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Two real estate videos on how to buy a home – which is better?

A great resource for web videos is Howcast which hosts novice and professional video about a wide array of topics. We’ve featured videos about homeowners insurance, real estate auctions, home staging and (our favorite) 10 mistakes sellers make.

Today, we bring to you two videos instructing buyers on the fine art of buying a home and you might be surprised to learn that both actually recommend using a Realtor (although we could argue as to what the role of an agent is, given that it seems minimal in the videos).

Watch both videos and let us know in comments which you think is better, whether either is worthy to be used in your own blog (either because it’s good or you’d like to debate the merits on your site) and what finer points the video makers missed.

Video one:

Video two:

If you are in your feed reader, you will not see the above videos. Why don’t you take a minute to join us on to take a peek?

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Eric Hempler

    September 7, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I thought the first was better. However, I do wonder if the process could have been explained a little easier. You are right though…it’s debatable as to how much of a role the Realtor has.

  2. Eric Mieles

    September 7, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    The second video seems to diminish the job of a Realtor and it seems it’s preparing people to do everything themselves and then “Show Off” their skills to the Realtor. As I’m sure everyone knows this can lead to tremendous headaches, delays and all kinds of time wasting details that in my opinion could have the potential for a bad situation.
    I’m all for people educating themselves and being fully prepared for the home buying process. However Realtors are professionals who are hired to consult not be order takers or tour guides. Rather than have a video saying “ask friends and family for a Realtor” how about putting as much time and effort into finding a PROFESSIONAL REALTOR and one who’s extremely CREDIBLE than having to do all the other things the second video mentions and then think you can negotiate commissions because you (Believe) have the knowledge.
    I would like to STAND UP and Rally Realtors to start raising what it means to be a Realtor. As long as the public looks upon our profession as something that’s an OPTION rather than a REQUIREMENT this will always happen. Also as long as our states let ANYBODY take a two week course and a test to help somebody buy the most important asset of their life this will always happen.

  3. Al Lorenz

    September 7, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I didn’t think either one was worthy of referring folks to.

  4. Tassia Bezdeka

    September 7, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    I’m with Al.
    The first at least explained the technical process a little better, but neither one really was that great.
    I especially liked the part in #2 recommending that you negotiate a commission rate with your agent in exchange for you doing most of the research. That would be like negotiating a payment with a heart surgeon assuming that I do most of the cutting.


    September 7, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    #1 seems a bit better but they both look like a college intern project.

  6. Vicki Lloyd

    September 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I wouldn’t put either one on my website.

    #1 seems a little too basic, and I don’t agree with the part about qualifying for a home price – I would rather have my clients qualified for a house payment (our varying tax rates and HOA dues make a huge difference from neighborhood to neighborhood, so qualifying for a $200K house could really mean anything from $170K to $230K.)

    #2 in addition to negotiating your agent’s commission “because you are so knowledgeable”, also suggests finding your own home inspector and not going with the agent’s recommendation. That suggests that the agent is not a trustworthy source. If you don’t trust your agent, you shouldn’t be working with them.

    I think Herman may be right that these were done as college intern projects.

  7. Jb

    September 7, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Number one by far. It seems to be more to the point and is not as “techie”.

  8. Marty Hunt

    September 8, 2010 at 7:58 am

    I vote for neither video. Love the tip for the consumer to “negotiate the commission” and to show off their knowledge to the agent. I figure watching a two minute video should give them enough expert knowledge to be worth thousands of dollars of my commission, right? I think I’ll let my accountant, doctor, dentist, financial planner, etc. know how much I learned on the Internet and ask them to take a hit on their fee.

    Anyone in the industry that doesn’t see the value they bring to the transaction should go ahead and give away their family income (share the commission) because the buyer read something on the Internet…which we frequently have to “un-teach” or put into a real world context. Now don’t get me wrong…I LOVE a buyer who is involved and knowledgeable and I’m certain working together as agent and customer produces a better result.

    True professionals who are at the top of the industry EARN their fee. There are always consumers who conduct business based on price and others who want a fair price but also seek knowledge, reputation, value, professionalism and many other things instead of price alone. After the transaction, do you think most consumers remember the fees they saved or the quality of the service, experience and guidance? People do compare price but my experience is that the bargain shoppers quite often aren’t thrilled after the sale when they consider the value for their dollar.

    Information without context and organization is chaos. Learning how to buy or sell a home in a two minute video shows the mindset of too many people these days. Sure, you can learn how to start off on the biggest financial decision of your life with ten tips in a two minute video, right? Silly! So I can Google “buy a home” and get a couple million results and probably many different opinions.

  9. Sandy Durham

    September 8, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I would not recommend either video. They seem to diminish the role of the Realtor and only perpetuate the mis-information surrounding the home buying process.

