Today, I am sharing this blog written by Debe Maxwell, of the Maxwell House Group at RE/MAX Executive in Charlotte, North Carolina. The points that Debe makes in her blog are applicable regardless of where in the country you are located, even here in central Florida. Let's face it... HGTV offers some really good shows, but they are, after all, there for our entertainment. In the REAL WORLD... NOT SO FAST! Real estate is local and you really must consider the source when watching these TV renovation shows. Yes, they may have some great ideas and some amazing outcomes but, in your area, are those renovations worth it? What is it going to take to do those renovations? How long is it really going to take to get through just the planning process, much less actually having the renovations completed? Will there be drama involved and will I see a return on my investment (ROI)? These are questions that need to be addressed before you purchase a "fixer-upper". Make sure you consult with a Real Estate professional in your area to get the up to date facts.
HGTV, a 4-Letter Word
Not only a 4-letter initialism (Home & Garden Television) but, in many real estate agents’ opinion, it’s a 4-letter word!
In a recent news exposé, several of the reasons we, as agents, have issues with HGTV were touched upon. Here are some of the key reasons we consider HGTV a four-letter word to us!
- WAIT! Knocking down walls is NOT that easy. It is, however, easy to say, “Tear down those walls” but, in reality, we are NOT structural engineers and don’t have a clue as to whether or not the wall in question is load-bearing or not. It costs several hundred dollars just to have a structural engineer to consult.
- Negotiations don’t typically take place in coffee shops! Yeah, no! This is NOT how they go down! In fact, there is a lot of phone tag that is played throughout the negotiation process OR negotiations are even sometimes done via text or email - never in the coffee shop!
- Buyers don’t negotiate at the coffee shop and then Close on the house AND have the renovations all completed to turn-key status in 48 hours - heck, the Title search takes longer than that!
- Hold onto your wallet! - Most people don’t have the funds to spend willy-nilly on a second home, renovating it while they live in another home. The rare few may but, the vast majority of the population does not have that financial capability, let alone the funds to spend on major overhauls. According to HGTV, a kitchen renovation that looks positively spectacular - the best dream kitchen you can muster up in your mind - is only $5,000! In the real world, granite for an entire kitchen will run you more then $5K!
- Oh, those nagging permits! Reflecting upon the last issue, time in #4, permits can take as long as 14 days in our municipality - and we think we move pretty quickly in our permitting department. And, don’t even THINK about beginning work without one. Doing so could necessitate you ripping out walls and the work done in not on record when you sell your home. Just bite the bullet and obtain those permits NOW.
- Oh, the drama! A good real estate agent protects their clients from any and all drama. On the rare occasion that a client is pulled into situations, it is legally unavoidable. Otherwise, the HGTV drama is so over-the-top and SO not how I would want to work if I were a consumer. Our services are called white glove for many reasons and keeping our clients out of situations and focused on their big move is one of them.
- Just because it looks cool, doesn’t mean the ROI is worth the renovation. As a Charlotte home buyer, you simply must listen to your experienced agent when it comes to your return on investment (ROI). If the entire home needs an overhaul, you will NOT get every dime back that you put into it (and then some, according to HGTV). The same goes for Charlotte home sellers - updating some things in your home is just not worth it. The high ROI items often fluctuate based upon the local buyers’ preferences so, what was a high ROI 5 years ago, may very well not be one today. Seek advice from your Charlotte real estate agent - he/she is FAR more informed than anyone on a national TV show!
- Last, but certainly NOT least - Lowball Offers are NOT in vogue in a sellers market - under any circumstances! I just sold a fixer-upper to a buyer, intentionally looking for a home that they could make their own and they absolutely did not want new construction. They paid 25% above list price to win the bidding war - yes, you read that right, 25% above list. I also had the same experience with a small ranch home recently as the listing agent…same thing, 25% above list price and we had 27 Offers on the property. MOST of them were over but, there were some HGTV watchers who lost out again…offering below list price.
Real estate is local and you really must consider the source when watching these TV renovation shows. Yes, they may have some great ideas and some amazing outcomes but, in our area, are those renovations worth it? What is it going to take to do those renovations? How long is it really going to take to get through just the planning process, much less actually having the renovations completed? Will there be drama involved and will I see a return on my investment (ROI)? These are questions for your local Charlotte real estate agent…not someone on TV!
These are just a few of the reasons that we feel that HGTV is a 4-letter word! Disillusion is one word that encompasses all of the reasons. See your local real estate agent for the ‘real scoop’ when it comes to home renovations.
© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | CharlotteBroker@icloud.com | HGTV, a 4-Letter Word
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