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Sabrina Soto and Mike Aubrey of HGTV’s “Real Estate Intervention”: What I’ve Learned
The beloved TV experts talk about staging a home, what sells and what doesn’t, what happens when you tell people their sale price is a pipe dream, and more By Lee Michael Katz
Comments () | Published May 17, 2011
Mike Aubrey and Sabrina Soto give candid advice on what colors—and strategies—help and hurt when it comes to selling a home. Photo by Lee Michael Katz
Sabrina Soto and Mike Aubrey have gained national popularity by staging interventions in Washington. Their target hasn’t been wayward souls but homes lagging on the market.

On HGTV’s Real Estate Intervention, the duo has become known for a combination of Soto’s cheery home-staging tips and Aubrey’s blunt explanations of real-estate reality.

Aubrey, 41, is a former Howard County firefighter. The Virginia Tech graduate became a real-estate agent after injuring his knee. He now can’t walk into a local Starbucks without hearing, “We love your show!” Television recognition helped his second career zoom: He sold $40 million worth of property last year out of his Gaithersburg Re/Max agency.

Aubrey says he never had any desire to be on television, but after he was recommended to a producer for his ability to dish out “brutal truth,” he jumped at the opportunity.

The telegenic Soto is known for her budget home-staging expertise and upbeat personality. She dispenses decorating tips in commercials for Target, and in January she anchored HGTV’s Rose Bowl parade coverage.

Soto, 34, grew up in New Jersey, Florida, and California and came to her TV job naturally—her father was a TV-news producer, her mother a home decorator. “Growing up, instead of being outside playing with kids, I’d be helping her make crafts and go shopping for clients,” says Soto, who went on to study interior design at UCLA.

After doing television work for MTV and TLC, Soto was at home in California when she sent in a résumé for the HGTV show Get It Sold. “They told me, ‘We really want you to do this, but you’ll have to move to DC.’ ” Why? “Because there’s so much great architecture here that you can’t really get anywhere else in the country.

“I was supposed to be here for six months, and it turned into four years,” she says. With this season’s Real Estate Intervention in the can, Soto recently relocated to New York, where she’s writing a book on home design. Her new HGTV show, High Low Project—in which she decorates someone’s “dream room” for less than $5,000—debuts in September. Next season, Aubrey will have a new cohost on Real Estate Intervention, which will shoot in Philadelphia, San Jose, and Dallas.

In a joint interview prior to Soto’s departure, Aubrey and Soto talked about what they’ve learned.

Next: Why homes sell—and when homeowners should lower their prices when they don't

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Posted at 09:20 AM/ET, 05/17/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Articles