Looking for reliable information about selling a house in a declining market? Searching for easy-to-follow, how-to demonstrations on increasing your home’s equity and overall appeal? Then it’s time to get reacquainted with a familiar friend: television. Only a few short years ago, the channels were littered with house-flipping shows that promised big bucks for anyone with a bank loan and a dream. But, as a sure sign of the times, this new generation of programs takes a more critical, more realistic look at the real estate market and offers viewers sound advice that can mean the difference between selling a house and facing foreclosure. Remember, your real estate education is just a remote-control click away.

“Curb Appeal” on HGTV proves that first impressions are important, especially when you’re trying to sell your house. Each episode features real homeowners who are searching for creative and cost-effective ways to entice buyers and improve their homes’ curb appeal. Professional designers and landscapers, along with a bevy of guest experts, discuss the home’s exterior appeal and propose projects to transform these outdated and boring houses into stunning works of art.

“Date My House” on TLC shows that creativity and ingenuity are great ways to interest potential buyers. Using the latest décor and staging techniques, the hosts help sellers ready their homes for an upcoming open house, which is designed to mirror a speed-dating session. This allows potential purchasers to get acquainted with the house in a fun, relaxed setting. When a prospective buyer is selected, they are offered the chance to have a serious date with the home to decide if this house is “the one.”

“My House Is Worth What?” on HGTV
helps three homeowners in three different parts of the country determine their homes’ value and whether it is a good time to sell. In each city, local real estate experts use their know-how to evaluate each home’s worth by looking at the local market and the community. After the professional assessment, the owners are told the current market value of their homes and how they can increase that value.

“Secrets That Sell” on HGTV won’t sugarcoat the truth. In each episode, a real estate-savvy mother/daughter team helps sellers get the most money for their homes using a no-holds-barred approach. The pair tours the house with the homeowner to identify why it hasn’t sold and offers practical solutions that will maximize the home’s value and get it sold.

“Sell This House” on A&E gives sellers a sneak peak into the minds of potential buyers. The homes, which have often been on the market for months, are full of potential, but are not appealing to buyers because of clutter or poor decorating choices. Prospective buyers are secretly videotaped as they tour the home for the first time, candidly assessing everything and anything. The homeowners then watch the footage with the hosts, learning what potential buyers like, love and hate about their homes.

“Sweat Equity” on the DIY Network helps viewers determine which home improvement projects will substantially increase the value of their homes. A team of DIY experts who specialize in finance, interior decorating and home remodeling analyzes the featured home, while leaving the renovation efforts to the homeowners. The team also gives tips and techniques on saving money along the way.

“Ugliest House on the Block” on We TV proves that real estate is all about location, especially if you live next door to an eyesore. These unsightly houses can decrease property values throughout the entire neighborhood, causing homeowners to lose money and potential buyers. Concerned neighbors vote on the ugliest house in their neighborhood and, with the help of a team of experts, have four days to transform the home’s obnoxious exterior into something the whole block can be proud of.