HGTV’s Property Brothers coming to Atlanta for Book Festival of the MJCCA

The reality TV stars give us the inside scoop on their new book
Property Brothers
Photograph by Dennys Ilic

Maybe it’s their good-natured sibling rivalry, or the diplomatic way they disarm sensitive homeowners (Sorry, but your “eggs with legs” collection is not a charming selling point). And those dimples, though. But HGTV stars Drew and Jonathan Scott are, as The Daily Beast once put it, “reality television’s crack cocaine.” They host four of the network’s top-rated shows and run their own production company, Scott Brothers Entertainment, with their older brother J.D.

And, now, they’ve released their first book: Dream Home: The Property Brothers’ Ultimate Guide to Finding & Fixing Your Perfect House. The volume is packed with detailed, practical advice, and the brothers will be coming to Atlanta to talk about it April 13 at the Book Festival of the MJCCA (Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta). We recently chatted with the guys by phone to get a sneak peek:

Property Brothers
Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Why did you decide to write a book?
We told our fans if we can’t be there personally to renovate their houses, this is the next best thing. It’s full of information, tips and tricks. It pretty much answers any question anyone could possibly have. We tell them things like when to buy something to get the best price, how to find professionals to work with. Even if someone walks away with just one point, it will save them thousands of dollars. And we make fun of Jonathan a lot.

You listed the top ten things that buyers want, things like an open floor plan or a kitchen island. Does that list change often?
There are so many things people want. It was hard to narrow it down. And we’re always adding. Technology has become very important. It can be more important than stainless steel appliances or granite counters. There’s always something new.

How can people know if a renovation will be worth the investment?
If you’re buying a house you plan on renovating, have as part of the offer that you’re going to have a contractor come and quote all the work. If it turns out the work’s going to cost more than you expected, you can still walk away without losing your deposit. And always meet with a real estate agent and have them tell you, hypothetically, if you finish these renovations, will the property still be worth more than it cost?

How should sellers get ready to put their homes on the market?
If you will spend just a couple of hundred dollars on getting the house cleaned, you could get thousands more. It’s like going on a date. You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Fix all the little things, like broken switchplates. We call it the “ick factor.” The more times a buyer goes “ick,” it builds up in their minds.

And spend a couple hundred bucks to hire a professional photographer. Buyers will shop visually.

Should sellers make their houses look generic?
Yes and no. You should depersonalize and declutter. Buyers want to picture their family in a space, not yours. Most buyers have no vision. You have to paint the picture for them. It’s good to go more neutral. A gray palette is fresher than beige or taupe, which were more 90s or early 2000s. However, do use artwork, throws, and pillows to add color and interest.

Do you find buyers want smaller houses now?
I think the tiny house thing is just a fad. We see clients requesting both smaller and larger spaces. But anyone can learn from the efficiency of smaller spaces. For example, use multifunctional furniture pieces. A coffee table can also provide storage.

Tickets to the brothers’ MJCCA appearance are $10 (members) and $15 (community). Premier Ticket Package is $65 and includes a signed copy of Dream Home; priority seating; and VIP Access to the patron photo line. (All tickets are subject to a $1.25 service charge.)