February 23, 2012 | by Sue Goodhart
The TV perspective

These days, it’s easy to get inside the housing process on an intimate level by watching the plethora of housing shows on TV — “House Hunters,” “Love It or List It,” “Selling New York,” “My First Place,” and more along with a whole host of shows on decorating, kitchen and bath renovations and even on home inspections gone wrong.  From buying a home, to decorating it, renovating or selling it and even buying a home abroad — there’s a show for you.

Those of us in the real estate business have seen an intriguing effect from the increase of housing and real estate shows over the years. The shows allow consumers to “experience” the buying or selling process before they go through it themselves. For sellers, it has shown them how much staging a home pays off and the types of things buyers are looking for and looking to avoid.

For buyers, there are many advantages especially for first time homebuyers who have not gone through the process. It allows them to see a general timeline for purchasing a property, types of negotiating dilemmas or tricks as well as the inevitable trade-offs they may have to make on their wish list. “The Holmes Report” is also a good reminder to purchasers of why having a home inspection with a certified home inspector that has come highly recommended is essential.

However, viewers in the Washington area must be aware of several things when watching some of these shows.

Beware of sticker shock! Most of these shows explore housing markets in different parts of the country where prices are much lower. For $200,000 the buyers are often looking for a house that would cost more than $1 million in our market. If you want to feel better about prices in our area, watch “Selling New York” or “Selling L.A.!”

Each housing market is different and has its own quirks. For example in some parts of the country, furniture will always convey and in others not even the appliances will convey. Be aware that each market has its differences so be sure to talk to a real estate professional to discuss market norms and never make assumptions about any conveyances.

Not all homes need a major overhaul. Be sure to do an inspection to make sure all major items are resolved (this will be negotiated between buyers and sellers prior to settlement). Then any cosmetic changes can be made as the budget allows.

There is a market for every home — as long as it is at the right price!

So tune in and enjoy but keep a sense of perspective. Your local realtor is your best source for information about your local market. Always feel free to contact me with questions.

Sue Goodhart is the top-producing agent at McEnearney Associates in Alexandria and is licensed in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. She can be reached at 202-507-7800 or sue@suegoodhart.com.

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