TikToker’s Apple-Real Estate Analogy Is the “Most Accurate Video on the Internet”

Shaun Johnson’s apple/real estate TikTok analogy is “the most accurate video on the Internet” for dramatizing the cutthroat 2021 housing market.


Apr. 25 2021, Published 1:14 p.m. ET

An apple is standing in for coveted real estate in an all-too-real TikTok video about the housing market. TikTok creator Shaun Johnson on April 19, 2021 and it has already racked up 7.1 million views and over 809,000 likes.

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And TikTok commenters say the video hits the nail on the head. “This is the most accurate video on the internet,” one wrote. Another said, “I can’t stop laughing, as I am currently looking for a new house, and I’m literally experiencing this.”

Shaun’s TikTok video shows how desperate homebuyers are right now.

In the video, Shaun plays both the seller of an apple and a group of prospective buyers.

The first buyer approaches the seller and says, “I’m in the market, so tell me about your apple. Why should I buy it?”

But the seller laughs in his face, saying, “Nice try.” 

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Then the seller starts the bidding process. “OK, people, here’s how this is going to work,” he says. “I have an apple here. The highest bidder is going with this. I want all bids in in the next two minutes, and then we’re closing it. Bidding starts at $5.”

The first buyer, incredulous, replies, “Feeling pretty confident there, huh?”

But he’s cut off by the din of prospective buyers raising the bidding — 10! $20! $40! — and pleading for attention from the seller. “I’m prequalified!” “I’ll pay cash! I got cash!” “Please, this is the eighth apple I’ve tried to buy!” 

One buyer asks to see the apple up close — ahem, like an open house — but the seller refuses. “Nope, it’s an apple,” the seller says. “You know what it is. You either want it or you don’t.”

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Source: TikTok

And another buyer offers $100 for the apple. “What? I’m from California,” he contends. “It’s the cheapest apple I’ve ever seen.”

Finally, the first buyer bids $120 … before immediately feeling buyer’s remorse. “Why did I do that?” he asks himself.

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The housing market really is that intense in 2021.

The internet is littered with horror stories from what Slate calls an “insane real estate market” created by increased demand, stock market increases, interest rate decreases, and low home inventory. 

In that story, Slate writer Henry Grabar reported that a colleague looking for houses in the Washington D.C. area lost out on a home that sold for $100,000 over its asking, while one of those colleague’s friends bid on a house that ultimately sold for $320,000 over asking.

Source: Yahoo Finance/YouTube
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Real estate agent Jeff Duneske, meanwhile, recently told MLive that he listed a house in Commerce Township, Mich., for $420,000. One buyer offered $470,000 for the place, while another offered $468,500 in cash with no inspection, and the latter offer won out. 

And in February, The Wall Street Journal reported on homebuyers who rushed into deals amid the homebuying frenzy… and lived to regret it. A graphic designer named Stella Guan, for example, spent months looking for a new residence around Los Angeles, but every house seemed to get 15 or 16 offers. After getting outbid on seven other homes, she finally bought a house for $600,000, even though it had black mold and asbestos. She sold it a few months later and “lost a lot of money,” she told the Journal.

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