Al and Cal Homes and Community: Has Home and Garden TV Changed your Real Estate Expectations?

Has Home and Garden TV Changed your Real Estate Expectations?

Has Home and Garden TV Changed your Real Estate Expectations?

I don't know about you, but I am addicted to HGTV.    ( I am also addicted to reality TV, so clearly my reality might be a bit off.) 

Seriously.   As if I don't already live, eat, sleep and dream real estate,  I can't resist tuning in to "House Hunters."     I especially love the international show.    And what about those makeover shows?    (where the material costs $1000, but the labor appears to be free!)Television

I am curious?  While these shows are entertaining and give food for thought, has HGTV changed a Buyers expectations of what that "perfect" home looks like?

Buyers seem to be leaning towards the homes that have a better presentation.  They are no longer willing to look beyond the clutter or envision themselves tearing wall paper down or imagining what a kitchen would look like without those orange counter tops.  

But, it's not just geared towards Buyers.

Has Home and Garden TV changed a Sellers expectation of how a Realtor works? 

On several occasions, I have watched a show where the Realtor actually takes the Seller out on a home tour of similar homes before listing.   The intention is to help the Seller position their home in the marketplace.

While I don't do this, technology has afforded us the next best way to take a Seller into each of the comparable homes.   With trusty IPad in hand, we can take them on a virtual tour of their competitor's homes.  

Also to keep abreast of the current trends, Al and I offer a staging consult for all of our Sellers.     We feel that it sets our Sellers apart from the competition, helps to draw attention to the places we want to draw attention to,  and helps meet  Buyers expectations.     

 I guess I would say that HGTV has changed my outlook a bit.

I am curious, is it changing Buyers and Sellers thoughts of what to expect in the real world?   

Carol-Ann Palmieri

Al and Cal Realty Group

Remax Executive Realty




Comment balloon 44 commentsCarol-Ann Palmieri • March 08 2012 07:39AM


Carol -- I think one of the benefits of the home improvement channels is that sellers are familiar with the idea of staging and receptive to making changes.   

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann:  Great question for a blog!  Will be interested in following the answers you receive.  I can tell you, my wife and I are hooked on these shows, as well.  We find positives and negatives in them, as far as establishing perceptions of our industry, the housing market, and mortgage process.  We get so involved at times with what's happening in the shows!  Amazing ... but overall, we tend to think that these shows have one big plus ... and that's elevating the overall concept of homeownership.  And one big negative, as they seem to be a little askew on the pricing aspects of remodeling, etc.  Not realistic at times.  Sure fun to watch tho ... and gets our blood pumpin' ...


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 6 years ago

Hi Carol Ann....suggested....good topic.... those shows are not my favorite, but I have watched them.... the good element is that they provide viewers with the concept that preparing a home to show means staging it and making it as perfect as possible including updating the most important areas, kitchens and bathrooms....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 6 years ago

Hi Carol Ann... I regularly hear from my client's how these shows are educating them about how to prepare their home for sale... I think the shows have really helped people understand the importance of decluttering and staging in order to get their homes SOLD!

Posted by Peggy Hughes/pha logistix, inc., SF NYC LA (pha logistix inc) over 6 years ago

Hi Michael.   I agree.   It does seem that they are much more receptive to the idea of staging.


Hi Gene.      I had not thought of that, but it is true they do elevate the idea of home ownership and that it a big bonus.      I do love those make over shows too! 


Hi Barbara.   Thank you.   I do think that they may have helped people understand the importance of presentation.


Hi Peggy.   Yes, and it helps when they hire a professional like yourself!  

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Carol,

You make some good points and I have to say I really don't know the answer. I personally have never had a buyer say anything about HGTV but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I will be interested to hear what others say about our question.

Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) over 6 years ago

Sellers understand the need for a great presentation - that usually calls for Staging.  However, thanks to HGTV and the like, they have no concept that it must be paid for - LOL.  I wish more Sellers and REAs would have listings Staged - what a prettier MLS we'd have!!!

Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) over 6 years ago

Hi Bob.    Thanks for commenting and a big thanks for getting me going again!   :)      I wonder what others have to say too!

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Julia.   True, the shows make it all look so easy and inexpensive!

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Carol, I have been able to take just a couple of sellers to see the competition, not all. I look forward to be able to do the tablet tour soon (just got a Galaxy!)

