I don’t watch that much TV, but find when I do that I gravitate towards HGTV. Apparently I really enjoy real estate because even in my down time I focus on work related shows.
I like the creativity in the design programs but am more intrigued by the behaviors displayed on House Hunters or Property Virgins. I think it has to do with the fact that we help buyers in addition to sellers. I’m interested in seeing if buyers in other parts of the country are looking for similar things to those that we’re working with in the Hartford region.
The message I see coming across in the house hunting shows again and again is “We don’t want to have to do any work.” Buyers want nice curb appeal, updated kitchens and bathrooms, no wallpaper, minimal carpeting, an open floor plan, and plenty of light. Oh, and a finished basement, large backyard, quiet neighborhood, and big closets.
For some reason there is almost never any mention of mechanical systems. You know, the unsexy things like furnaces, hot water heaters, electrical systems, roofs, windows… The components of a house that cost large amounts of money to replace if they’re not in good repair, but keep your home running happily. *sigh*
The majority of buyers that we work with tend to be okay with having some work to do in a home. They understand that wallpaper is removable and can make it a weekend project or hire someone to help them. A kitchen might be from the 1990s, but it’s clean and functional, so it’s doable. They can upgrade it somewhere down the line to make it more in tune with what they’d like. If the neighborhood, room sizes and layout work those tend to be the deciding factors.
Some of our buyers do want “perfect” though. They don’t want the headache of dealing with contractors or have time to think about what they’d want in a kitchen remodel. They just want it done. I would actually say that this is the norm these days too. Just like we see on HGTV. Other agents indicate that their clients want homes that are done. Showing feedback on listings provides hints like “the kitchen needs to be remodeled” or “there is too much wallpaper” or “the floor plan wasn’t open enough.”
I wonder whether home improvement TV created the craze for perfect, or if the TV execs have modified their programming to reflect current sentiment? Eh. I feel a bit badly for sellers these days. What ever happened to the concept of sweat equity?