HGTV Induced Buyer Dementia
There is a new threat to home owners everywhere that is taking hold in markets around the United States. In my marketplace of Bristow-Gainesville, Virginia, I am seeing more and more cases. HGTV Induced Buyer Dementia (HGTV-IBD) is a serious threat to would be home sellers everywhere.
The symptoms of HGTV-IBD are often mistaken for those of a particular, or picky, buyer. While the two have things in common, the difference is that a particular buyer will be thrilled when they find what they want, and won't hesitate in making an offer. An HGTV-IBD infected buyer will wait, because the market depicted on the "reality" shows on HGTV always waits for a buyer to make up their mind. Cue the commercial break and a night to think over three homes that the HGTV-IBD buyer loves. The infected buyer can't be rushed by seller favored market conditions.
HGTV-IBD infected buyers have an inability to logic through the conditions of a seller's market. The fact that there are five homes on the market and twenty buyers that day that want them, mean nothing. A pristine home with a new roof, new flooring, new deck, new appliances, new windows and new carpet listed at $450K, will be low balled with offers of $425K and below. Why? HGTV-IBD buyers are blind to the value in new items if they do not meet the Chip & Joanna Gaines stylistic guidelines. Those granite counters may be new, and go with the new gunstock hardwood floors, but that doesn't matter. They aren't in the white and gray family of color, so they simply MUST be replaced.
Further, buyers infected with HGTV-IBD may fail to realize how their own needs actually differ from what they see buyers demanding on the network. Are double ovens a must for a family that consists of mom, dad and two toddlers? Hmmm. Probably not, but if the buyer is infected with HGTV-IBD, they are going to fail to see their primary need for a large pantry, microwave and refrigerator with a large freezer.
Perfectly lovely homes with new finishes that may not be the first choice of these infected buyers are sitting and wasting on the market, while lower quality homes with much snazzier lipstick are selling like hot cakes. HGTV-IBD infected buyers are unable to see value in high dollar items like new windows, new roof and new siding. If the kitchen and master bathroom don't meet current trendy finishes, the home may as well be a shack with no upgrades since 1979.
The tragic part of HGTV Buyer Induced Dementia is that it may be a full blown plague if reality show reality is what the majoirty of buyers in your market place think of as "real." Sellers with fantastic homes will forced to accept low offers or upgrade to the latest HGTV trend prior to selling. It is conceivable that a majority infected buyer population could be the next cause of a market correction.
Currently, the only known cure to HGTV-IBD is that the infected buyer become a home seller themselves. That's the only way to truly reach into their affected minds and make them see how ridiculous buyers infected with HGTV-IBD can be.
It is likely that HGTV-IBD may also result in other illnesses like HGTV-IBD-PTSD, which is theorized may affect Listing Agents across the country.
Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in VA
2017, 2016, 2015 PWAR Top Producer
Long & Foster Real Estate, Gainesville, VA
The opinions expressed in this post are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not those of Long & Foster Real Estate®.
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