As it turns out, real life doesn’t always mimic tv. I know: novel pronouncement. But, I believe it’s true.

Saturday’s Washington Post real estate section includes a story about how HGTV shows aren’t always accurately portraying the struggles of home buying and selling now that we’re in a terrible downturn. 

“They show none of the negotiation process or any of the bumps in the road that can happen along the way. And they show a tenth of the paperwork that’s actually involved in the buying process,” says one source, who later complains: “Amazingly, the Realtors on the shows are always able to meet their clients in a sunny park under a beautiful tree, and there’s only one paper to sign, as opposed to the hour or more spent in an office signing a mountain of papers that typically happens.”

Strange. It’s so unlike reality television shows to be unrealistic. But, despite the rose-colored glasses, the shows are helpful in some ways, according to many agents.They show sellers that it’s essential to take obvious steps that for some reason they neglected to do pre-HGTV:

Real estate agents say the shows have created a class of more educated customers. The shows pound home the message that sellers have to stash personal items, remove clutter and clean their houses until they sparkle before every showing, work that some in the past did not want to tackle.