The HGTV Effect

It's not a new phenomenon, I've been talking to my Seller clients about this for years now! Today's buyers have extremely high expectations! The first impression online needs to be good enough to get them to even consider seeing it in person & then it has to live up to the hype when they get there! And if they don't see perfection then the thinking often turns to "can I get a deal?" Now the state of the market right now (HOT!) can bridge some of the gaps but you won't know how much that untapped potential will affect your bottom line until it's too late.


Builders have been dialed into this for years with their model homes which are all upgraded to the nines but now it's the new-normal in the re-sale market as well...WHY?

The Internet of course! Platforms like Pinterest & Instagram, websites like Houzz, lifestyle & home decor blogs & of course HGTV programming are all responsible for creating & spurring on this trend....really, who doesn't love some good Real Estate Porn, lol?!

Speaking of HGTV programming, there was a show that aired last year called Open House Overhaul...I took a particular interest in one of the episodes because the house was located in my neighbourhood.

The short version of the story is that the house was originally valued at $370,000, the owners spent $6,000 on key improvements recommended by the show's designer (and the work was done by the show's crew), it was then re-evaluated at $400,000 and ultimately sold for $405,000.00. That's a 17% return on their investment! You can watch the episode called Mystery Solved here

I want buyers to walk into this bedroom & feel like they've walked into a magazine                                                                                       Samantha Pynn, Open House Overhaul

Now Reality TV does have some credibility issues so here's a Real Life example for you as well:

One of my listings went head to head with a neighbouring home down the street (similar home & we went on the market at the same time), my clients diligently followed the plan that I set out for them, de-cluttering & making some minor improvements. I followed my usual pre-listing plan & brought in a cleaning crew to make the place sparkle, staged it & had killer photography done & then promoted the heck out of it. Our competition did not follow the same type of plan.

On open house weekend we had buyers looking at both homes & the feedback was overwhelming when it came to which one was more appealing. And the end result was a selling price that exceeded all of our expectations & a 13% return on the investment made by my clients. Our competition was not so fortunate. (I'm being vague on purpose as I don't want to put down another agent's business model or their clients for making different choices)

Of course not everyone buys in to it! Or it's a tough sell (so to speak, lol) trying to make the case for adopting the model-home-mentality. I toured a friend's parents' home to provide them with an evaluation & the good news is that I found a beautiful home in a great neighbourhood when I got there. Yay! The bad news is that unfortunately many of the things that they viewed as features would be considered negatives by the buyers who would be the target demographic for their home. And that's tough to hear! And perhaps it's a generational the very least I've found it's very common to get pushback on this subject when I speak with homeowners who have been out of the market for many years. I left them with some recommendations on how making certain changes would positively affect the selling price...and we'll just have to wait to see what happens.

One last thing to keep in mind is that it's a good idea to try to keep up with your neighbours (where possible & within reason!) when it comes to updates, upgrades & the overall impression your home makes in the neighbourhood. It's those details that are going to be scrutinized and a value placed on them when comparing your home to others. Keeping your home well-maintained is key to maintaining its value. It doesn't do any good to stage a house that's falling apart, as the saying goes, "You can put lipstick on a pig..."

The marketing & selling of residential real estate is quite a sophisticated business these days & the bar is constantly being raised by the latest & greatest "thing". Staying on the cutting edge can make the difference of thousands of dollars to your bottom line. If you're interested in learning more about the services that I offer & the results that I get for my clients, request your complimentary Seller's Guide here.

And for more articles about buying, selling & living in the Durham region, visit my full blog at

Have a fabulous day!

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