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) over 6 years ago

Carol -- I do think that buyers expect more which is why I make it very clear to sellers that the presentation of their home and grounds is extremely important. A lot can be done with little expense to just clean up a house and make it sparkle. Clean and decluttered doesn't break the bank, and it sure goes a long way to impressing the buyer. The next step would be staging with a professional if warranted.


Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) over 6 years ago

I am usually yelling at the TV screen when I watch - either the agent says something stupid or the 1st time home buyer with no money has to have granite and stainless - ugh! 

Posted by Jo Olson, HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt - Stevens County (HOMEFRONT Realty) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann...I used to watch HGTV all the time but haven't been turning on the TV much lately and when I do it has been to watch Law and Order (I am a L&O junkie). HA.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) over 6 years ago

Hi Sandy.   You will love what you can do with the Galaxy!  Thanks for commenting.


Hi Barbara M.    So, it just may be changing the way some Sellers think!   


Hi Barbara A.    I agree.   Thanks for commenting.




Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Jo.   LOL.   I probably have seen a few of those that you were yelling at!    TY


Hi Anita.    L and O is also a favorite of mine.   What did we do without DVR?

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

LOL at Jo's comment (#13).

Posted by Dominique Britton, Experience the Difference in Real Estate Services ( Realty LLC - 678.250.5022) over 6 years ago

I don't see how these shows can NOT have an impact. I think one of their biggest benefits is that they get people really thinking about what they want and get folks to prioritize so maybe their actual real estate search is a little more focused.


Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Hi Dominique.    I know, right?   Have you run into something like that before?


Hi Gretchen.   I agree.   They have an impact on me.   

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Carol:  I'm a fan of Sell This House.  I'm always astounded how they can take a little bit of nothing and turn it into a different home.

Posted by Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin over 6 years ago

Hi Cal,

Most of my first time buyers enjoy HGTV and watch House Hunters.  I think HGTV has helped to keep home buying in the thoughts of many who might otherwise not pursue purchasing property.  And I too enjoy it when I have a moment to watch.  Best of success to you this year!

Posted by Jordon Wheeler, J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service (The Jordon Wheeler Group) over 6 years ago

Yes, yes, yes. Buyers only want what they see on t.v. Nothing else will do. It's making it really difficult especially for the elderly who often do not have renovated homes. Love House Hunters International, myself.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 6 years ago

I think shows like this give unrealistic expectations to both sellers and buyers.. Many do not realisze they are simply entertainment.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 6 years ago

Carol, HGTV does have great information that will help sellers.  Some of my sellers could use a good training session before listing their homes.

Posted by Kay Van Kampen, Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate (RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX Solutions) over 6 years ago

In my area it is setting up buyers for disappointment.  They  can't see past even the most MINOR changes and that's really a problem because the more affordable homes generally need some work here and there.  Also, I have to ask what buyers are thinking? Homes don't STAY pristine.  Eventually, they will have to roll up their sleeves and do some real work.   I fear we are getting a generation that wants everything brand spanking new, but doesn't want to lift a finger to keep the home in shape. 

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) over 6 years ago

I think some of the tv shows definitely put what a real estate agent does in a different perspective. 

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 6 years ago

HGTV has helped many Sellers get the concept of Staging and almost everyone now knows to de-personalize, pack up clutter in closets, etc. I have offered to go see competitive listings but not had a Seller yet take me up on it.


Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann:

I love some of the HGTV shows too, but I am not into reality shows.  I do think sellers learn a lot about staging their homes to its best advantage from HGTV and that is a good thing.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 6 years ago

So I have to come clean?  Yes addicted!  My favorite is house hunters Interantional just because it's so fun to see how other people live and what money will buy in different locales throughout the world.  Has it changed buyer's/seller's expectations?  I don't really think so, too much.  If anything, I think everyone is more aware that clutter and too much personal stuff is a negative. 

Posted by Marti Steele Kilby, CRS, Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA (Steele Group Realty) over 6 years ago

Hi Carol--I definitely think that HGTV has changed both sellers and buyers.  And it's not just the Designed to Sell type of shows, either.  Viewers get to see houses remodeled, redecorated, redesigned, etc., and they begin to say more and more, "I want that".  Then they go out looking and expecting "that" when they start looking for a home. 

Posted by Janet Jones, Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii (Just Your Style Interiors, LLC) over 6 years ago

HGTV is interesting as it does show the new trends and some very beautiful homes that have been professionally decorated.  Not always reality but it helps to show what can be done with the right touches.

