HGTV can be the best friend of a Realtor, and it can be one’s worst enemy. The way in which HGTV can simplify, and, in many cases, over glamorize the real estate transaction process is the bane of many Realtors existence. I love the way that HGTV can showcase the many benefits of purchasing a fixer upper. This is something that I preach to many buyers. On the same token, I am not a fan of how they can make the sales process appear simple and rather quick, leaving out, or glossing over, the significant amount of effort that can go into getting a property ready for the market place. And this is without the, at times, Herculean effort it can take to get a transaction to the closing table. Hence in this article I will offer a tongue in cheek list of five things that can make a Realtor not always love the channel.
My Top Five Fallacies From HGTV
1) “So this is the kitchen.”
I love when some party on an HGTV show will be doing a house tour, and they walk into the kitchen and feel the need to tell the buyer, and/or the viewers, “This is the kitchen.” I am pretty sure when people see a sink, stove, and a refrigerator that they are keenly aware that the room must be the kitchen. Or do they think people may confuse it with the master bedroom?
2) Crowded Open Houses
I am not sure how they do it on HGTV, by in my nearly decade long real estate career, I have never seen a line out the door for people eager to get into an Open House. Perhaps I should get a movie camera and then people will flock to my open houses. Of course, those vain enough to desire to be on TV may not always be the most qualified buyers. I have told nearly all my sellers, that crowded open houses only happen on TV. The exception to this rule would be to miss-price a home. I am sure that I could have an HGTV Crowded Open House if I priced a million door home at five hundred thousand dollars. It is funniest thing, but sellers rarely wish to miss-price their home. Go figure, right?
3) The Dirt Low Budgets For Renovations
At one point in my career I obtained my Construction Supervisors License from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I have since let it lapse due to the lengthy continuing education requirements. But I have seen one too many iterations of some fixer upper show where kitchen and bathroom renovations are done at prices I simply cannot fathom. I have seen estimates so low on some shows where I am pretty sure the figure quoted for a bathroom renovations is less than what I would guess would be the labor cost alone. And this is before materials. I don’t know, maybe the fantasy land of television makes things quicker and faster? But then again, on I Dream of Jeanie, she could blink her eyes, and things would change in an instant. That that too happened on television. So it must be true, right?
4) Multiple Offers Always Occur
I find that HGTV sets this expectation that multiple offers are as common as the sun rising. Sure a freshly painted home that is all fixed up such as what can be commonly found on HGTV can increase interest in property. But all the repairs/renovations to a property will not cause a multiple offer situation. Do you know what causes a multiple offer situation? Price. Yup, I just said that. Price is the single most important factor in regulating demand. If you over price your home, then you surely will not have a multiple offer scenario on your hands. I have yet to find the buyers who will line up to over pay for a house. Most seasoned Realtors will have a pretty good handle on a home’s valuation. Price your home properly and you can have multiple offers. If you do all the repairs in the world and then over price your home, you won’t be like the folks on TV reviewing countless offers. Believe me, every experienced Realtor has been to this rodeo, and probably more than once.
5) Renovations are quick, easy, and on budget.
I love how glamorous HGTV can make a renovation appear. On TV the renovations are always quick and painless, and not to mention neat. If you really want to know what it is like to live through a renovation, go buy a 5 pound bag of flour. Open it, and take handfuls of flour and toss it around your house, your whole house until there is no longer any flour in the bag. This will resemble what the dust is like when you do a bathroom renovation.
Oh, and since we are in a reasonably strong economy, getting a streaming line of tradespeople in and out of your home will not happen like it does on TV. Everybody is really busy and bouncing from job to job, so expect delays. And this is before you find any surprises in your plans. Thankfully on HGTV, they do find surprises. However theirs always seem to be less of a headache than I have seen people experience. I will reference “I Dream of Jeannie” again.
So there you have it. You have five of my peeves with HGTV. I could go on for countless more stories about the shows on a channel that is generally very good to my industry but I fear my cutting bitter sarcasm may turn some people off. Hopefully you got a chuckle out of reading this, and I enjoyed tapping this one down.