  10. Ajay

    September 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Both videos were terrible! Let me clarify, the video’s were definitely professionally made, but the message they give to the public is horrible. They’re telling buyers how to take control where it’s really the Realtor who needs to take control.

    Buyers who view this information are the ones who spend 1-2 years+ searching for a home and definitely a waste of one’s time to work with.

    Also, the second video tells the buyer to “workout a deal” with the agent and have them discount their commission… wow

  11. stephanie crawford

    September 9, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Uh.. neither of these videos are very good IMO. Neither of them could make it to my blog or website.

  12. Fred Griffin

    September 10, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Hi, Lani.
    Thanks for asking our advice.

    Let me post some smiley faces so that you know I am not being hostile.
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    First Video:

    1. Cut the Scene with the stacks of paper – it sets a negative tone.

    2. Getting a Pre-Approval Letter and/or Proof of Funds should be step #1.

    3. The HUD Website is very confusing – look elsewhere.

    4. Step 5 – Why is the Realtor Portrayed as a Huckster?

    5. Step 7 – view it at different times of day – great suggestion, but also come by on Friday night and Saturday afternoon when neighbors are at home partying, and cars are parked up and down the street.

    6. Make the Offer – what’s with the checkbook? Show a paper Contract instead.

    7. Homeowner’s Insurance – you might want to start with the company that already has the policy on the house. Especially in hurricane-prone Florida or earthquake California.

    8. The average age?… this has nothing to do with How to Buy a house. Cut it.

    Second Video:

    1. The pace is way too fast. Slow it down a bit.

    2. The single guy – is he looking for a home, or for a homeless shelter? Iron the shirt, dude.

    3. When you mention “School Districts”, show a Family, not a Single Guy.

    4. The guy portraying the Realtor – way un-professional. We are talking about buying something costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Look the part.

    5. Some Realtors may discount the commission. Uh, this is about BUYING, not Listing. The Seller almost always pays the commission. And with respect (I offer discount brokerage), you are going to antagonize many Realtors when you suggest discount brokerage on a Video.

    6. Search several Websites. Agreed, but that is a long pan of Zillow. You getting a kickback? Maybe show Trulia, Hotpads, Yahoo Real Estate, and a few others in addition to and Zillow.

    7. Listing Photo is a Scam. No. This mainly occurs in Rentals on Craigs List. Cut it.

    8. Step 6 – “Check Financing” comes too late in your story – get a Pre-Approval Letter and/or Proof of Funds BEFORE looking at any houses, online or anywhere else.

    9. Step 7 – the guy looks drugged, but at least we get a Professional looking Real Estate Agent.

    10. Sears Roebuck – what does this Factoid have to do with anything. Cut it.

    Best wishes, Fred.

  13. Nick Nymark

    September 10, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    I wouldn’t recommend either video’s.

  14. Greg Cook

    September 11, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Lani, I liked number one better and put it on my blog before I wrote this comment.
    Of course it’s not perfect, it’s a couple minutes of information explaining a process that can takes months.
    Vicki, hit the nail on the head. There is way too much focus on sales price and not enough on monthly payment (that applies to our whole industry). Loan programs vary, so do interest rates and property taxes, so a homebuyer should focus on the payment for each home they view, more than the price.
    As a lender, I can tell you that the price is only important to us if it matches the appraised value. We use the monthly payment as our starting point.

  15. Dave Woodson

    September 11, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    each one has their merit and I would highly recommend that all you use either one. While I have my team go make one that is original. Yeah, I know I am not a big fan of recreating the “wheel”, but google loves original content. So, keep that in the back of your mind. Think “underproduced”.

  16. Rob

    September 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Of the two, I like #1. But as someone said previously, I don’t think either are very good.

  17. Kye Grace

    September 27, 2010 at 11:32 am

    They both had some great aspects and some less then great aspects.

    In the first video they sure seem to make things a little more confusing…or perhaps it was just all the over acting…either way there was something that made me fell less equipped to buy a home after watching it then before.

    The second, as mentioned by others, seems to discount the value of a REALTOR® in a few ways, not just commission.

    My guess is these are far more balanced though then what 99% of REALTORS® or Brokers would create as well, the creators of the videos did a decent job considering.

  18. mooersrealty

    November 21, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Buying real estate and moving to a new location is an emotional experience. Instead of watching a tutorial of generic “at them” approach why not just connect with them on a one on one level? Like you and I next to each other eating brekfast, having coffee at the local diner. Not a Hollywood production, but something helpful that starts the connection, makes the broker, REALTOR a real live person… hearing his voice, seeing his facial expressions and making him / her real, warm, friendly. Give the buyer something they can use and don’t just do homes homes homes. Tell, show them why you are some kind of excited about where you live and one by one shoot, edit, upload those videos needing to be done. Cause if you don’t someone else wearing the “R” will.

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