The last time a new season of “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles” aired on Bravo, the show was its usual unbridled celebration of infinity pools, imported marble and luxury amenities that historians will cite if they ever have to explain the collapse of civilization (bathtub by the balcony, anyone?). “To be honest, I’m having a hell of a year,” real-estate agent Tracy Tutor told the cameras in the early-2023 finale, which only glanced at market troubles. “So I don’t want to be cocky, but I might just be entering the humblebrag era.”

Bah, humblebrag. In the new season premiering next month, Tutor is stressed out. “This is an incredibly frustrating market,” she says to a group of agents before the show cuts to an edit of dismal real estate news. “Listings were coming last year that were super easy. It ain’t that market anymore.”

Perhaps no profession has been more glamorized by reality TV than real estate. The shows don’t just create drama, but offer their own aspirational version of the industry, selling audiences on a view of homeownership that is escapist and full of vicarious thrills.

Now the genre faces a new challenge: walking the line between celebrating the sales that still happen and acknowledging the drop-off in deals that has upended the business. All while some viewers are struggling to find houses to buy or grappling with real estate careers they can’t sustain.

Real estate shows have ruled reality TV for years thanks to eight-figure properties and celebrity agents. Now the genre has a new star: the overpriced mansion nobody’s buying. High-end home inventory is down in choice markets. Mortgage rates remain higher than 2022 levels. Recent legal battles have agents warning of diminished commissions. And real estate professionals, some of whom only joined the business because of what they saw on TV, are feeling the strain.

Link to Free WSJ Article

My blog host has been feeling it too. Should get resolved by tomorrow.

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Jim the Realtor
Jim is a long-time local realtor who comments daily here on his blog, which began in September, 2005. Stick around!

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