchasing the home and the final reveal. They almost never explain the time and money needed to get architect/engineering plans for the renovation. Permits also take time and money. They also never discuss the costs of labor. The production company does supplement the costs of the renovation. The viewer is unaware of the costs and money to make these upgrades that aren’t necessary. I’m willing to bet there will be a rash of wall building in the future of open concept.