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The HGTV Effect – Part 1

Recently, our local paper, The Tennessean, ran an article that talked about the “HGTV effect” and how it is influencing home buyers, builders and realtors.  It suggested that all those design shows on HGTV and hours of scouring Pinterest and Houzz have reshaped what consumers expect when they plan, design — and most importantly for me and my clients – when they buy a new home.  Now I have to admit that my schedule doesn’t allow for lots of leisurely TV viewing, but one of my trusty worker bees just happens to be married to an HGTV executive and I know that channel is very often on in their household.  She agrees that there is definite crossover between what she sees on her husband’s design shows and what she sees when she’s perusing photos and writing copy for our marketing brochures and flyers.  So, just in case you’re like me and don’t have hours to spend watching shows or scanning websites, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts (and yes – there will be some HGTV/DIY crossover!) about what buyers want and what sellers can do to maximize their home’s potential.
I’ve written extensively about minor (and some major) home improvements that sellers can make before listing their home for sale, but never quite from this perspective… the idea that these shows and their top-notch designers are heavily impacting what buyers want.  If you watch these shows, you might imagine that you have to have an open floor plan to encourage family togetherness, while at the same time, providing spaces for privacy for each and every family member – a “man cave” for Dad, a spa-like master bathroom for mom and a bonus room for the kids.  But what if your home just wasn’t built that way?  Is all lost?  Are you so far behind design trends that you’ll never sell your home?  Of course not, but it is possible to play around with space, furniture placement, paint and design themes to bring your home into the HGTV era and entice potential buyers with some of the elements that these shows have convinced them they can’t live without.

There’s no way I can do this topic justice in just one blog post, so I’ll be spending the next few weeks expanding on a few key ideas that might help you turn your home into a cutting edge showplace.  First and foremost, open floor plans are definitely highly desired, but if you house doesn’t have a two story foyer and family room or a den that is open to the breakfast area that is open to the kitchen, there are still many things you can do to create an airy environment that is both expansive and cozy.  I’ll have lots of details about that in my next post.

Moving forward, I’ll also talk about ideas to create private spaces within your home, how to enhance some of the more important living areas (like kitchens, great rooms, master bedrooms and bathrooms) with some custom amenities and luxury features, and finally, how to create outdoor living spaces that will become the envy of the neighborhood… and entice buyers who have their fingers on the pulse of innovative home design.  Stay tuned and go ahead and take some “BEFORE” pictures… as you make changes, you’ll love looking back at how far you (and your home!) have come!

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