It”s unknown if comedian Henny Youngman”s famous phrase “Take my wife, please”” was the catalyst for naming cable television channel A&E”s reality TV show “Sell This House,”” but the name conjures up thoughts of desperation.

Billing itself as ``This Old House meets Candid Camera,'' the weekly show features ``homeowners desperate to sell and prospective buyers secretly videotaped as they express their observations upon first seeing the house,'' according to its Web site. A budget of up to $500 is set to redecorate each home.

  • Wednesday, May 25, 2005 12:00pm
  • News

Billing itself as “This Old House meets Candid Camera,” the weekly show features “homeowners desperate to sell and prospective buyers secretly videotaped as they express their observations upon first seeing the house,” according to its Web site. A budget of up to $500 is set to redecorate each home.

The show sent a home decoration expert and a 15- to 20-person crew to Mercer Island from April 9-11 to film an episode featuring Reed and Teresa Collingwood’s First Hill home, which had been on the market since late March. Asking price: $769,000.

The Collingwoods, who have lived in the home for more than 15 years, are planning to relocate to Arizona. Teresa Collingwood said their Realtor, Sarah Ford, asked them if they wanted to do the show.

“I’d take any advice on re-staging your home,” Teresa said.

Though Teresa said she wouldn’t characterize herself as desperate, she would like to sell the house and move.

According to Ford, the three bedroom, 2,900-square-foot home already looked good. However, the decorator made some changes to it to make it show better to prospective buyers.

“Buyers need to mentally move in,” Ford said. “De-personalizing and de-cluttering helps.”

Work focused on the bedrooms, which received new paint. More than 20 boxes of clutter were removed from 9-year-old Nicole’s bedroom. A futon was replaced with a new bed in 20-year-old Rob’s “bachelor pad” room. A chair from elsewhere in the house and an entertainment center were also set up in his room.

Prospective buyers were invited to comment on the home before and after the mini-remodel. The 10 “prospective buyers” were asked by the show to look at the house, including some Realtors. The Realtors were impressed with what was done to the home, according to Ford.

The house had not sold as of last week. The episode of “Sell This House” that features the Collingwood’s home is set to air in August.

Taco de water polo

What do you do when a client needs a commercial and you’re the proud father of a member of the perennial state water polo championship team? Feature them in a commercial, of course.

Mercer Island resident Tom Horton of Seattle-based advertising agency Horton Lantz & Low turned to five of the biggest members of the Washington Water Polo Club to feature in a spot for a Taco Del Mar commercial. Three of the players are from Mercer Island: Charlie Horton, Ted Trowbridge and Adam Massman; Tim Hummel and Taylor Knowles are also featured in the commercial.

“They’re probably one of the top five teams in the country,” said Horton.

“They’re basically the automatic state champions every year,” he continued, adding that many on the team will likely play water polo for a Division I school.

The commercial is a collection of people sharing what their favorite burrito is from the “taco of the sea.” The water polo players were filmed standing in the pool at the Mercerwood Shore Club, delivering the line that their fave burrito is beef. The commercial began airing in the Seattle-area on Monday.

According to Horton, a Taco Del Mar is tentatively scheduled to open early next year in Island Market Square once the five-story, mixed-use project is complete.

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