Horrible homes will become virtual palaces in an extreme home makeover show running simultaneously on a real estate radio talk show and the Web site of a South Carolina Realtor.

Jerry Fowler of the Results Team Realtors, who has had a radio talk show in South Carolina for 14 years, will report on the makeovers, while photos on his Web site will reflect the progress of the six-week makeover.

The show launches this Saturday, Fowler said.

“It’s going to be a 10- to 15-minute segment of our Saturday morning scene. We introduce it with the theme of ‘Mission Impossible,'” Fowler explained. His show airs on Radio 560 WVOC AM radio in the greater Columbia area in South Carolina.

Fowler’s radio show is the dominant talk show in the city, he said, “the most powerful and the most popular.” His combined format for the makeover show takes advantage of tremendous success in one medium to drive traffic to the other one.

“I wanted to drive traffic to the Web site,” the Realtor said. “With 77 percent of people making real estate buying decisions online, I wanted to take advantage.”

Fowler was referring to the 2005 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, which reported that about 77 percent of home buyers reported that they used the Internet to search for a home – a 3 percent increase since 2004.

“It’s the dominant talk show in the city,” Fowler said.

The group has allocated six weeks for the makeover. A plethora of local contractors and workers are donating their time or charging drastically discounted rates to do landscaping, heating, cooling, painting and drainage work, contributing their labor in exchange for the publicity, Fowler said.

“It’s going to make someone a beautiful house when we get done, and it will have a year’s guarantee,” Fowler said.

Fowler got the idea after visiting a house in order to stage it – one of the worst experiences of his life. The home, which will be the first to be made over, was “laced with mildew and mold,” Fowler said. “The windows had spider webs as thick as curtains. You walked through it with your arms close to your sides.”

“Although 95 percent of homes for sale will never be this bad, this show will explain how to stage a home that seems to be beyond help. You will then be able to go on line and see the progress each week,” Fowler said.

***

Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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