I was a fan of HGTV long before I became a real estate agent. Back in the day, Designed to Sell was my favorite show. Fast forward ten years and Fixer Upper has become my favorite. When HGTV announced that a new show was to be filmed in Nashville, I was excited that our area was going to be featured on national TV.
The show is a female version of Property Brothers. Literally. Twin sister, Lex, helps sellers rehab their existing home. While twin sister, Alana, helps them buy their dream home. I'm disappointed that HGTV didn't come up with an original concept. Instead, they took the success generated by Property Brothers and created a female version. But I digress.
Actually, I knew nothing about the show until I was contacted last fall by an agent representing Alana Barnett, the agent half of Listed Sisters. My client's home was chosen as a filming location for the series. My clients weren't too anxious to be put out of their home for an entire day, just so HGTV could have a beautiful filming venue. They were only interested in serious buyers.
Alana's representative assured me that the possibility of selling to these buyers was legitimate. They were pre-approved up to list price and ready to move forward with a purchase immediately. My clients reluctantly agreed and turned over their home for an entire day for filming.
When the show debuted in March, I was anxious to see this new addition to the HGTV line-up. My client's home wasn't featured in that first episode but as a real estate agent, I was anxious to check the facts. As it turns out, the sellers in that first episode didn't even end up selling. After the renovations were complete, they decided to stay in the home. Even though, the program told viewers the home had sold for close to asking price.
I was so disappointed to see this. Not only as a long-time viewer of HGTV but as a real estate agent. Agents often get a bad rap. Consumers perceive that we're not always truthful and are only interested in making a sale.
While I do make my living by selling houses, it's my goal to be honest with all participants in a transaction. As a matter of fact, I have sworn to do that. So when I see real estate agents purporting that a house sold at an Open House event, when it didn't actually happen, I'm troubled by it. From what I can see, the house was never even listed.
I was easily able to obtain these facts through the public tax records and our local MLS history. After my initial shock and dismay, I immediately began to think of my clients. Remember they had been put out of their house and told that there was a legitimate possibility of a sale. This confirmed that they may have been duped by, none other than, a real estate agent.
Since that time, I've seen other Listed Sister episodes showing buyers purchasing houses they didn't actually buy.
Back to my sellers. You've probably guessed by now that the buyers didn't purchase my client's house. Not only did they not buy it, but the show stated that 403 Letitia Drive was listed for $430,000 when it was actually listed at $484,900. Truth be told, our listing was priced much higher than the buyers were prepared to go. My listing shouldn't have even been shown to these buyers. I suspect my client's house was chosen because it was a beautiful home.
Curious, what happened to the sale of the buyer's home? The pre-renovation value of their house was estimated at $180,000. After $33,500 in updates, the sisters told them they could list for $250,000. As a matter of fact, they stated that the house sold at an open house event for $255,000. In reality, the house was listed for $215,000 and sold three weeks later for $205,700. The buyers/sellers took a loss on the sale of their home.
They did purchase their new home in Hendersonville as shown on Listed Sisters. It's too bad they didn't do better on the sale of theirs. Another reason why it's always best to hire an agent who knows your housing market well, rather than an agent who works the entire Nashville area or an agent who appears to be more interested in starring in a HGTV series.
As a result, I've begun to think that this may be a common phenomenon for HGTV programming. I would rather Listed Sisters be cancelled than report things that aren't true. It gives both the agent and HGTV a bad name. Not only are they deceiving the public, they are asking the participants on the show to do so as well.
Shame on you, HGTV. Viewers trust you to provide entertaining reality TV about the housing industry. Buyers and sellers are getting inaccurate information from shows like this.
The moral of the story--don't believe everything you see on TV. It may not be true.
Listed Sisters busted! HGTV reality show, NOT so real.
About Tammie White, Franklin TN REALTOR®
Tammie White is a REALTOR® and Principal Broker/Owner of Franklin Homes Realty LLC in Franklin TN. Tammie works with relocation buyers looking to purchase a home in Franklin and the surrounding Williamson County area. She understands the way buyers search for homes making her an invaluable asset to Franklin home sellers. Tammie's website, www.FranklinHomesRealty.com, has become the premier search tool for buyers moving to Franklin Tennessee. She has been writing a real estate blog since 2009 and has been quoted in various publications including the LA Times, Realtor.com, Skype.com, The Tennessean and Williamson Source. Trust your home sale to the company who has sold 100% of their listings since 2012. Call Franklin Homes Realty LLC today!