Reality TV Shows About Buying or Selling a Home

Real estate buffs and amateur designers can seek inspiration

Property Brothers
Property Brothers stars Jonathan and Drew Scott. Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

They may not give you everything you need to know about buying or selling a house, but there are dozens of reality-style shows to entertain would-be home buyers. Bear in mind that the home-buying and selling process is much longer and more involved (and more boring) than a half-hour or hour show can delve into, and many of these shows script large segments of each episode. For instance, on the shows where a couple chooses which of three houses to purchase, oftentimes they've already closed on one house just before or during the show begins filming. 

But these shows remain popular among viewers, perhaps because they give a glimpse of the stress and chaos of the process of owning a home. 

Here are a few of the most entertaining "reality" shows about home-buying and selling.

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House Hunters

"House Hunters" follows prospective buyers, renters, and real estate agents as they go through the home-buying process. Often dealing with customers who want huge, fully-upgraded homes on a shoestring budget, these driven Realtors often have to scramble to meet their picky clients' demands. For viewers who want to see what the market is like around the world, make sure to check out "House Hunters International."

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Tiny House Hunters

"House Hunters" inspired a spinoff show focused on people who want to downsize their living space to the smallest option possible. "Tiny House Hunters" takes the "House Hunters" premise and applies it to home-buyers who want a house 600 square feet or smaller. Obviously, a space that small presents its own unique (and entertaining) challenges.

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Fixer Upper

 A huge hit for HGTV, '"Fixer Upper" follows Texas-based couple Joanna and Chip Gaines, a designer/boutique owner and real estate professional/contractor, respectively, as they transform homes in need of a little work into their clients' dream houses. Huge proponents of using local materials, craftsmen, and salvaged items, this couple has an uncanny knack for making the budget-friendly fashionable.

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Flip or Flop

Orange County, California couple Tarek and Christina El Moussa are the heart of HGTV's "Flip or Flop," in which they buy dilapidated properties in cash at auction for low prices, and turn them into livable, family-friendly modern homes. The real catch here is that there isn't always a buyer on the line and sometimes the El Moussas are out thousands of dollars as they wait for someone to make an offer  — hence the potential "flop" in the show's title.

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Love It or List It

The Canadian reality TV hit "Love It or List It," which airs on HGTV, follows designer Hilary Farr and real estate agent David Visentin as they compete to see who can win over their clients. Hilary is given a budget by the homeowners to remodel their existing house, while David presents them a number of alternative options in their price range.The chemistry between the two stars, who bicker playfully and work against each other the entire show, is a big draw for viewers. 

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Property Brothers

Tall, handsome, and dedicated to their craft, '"Property Brothers" stars Jonathan and Drew Scott have lured many a design-averse viewer to their HGTV show. The brothers kindly guide their clients through the home buying and renovation process, turning fixer-uppers into polished gems along the way. 

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Buying and Selling With the Property Brothers

"Property Brothers" was so popular that it led to a spin-off show for the Scott brothers. On "Buying and Selling," contractor Jonathan renovates a family's house and Realtor Drew finds them potential options for a new home and helps sell their renovated property.

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Sell This House

Each week, homeowners who were desperate to sell tacky homes h received harsh feedback from prospective buyers. A decorating expert helped to improve the home on a limited budget. "Sell This House" aired on A&E, but ended its run in 2011.

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Designed to Sell

Similar in concept to "Sell This House,"  HGTV's "Designed to Sell" focused on getting homes ready to sell or making improvements to homes that were already listed but had not garnered much attention from prospective buyers. The show ran from 2004 to 2011.