MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Auburn Montgomery professor is about to help the nation get an education on the Montgomery-area real estate market with the help of the HGTV show "House Hunters."
A local real estate agent who will be featured on the show thinks viewers will like what they see.
The reality show follows prospective homeowners as they search for their ideal house, while spotlighting each location's amenities and neighborhoods.
An episode that's tentatively scheduled to air in February will follow AUM associate professor Clara Young's search through the River Region.
"We finished the filming this past weekend, Oct. 21," Young said.
Her real estate agent, Melissa Johnson, asked her to do the show when another client had to back out.
"I still had to send in an audition tape," Young said. "It was a lot of work."
Johnson said most of the work on her end involved getting anyone who appeared on camera to sign an affidavit agreeing to be on the show — not always easy when neighbors emerged to do yard work or just watch in the background. Some potential home sellers even withdrew because of the cameras, she said.
"You won't believe how some people say 'I don't want my house shown on TV,'" Johnson said. "Who are you running from, honey?"
But Johnson, an associate with Abacus Realty of Wetumpka, said the work was more than worth it.
"It's free advertising for the housing market, and we have some gorgeous homes," she said.
She said the show's representatives were especially impressed by the low real estate prices in the River Region. Alabama's average home price stood at about $162,000 in the first quarter of 2012, one of the lowest in the nation, according to data compiled by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
"This is a very affordable market," said Sandra Nickel of Montgomery's Hat Team Realtors.
Still, Nickel said pending home sales through mid-October are lower than they've been in months, both locally and statewide.
"I was very optimistic 60 days ago and as we have experienced the last two or three years, we're back on the rollercoaster — up, down, up, down," Nickel said.
She attributed much of that to the approach of Tuesday's presidential election.
"The market hates uncertainty," Nickel said. "I personally think that on Nov. 7, our phones will start to ring again."
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