HGTV TV network is gaining more and more popularity, and it is now among the top 10 cable networks in prime time for ages 25 to 54, according to tvbythenumbers. Its shows are changing the way we buy, sell and remodel our homes.
When the network started, as Home and Garden Television, the idea was to teach us how to do remodeling and gardening around our homes. Today, this job was passed down to its sister station, the DIY channel. The primary network became the stage for reality TV and star shows, just like the Food Network and its sister, the Cocking Channel.
Their prime time shows, like Property Brothers, Flip or Flop and Love it or List it, are giving home buyers new ideas of what to look for when buying or selling a home.
One of the things that caught the attention of many people is home staging. Home staging is when you decorate or even remodel a home just for a house showing or an open house, with the sole intention of making the place more attractive to perspective buyers.
But home staging might not be as easy to achieve as one would think for the average $300,000 to $500,000 house:
- Professional home staging companies are fairly expensive to hire. When a homeowner needs to sell a home, usually it means that he or she needs all the cash right now. In other words, the average homeowner will not spend more money to make the house look pretty.
- If a house needs more TLC, like painting and flooring repair, just staging the place won’t do much good. Again, the average homeowner will not spend money in repairs and remodeling before trying to sell a house.
But what many people don’t realize is the fact that a properly staged home will sell faster and will sell for more money. Some studies suggest that it can sell for up to 17% more. So, it is worth it.
A home seller could try to stage the house without professional help. But, unless the seller has a very good interior decorator skill, it will be very difficult to see pass the issues, once we tend to get so used to our place that we will no longer see any defects or problems.
Most of us have seen other TV shows like Million Dollars Listings, where realtors stage the houses themselves and pay for it out of their own pocket. They know that they will sell faster and make a higher commission when a house is properly staged.
This trend is beginning to catch up in middle priced homes. There is a realtor in South Florida who will stage properties and spend up to $1,000 of her own money in her listings over $300,000. She’ll lend furniture and will also do minor TLC work herself, like installing wallpaper, doing paintwork, re-arranging furniture and artwork. All at no cost to the home seller.
The more specialized TV shows become, the more demanding the public will be. Thus, we all have to adapt to new realities and try to always provide a more sophisticated level of service. The difficult task is adapting what we see in multi million dollar homes to the average American reality.
Home staging is a very real trend and is here to stay. It has become the new norm in this ever-changing market.