Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Home Preparation Tips Inspired by HGTV's House Hunters

The home girl loves HGTV's House Hunter! I don't really consider it to be entertainment.  At least for me, the show is more like "home" work. I try to guess which home the buyer is going to select, using the keen skills that I have developed over the years, watching their reactions, their body language, what they say and more importantly, what they don't say about each property.

This show is so staged that it's fairly predictable, and let's face it, most buyers are not professionally trained actors.

This episode that I watched this morning was focused on a soon to be married couple buying in the Richmond, Va. area in the $200,000 ish price range. The real estate agent did a great job of finding suitable properties close to the price range for this couple, although I don't think the editors/producers/writers of the show encouraged or allowed her to offer very much advice to the buyers.

What I loved about this particular show was the predictability of the choice the buyers were going to make. The buyers' final choice was to exceed their budget and buy a newly constructed home. Seller's should watch this to see what they are up against when trying to sell a home in a buyer's market.

One buyer remarked in both resale homes that the carpet was nasty, and that she couldn't stand nasty carpet. My TV is HD and it really didn't look THAT bad, but I must admit you could see a few dirty spots, so it probably wasn't in pristine condition. It's just hard to compete with new. 

She made a comment in one home about a cheap plastic door. It appeared to be a type of sliding door between a hall and living area,  probably set up for temporary privacy for an office or other purpose. It could have been easily replaced. It's just hard for weird and temporary appearing to compete with new. 

You can follow the show here:  Richmond Mom

The outcome of the buyers' decision could have been so different if the sellers in either of the previously owned homes had taken the initiative to properly prepare their homes for sale.  There were missing or burned out light bulbs, missing chandeliers, dirty and stained carpet, outdated countertops in addition to non-curable problems such as dangerous dogs next door and a three story drop from the deck. 

The non curables can be cured with the difference in price, but the real objection coming from the buyer seemed to be the dirty carpet, the cheap door and the missing tub in the master suite.  All of the previously mentioned items,  even a remodel for the tub and the cost of a new refrigerator would probably be less expensive after negotiations than the cost of new construction. 

In a buyers market, or really in any market, sellers should stage their homes to compete with new consruction, price to deal with non curables and prep their homes to show at their absolute best. 

There are plenty of ideas on how to stage your home to sell.  I can't find any that are as detailed as I would like for them to be, so I am writing a detailed check list on how to prep your home for sale.  You can get all the information by following this blog.  Just watch for it!


Don't miss out on an opportunity to be on HGTV.  They are coming to San Antonio!  Learn more by reading Randy's blog:  We are giving an additional bonus if they select one of our buyers.  Check it out!  Hurry!

I am Stephanie Kelley, Realtor® at Keller Williams Legacy, San Antonio, Texas.  If you have questions about San Antonio real estate or just want to chat a bit about our wonderful Alamo City, please call me at or (210) 867-8743, or E-mail me at

Our experienced Realty Solutions Team is always ready to help you with your home buying or selling needs. Visit me at please call me at or (210) 867-8743, Visit me at or follow my blog at

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