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3 Things Million Dollar Listing Gets Wrong About Real Estate

Maya Dhairyawan

Maya was born and raised in Miami. She currently lives in Southern California while attending Chapman University...

Maya was born and raised in Miami. She currently lives in Southern California while attending Chapman University...

Aug 13 3 minutes read

“I have never had a problem with any of my listings ever.” This sums up the difference between reality and reality TV shows about luxury real estate. This was a direct quote by real estate agent Fredrik Eklund from Million Dollar Listing: New York referring to concerns about his extravagant 1980’s themed open house. 

While the shows are incredibly entertaining, it is important to realize that they do not represent reality. Here are some things that these shows get wrong about the luxury real estate industry. 

  1. Negotiations. The negotiations with both buyers and sellers are depicted within about 30 seconds on TV. In reality, these deals can take hours, if not weeks, to negotiate. 

    Contrary to the season premiere, buyers will most likely not immediately agree to a $1 million price drop suggestion from their real estate agent. 

  2. Open Houses. While marching bands and Miami Vice themed open houses are fun, they are not as common as the show may allude to. Last week’s episode showed agent Ryan Serhant hiring a marching band to cover up the loud traffic from the expressway located directly behind his listing. 

    While a marketing strategy is always important, this scenario seemed to push it to an extreme.

  3. Drama. As you probably already expected, reality TV shows about luxury real estate capitalize on drama. 

    Whether it’s a strategic wine spill on a couch at a multimillion-dollar property or a screaming match negotiation, Million Dollar Listing: New York proves to be more entertaining than realistic. 

What It Gets Right

From Fredrik losing an $800k commission because he overlooked a line in the contract to hiring an 80’s themed open house at a dated listing, Million Dollar Listing always delivers on the drama. 

While the show often stretches the truth to further the drama, there are a few ways that the season 8 premiere of Million Dollar Listing: New York did the industry justice as well. 

Real estate agent Steve Gold mentioned that he had to spend $5,000 on a marketing video for his Payne Estate listing. 

He is later shown contacting a professional drone videographer he found on Instagram, a platform which is becoming a more common source for finding professionals in the industry. 

In the final scene of the premiere, Fredrik compared being a luxury real estate agent to having a child. In both scenarios, one has a sometimes nitpicky customer, is on the job 24/7, and often has a reason for big celebrations. 

While the show may be inaccurate about the industry, it’s still entertaining to watch. 

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