Can a Lifetime movie about real estate teach us anything?

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Inman Connect New York | January 29 - February 1, 2019

A salacious look inside a real estate deal gone wrong? I have to admit, I was pretty excited about “Backstabbed,” a Lifetime movie that premiered Sept. 3.

I mean, just read the movie plot from the Lifetime website: “When a struggling housewife poses as a potential buyer to help her boss close real estate transactions, she discovers her boss will do anything to close a deal — even murder.”

Sounds intriguing, right?

However, my expectation with a Lifetime movie is that it’s based on the truth, like “The Brittany Murphy Story” — or at least some semblance of the truth (or at least one guy’s take on the truth) like “The Unauthorized ‘Saved by the Bell’ Story” (which is supposed to be based on Dustin Diamond, AKA Screech’s, memoirs).

Unfortunately, “Backstabbed” is based on no amount of truth. Which is sort of a shame.

There have been several accounts in real life real estate where people have posed as buyers to check for code violations, start a rival supply business in New Zealand and burglarize homes. There have also been countless suspicious situations and even a well-publicized murder.

Instead, Lifetime chose to air a fictitious story about an extreme situation that doesn’t seem to have been based on any real-life counterpart at all.

I can’t help but wonder what that does for the reputation of real estate and real estate agents. It’s a little sad to me that an opportunity existed — during Realtor safety month, no less — to produce a cautionary tale that could help buyers, sellers and agents be safer … but instead, we got “Backstabbed.”

Email Dani Vanderboegh