Posted by Doug Bullwinkel, Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #281609 (Envoy Mortgage, NMLS 6666) over 6 years ago

I hope that folks realize how most of those shows are in fact staged and the buying decision has typically been made prior to the first filming.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 6 years ago

Gabe stole my message. The shows are so staged and so Hollywood and are in no way reality. As a home inspector, the HGTV Holmes shows are particularly annoying. Who doesnt love running around with a sledge hammer or chain saw to "inspect" a home? 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) over 6 years ago

Hi Carol,

This is a great topic. While I think the shows have raised awareness, I would prefer people listened to the advise coming from their own local Realtors. Based upon the current market trends in your area, the show may not benefit you at all. Therefore, the viewers shouldn't believe everything they hear on TV because it could cost them more than a property is worth, no matter how much they have in their budget.

More important to my buyers, is the Seller's Net - then we discuss home improvements.

Posted by Patricia Feager, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) over 6 years ago

Al and Cal, I think these shows have changed the sellers and buyers perspective, but for the wrong reasons. In a lot of cases, these programs are entertainment and shouldn't be equated to real life.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 6 years ago

I notice the Sellers who watch these shows before listing really have a good handle on improved presentation.

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge over 6 years ago

Excellent post Carol Ann, and from the buyers end they now want picture perfect and don't want to do the work showed on hgtv in my has set false expectations I believe in what you can do cheaply?!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Hi Bonnie.  I think that show must have given birth to the home staging profession.   


Hi Jordon.   Thank you, and back to you too!


Hi Jill.   That is what I am thinking too.    I used to think it was clean houses that sell, now it seems to be more than that.   


Hi Joan.   I know.    One can get caught up thinking they are not staged.   


Hi Kay.     I know.    I agree!  


Thank you all for reading and taking the time to comment!


Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Ruthmarie.    I'm seeing that here too.   I was wondering if the  shows had something to do with that.   Could be just the way folks are thinking these days.   


Hi Eileen.   Have you happened to catch the one with the 3 agents in CA?    They have elegant parties for their Open Houses.    LOL.    Not here!    :)


Hi Sharon.   Did you notice that spell check doesn't recognize "de-clutter" or "staging".    Words we use often and folks get the meaning.  Says something to me!


Hi Evelyn.    Want a chuckle?  Watch that real estate "reality" show on Bravo.    (p.s.   I really do things other than watch TV!   LOL)


Hi Marti.     I hope you are right.    Thanks for coming out with me!   LOL.



Thank you all for reading and taking the time to comment!


Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Janet.   I have noticed that mind set too!  


Hi Doug.   I am amazed at what they do.    It's the time and the cost that gets me.    I want it for that!!!    haha.


Hi Gabe.   I wonder if they do know.


Hi Bradley.   I know those home inspection shows you are talking about and I have in fact had clients refer to them!   It becomes a bit of a challange.



Thank you all for reading and taking the time to comment!


Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Patricia.   We are all so in tune to what we see on TV these days including the news, that we sometime forget that it is not local  and rather presents an overall snapshot.    Thank you.


Hi Michael.    Thank you.  Yes, they are entertainment and I wish we could all see it that way.


Hi Cheryl.   No doubt it has raised awareness and brought presentation to the forefront.  


Hi Ginny.   I would sure like a kitchen makeover for $1000!!!    I don't think there is anyone out there that will help me though.     :)     Thank you!

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago


I hink your article went featured. Congrats as I said you have really good questions.

Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) over 6 years ago

Hey congrats on another feature Cal Gal. Way to go, I'm also a fan of HGTV, but I think my husband likes it more than I He loves the remodeling shows, tearing stuff down.

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) over 6 years ago

Congrats on the feature Cal, I don't watch reality TV but buyers and sellers that do should be getting something out of it and more knowledgeable buyers and sellers is a good thing for us IMHO.

Posted by Al Raymondi, Ormond By The Sea Florida - Home and Condo Sales (Ocean View Realty Group in Ormond By The Sea Florida) over 6 years ago

Hey Carol Ann-Great post :)!  I love watching those shows too...but I do think they have changed both buyers and sellers perception of how a Real Estate Transaction works.  I love house hunters (they never pick the one I want them too lol :)!), but I think it might be a bit unrealisted to think that buyers only look at three perfect homes and pick the one...although I rarely show buyers more than 7 homes.

As for sellers, I haven't had any want to go and preview listings before listing, although that might give them a dose of reality for pricing..I would agree we have a way of showing them virtually. 

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) over 6 years ago