Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: House Hunters Hidden Potential- What House do you Choose?

House Hunters Hidden Potential- What House do you Choose?

Start the dream home process, with advice on every step including mortgage know-how and strategies whether you plan to build or buy. Don't forget the home inspections!

There are a couple of new shows on HGTV that I've watched a few times, House Hunters and Hidden Potential.  These shows really tell me how much my buyers choose houses that THEY love and not choose houses for themselves that I love.

House Hunters is where they take people out and show them house after house.  I remember when I first saw it, the people were given the choice of three houses and they had to make a decision.  The last time I saw it, they made a comment to the effect of, "three weeks and several houses later, choice #4 is such and such house."  That's great that they're now acknowledging that it takes more than seeing just a couple of houses to make a decision.

Hidden Potential is where you take a couple that has looked at several homes already and they're just not finding what they like in their price range.  Typically, these buyers are trying to get into a pricey neighborhood for the lowest end of the price range possible and then they're not happy with the condition of the homes.  Hidden Potential takes them to three houses with a designer and he completely redesigns the houses on his computer.  Then the buyers go "WOW!"  The problem with this show is that you take someone's budget of 300k, and you show them houses around $200k, but you show them $100k worth of improvements to the house. What they don't acknowledge is that if you're buying a house in a $200k neighborhood and you're putting in $100k of repair, you just over updated your house and there's a huge possibility that you're never going to see that money back on resale.

Anyway, back to the point of this post... On both of these shows, I listen to what the buyers are saying that they want and watch intently as the hosts are explaining the different features and the Hidden Potential of each house.  I then make my educated guess on which house they should choose.  I have been correct ONCE!!  That's right, only once!  Can you believe that?!  This is my job, and it takes into account my degree in Psychology and I've been picking the wrong houses for these people all these years!  It's no wonder why I get so shocked sometimes when my buyers call and say they want to write an offer on such and such property though I'm prepared for them to say the other property.

No matter how much training you've had over the years with reading people, most are still going to shock you with their decisions.  I mean, a family that keeps talking about how they need more space and an extra bathroom actually "settles" for a 2 bedroom, 1 bath home just because they liked the designers plans... I don't get it.  If I was the agent working with them, I would keep reminding them over and over again about resale and how 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths will resell so much better than a 2 bedroom with 1 bath any day of the week!  My job is also to remind them that the point of their move was for more space and how does 2 bedrooms accomplish this.  I wish they would do follow ups on these people later to see when they resell and why.

Does anyone do any better when guessing which houses these people are choosing on the shows?

Comment balloon 5 commentsDonna Harris • January 08 2007 09:49AM


From what I understand HH is a joke.  They generally film after the house is closed, it is all staged.  The other houses they really had considered are probably gone also.  I know this because I know an agent that was featured on that show. 

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 13 years ago
Renee, I didn't know the houses were already sold.  I just thought they went back to visit the people after the houses closed.  It's just another real estate show that bugs me to go along with Million Dollar Listing and Flip That House!
Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 13 years ago
You need to listen to what your buyers are saying between the lines. Find the common elements in what they like and what they don't. You may best fill their needs with a home that doesn't meet their "must haves" but solves their emotional and functional living styles.
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) over 13 years ago

Very true, Sharon.  I do that very well when people say they want 4 bedrooms but I know a good floorplan of a 3 bedroom with do well. 

Here's an example.  I listed a condo last year that was 1 bedroom and 700 sqft.  The sellers had a baby at that time.  By the time we sold a 1 bedroom condo, they now had 2 children.  As we were looking at homes, they kept falling back on this house that was a horrible layout for them and it was only about 1300 sqft.  I had to keep putting the picture in their head about why they were moving, which was to spread out.  They ended up buying a home that was almost 1800 sqft, and they thanked me over and over for not "allowing" them to settle for the other house.  The mortgage payment difference between the two houses was only about $30, but they thought it would be much more.  It took a lot of probing to figure out why they were hung up on the smaller house.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 13 years ago
Donna, you never can tell.  I didn't realize that HH was filmed after the sales.  I had to quit watching that show because it was so unrealistic.  I've never seen HP, but I can tell you that Indiana has many more forclosures than a lot of other states.  The overall value of the properties isn't really strong enough to flip a lot, but you can get some really good deals if you can afford to put a little $$$ into fixing it up.
Posted by Brett Mumaw, Your Indiana Move (RE/MAX First) over 13 years ago