Wednesday, February 13, 2008

HGTV: Superficial Tips to Sell Your Home

HGTV runs a lot of shows that show their “experts” – real estate, home staging, etc.- helping people sell their homes. Two shows immediately come to mind: “Secrets that Sell” and “Get It Sold”. For the last several Sunday mornings – out of sheer boredom – I’ve watched these two shows.

I continue to be shocked at the asking prices for some of these homes. During one show, they showed a house that was going for over $700,000 and it was half the size of my house, and it had a postage stamp-sized yard. (No wonder the real estate market is in a state of collapse.) The premise of the show seems to be that the owners of the house paid an already inflated price for the house, now they want to move, and they’re shocked that the house isn’t selling. Of course, they’re asking even MORE for the house than what they bought it for, because they need to cover the price of the new home they want to buy.

The real estate people, or the staging person, come in and make obvious suggestions in order to improve the look of the house or to highlight what may be a sticking point in selling the house. Usually, it’s filled with suggestions to de-clutter or move furniture, maybe new drapes, etc. Rarely – and I mean rarely – do they ever suggest dropping the sale price.

What I find amusing about these shows is that they virtually never say if the person evenutally got the house sold, and/or if they got their asking price. I suspect they don’t cover this because they probably don’t want us to know that maybe their efforts didn’t make a difference?

Shows like this only contribute to the current problem in the housing market. People are deluded if they think that making a few superficial changes will help them get an ever increasing amount for the sale of their homes. Granted, simple cleaning up an de-cluttering will do wonders for a house that is going on the market. But I’ll be honest, if I were looking for a house right now, the last thing I would worry about is if the homeowner left pictures of their family out for me to see, or if they left a toaster AND a coffeemaker on their counter, or if the paint color in a room was wrong. The thing most important to me would be the sale price of the home relative to its size and condition, and usually the owner of the home has to make some concessions in that regard, especially in this market.

These shows need a dose of reality, and fast. Even though they seem to bill themselves as real situations with real people, they don’t give the owners the one single dose of reality that they need – that their price is too high. Of course, if they did that, they wouldn’t have a show.

So if your going to sell your home, don’t bother watching these shows. Save yourself the time. All you need to do is: de-clutter, de-personalize, paint neutral, make sure your bedrooms look like bedrooms, and make sure your kids are invisible. Now that was easy!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

my husband and i are wanting to sell our house. i have been worried sick about what all i will need to do to make my house more sellable. of course i am an hgtv watcher and feel like i have to spend all of this time and money to sell my house. after reading this i feel so much better, you really have put it all in a nut shell