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Your Real Estate Leads Have a Bad Case of HGTV Syndrome

Posted by Jessica Schweppe

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Oct 14, 2014 10:08:00 AM

We're going to have a little fun with today's Agent Insights guest post. Shannon Milligan is a Real Estate Agent in Richmond Virginia, talks about the implications of HGTV Syndrome  - a massive epidemic that is sweeping the real estate industry. Are your real estate leads suffering from HGTV Syndrome? Read on to find out...

(article originally posted in Shannon's blog)

Here's Shannon:

Shannon_MilliganHGTV is a fun escape. It provides a glimpse into the world of all things real estate and DIY. Even though I work up to 80 hours a week as a Richmond VA Realtor, I still find myself induging in an episode of House Hunters, Property Brothers or Flip or Flop in my off-time. However, living the business allows me to take each program with a grain of salt. I know that in real life, it usually takes more than 3 home showings for a client to make a decision on which home to purchase. I also know that a complete kitchen rennovation costs more than $8,000 - and I am confident that flipping a property isn't always an easy and profitable endeavor.

when consumers watch these programs and they have little to no education in the subject at hand, an illness sets in. It is something I like to call HGTV Syndrome. Let's take a look at some of the risk factors, symptoms and preventative measures that can help you identify whether or not your clients are suffering from HGTV Syndrome. 

Who is at Risk for HGTV Syndrome?

First time home buyers and those who have not purchased a home since the inception of HGTV are especially suceptible. DIYers are among those with the most serious immunity weakness.

What are the Symptoms of HGTV Syndrome?

Give this qualifying quiz to potential clients to determine whether they've been infected:

Symptoms of HGTV Syndrome can vary from person to person,
but you may be suffering if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have an unyeilding belief that all black and white appliances are old
  • You have a stomach-churning reaction to the word "Formica" 
  • You are commited to finding a resale home where all details are a perfect fit for your wants
  • You experience delusions of grandure when it comes to renovation budgeting
  • You think flipping a house for profit is easy and can happen with zero or minimal pitfalls

If any of the above symptoms apply to you, it is highly recommended that you seek immediate help from an experienced real estate agent.

What is the Cure for HGTV Syndrome?

Though there is no proven cure, there are preventative measures you can take to avoid contracting HGTV Syndrome. First, take a healthy dose of reality by speaking with a real estate professional who is armed with the knowledge and perspective to ward off any hint of unrealistic expectations. A skilled Realtor will take the pulse on the features or attributes of the homes in each neighborhood and will give you a detailed assessment on what you can realistically expect. In some subdivisions it may be the norm to have granite countertops thus if the home you are considering does not, then your expectation is warranted. In other areas, it may be that popcorn ceilings and older appliances are the norm and to expect a seller to drop their price so you can upgrade to your own personal taste is not considered reasonable. 

Heck, even real estate agents can come down with a case of HGTV Syndrome. Seriously! I recently had an offer on a listing where the buyer came in at almost $50,000 off of the asking price. Their agent "justified" the LOW offer by saying, "My clients are estimating $40K in upgrades - including removing the popcorn ceiling, upgrading the HVAC, painting the entire inside of the home, replacing the roof, and upgrading the appliances."

My clients thanked them for the offer and politely declined. My response was that their justification was based on cosmetic / personal preferences and speculation of defects to which there is no knowledge. To date the appliances, although cream, work great, the paint is not bright red but a nice neutral color and there are no known defects to the HVAC or roof. In my professional opinion, the buyer and the agent have a serious case of HGTV Syndrome that requires immediate intervention!

About Shannon:
Having personally bought or sold 10 properties over the last 12 years, Shannon knows a thing or two about customer service in the real estate industry. After seeing a void during those personal transactions, Shannon set out to create a different approach to real estate. Like Shannon's post and want to learn more about her? Visit her website at www.rvahometeam.com


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