(615) 300-8285 Lisa@LCTTeam.com

This is the last installment in my TV real-estate reality check, so I’m especially excited that I came across a brand new show on HGTV that elicited way more thumbs up than any show I’ve seen in a long time.  “Listed Sisters” has only aired as a pilot, but the show’s been greenlit for an entire season and the adorable sisters who team up to buy, sell and renovate homes are busying shooting 12 new episodes that will start airing in the spring.  I can’t wait!  This is a show I can really get behind… the talent is darling and knowledgeable and funny, but most importantly, they’re endorsing an idea that I’ve been promoting for years.  Unlike some of HGTV’s other shows, Lex and Alana (twins!) show you how to renovate the home you’re SELLING, not buying.  They prove that making smart renovations pre-sale will help you get so much more for your home.  And when you’re making an extra $50,000 on a $15,000 renovation, that’s $35,000 of cold hard cash that you can use for your NEW home.  I’m sold!

 So here’s the basic premise of the show.   Alana is a smart and savvy realtor who’s on a mission to get her clients into the home they really need and want.  She also just happens to work in Nashville, a town I know a thing or two about.  She (and I) know that the real estate market in Nashville and surrounding areas is HOT and that there is a lot of competition for really great homes.  She knows that in order to get her clients into their next great home, she needs to get every penny out of their current home and that’s where her identical twin, Lex, comes into the picture.

So here’s the basic premise of the show.   Alana is a smart and savvy realtor who’s on a mission to get her clients into the home they really need and want.  She also just happens to work in Nashville, a town I know a thing or two about.  She (and I) know that the real estate market in Nashville and surrounding areas is HOT and that there is a lot of competition for really great homes.  She knows that in order to get her clients into their next great home, she needs to get every penny out of their current home and that’s where her identical twin, Lex, comes into the picture.

1. On the premiere episode, Lex and Alana worked with a couple who had seriously outgrown their bungalow.  They’d had four children in quick succession and were all living together in a teensy home with – wait for it – ONE BATHROOM.  Um, yeah… I’d say it was past time for an upgrade.  Way back when, the couple had planned to fix up the home and then sell it for a tidy profit.  Then, a few things happened… the real estate bubble burst and oh, yeah… they kept making babies!  Needless to say, their old home was in need of some big help.  Without upgrades, Alana estimated that they’d be able to list and sell their Nashville home “as is” for about $150,000.  REALITY CHECK: This one checks out.  Yes, Nashville is a hot market, but part of the reason it’s such a popular destination is that a lot of builders and flippers have been buying up cute homes, renovating them and then selling them.  When a buyer is faced with purchasing a tired and project-laden home or a shiny, refurbished one, they most always go for the one with the bells and whistles.  Because, you know, CURB APPEAL!

2. The couple and their kiddos wanted to stay in their same neighborhood, but estimated that they needed at least 2,000 square feet of living space.  They wanted four bedrooms, at least two bathrooms and they had about $300,000 to spend (after selling their previous home, of course).  REALITY CHECK: Ummm, sorry guys.  The average price per square foot in East Nashville is about $163.  If I pull out my trusty calculator, I can quickly tell you that this couple is falling about $40,000 short.  And that’s just what Alana had to tell her new clients.  In that regard, I give this show a big thumb’s up.  It’s often difficult – but very necessary – to tell clients the tough truth.  As I’ve said before, it is unethical and unprofessional to allow clients to have an unrealistic view of their budget and their market.  So, was all lost?  Nope!  Because Alana called Lex and she rode in to save the day.

3. After a quick tour of this couple’s old home, Lex was able to clearly and concisely explain to their new clients that they needed to renovate the kitchen, open up a wall, gut their bathroom and do simple repairs to plasterwork.  They also needed to repurpose rooms and do some basic staging.  And, in order to do that, the couple needed to come up with $35,000.  Now, this was a tough pill to swallow, especially since Alana had just told them they were already way shy of what they needed for their new dream home.  But, both ladies assured their clients that if they put the money into their old home renovations, they felt they could sell their old home for about $230,000.  REALITY CHECK: Is it possible to put $35,000 into a property and then turn it around and make an extra $80,000?  Yes.  I’ve seen it happen time and time again and that’s why I love this show.  Also, Lex was 100% correct in focusing on kitchen and bathroom renovations.  Home buyers are suckers for shiny granite countertops and subway tile backsplashes.  And, no matter how small your bathroom, a little luxury goes a long way in that all important room!
Did the couple get their happy ending?  You bet!  They purchased a gorgeous new construction with four bedrooms and THREE bathrooms and lots of room for their growing brood.  Best of all, they actually had money left over to furnish that extra space.  Lex and Alana proved that investing in your old home absolutely makes a huge difference in your new home purchase and for that fact, I give them a great big reality check high five!