I’m here to pit HGTV’s Secrets that Sell, http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/shows_hstsl
For those who haven’t seen it - two real estate experts examine a house that has been on the market for weeks or months and give staging advice. They suggest that perhaps having half a ton of crap scattered all over the house makes it look cluttered, that deep purple walls turn off potential buyers and similar painfully obvious changes. The witless home buyers are very grateful for the advice (as if it hadn’t occurred to them that cobwebs hanging off the fixtures made the place look dirty) and often make the suggested changes. And the after pictures make the homes look much nicer.
Here’s why this is in the pit - I’ve watched this show perhaps a half dozen times, and there has not been a single instance in which they report that a home was sold as a result of their suggestions. Now maybe my timing is really bad - but somehow I doubt it. The home owner goes from being distraught and clueless to saying that they are getting more traffic (as if a buyer would magically know a home is cleaner or the furniture has been rearranged from the listing) and that they now feel confident that they’ll get an offer soon. The only exception was one home where the seller accepted an offer BEFORE they had time to institute any of the suggested changes. They credited the sale to “Secrets that Sell luck”.
This is part of a larger trend. Most of show that were about selling homes on HGTV and its ilk have stopped talking about actual sales taking place -because there probably aren’t any happening. What is more, 2-3 years ago when folks were getting their homes snapped up after they were spruced up, it probably had nothing to do with how clever the color palate was and everything with the souped up phoney real estate bubble when a cardboard box would sell for a million. It would be really nice of somebody, somewhere on these types of shows admitted as much.