Carrie Rengers

HGTV’s intentions are Noble, but Wichita real estate agent didn’t believe it

California couple’s quest to find home near downtown featured on ‘House Hunters’

Sacramento couple featured on "House Hunters" on HGTV as they look to move from the suburbs to a mid-century modern home near downtown. (April 10, 2018)
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Sacramento couple featured on "House Hunters" on HGTV as they look to move from the suburbs to a mid-century modern home near downtown. (April 10, 2018)

Real estate agent Leanne Barney was riding in her car when she received a phone call from a California number.

Barney, a residential agent with KW Signature Partners, gets so many telemarketing calls that she has an app to alert her to scams. Her app didn’t show the call was a scam, though, so Barney decided to take it.

“Oh, here we go,” she said to her son, Craig, who was in the car with her. “It’ll be another one of those I’ve-gotta-sell-you-something calls.”

Instead, it was a woman with “House Hunters,” the popular HGTV show that features people buying homes.

Barney has heard of the show but never seen it.

“Because I work 12-to-15 hours a day, and I don’t have cable.”

She says she knew enough to be skeptical.

“I didn’t think it was legit.”

The show representative explained “House Hunters” wanted to include a Victorian home in one of its episodes, and Barney has a listing for a Victorian former bed-and-breakfast at 1230 N. Waco.

The representative e-mailed documents for Barney and the house’s owners, Tim and JoAnn Pitzer, to sign.

“I discovered it was legit,” Barney says.

However, while still skeptical on the phone, she didn’t express much enthusiasm.

“I’ve been in this business long enough to know you can’t believe everything that comes across.”

Barney simply said, “OK,” to the representative.

“You just said, ‘OK?’ ” said her horrified son, who is a showing agent for Barney.

“I think they would expect more excitement than that,” he said. “This is a big deal.”

Barney won’t appear in the episode, but the house will.

The 1888 Noble House is named for a family who once lived there.

Last fall, the Pitzers told Have You Heard? that due to Tim Pitzer’s job situation, they’re trying to sell the 3,334-square-foot home either as a business or a residence.

“It would make a great family home,” Tim Pitzer said at the time.

However, he added, “We would love for someone to keep it as a bed-and-breakfast. I think Wichita needs one.”

The 5-bedroom house has four and a half baths, four living areas, including three parlors on the main floor, and a newly renovated kitchen.

When Barney contacted Pitzer about “House Hunters,” she says he expressed more enthusiasm than she initially did.

“He said, ‘Oh, cool. That’ll be neat,’ ” Barney says.

While it seems likely that she’ll watch the episode that features this house in six months when it airs, Barney still hasn’t seen a “House Hunters” yet even though she’s looked it up online.

“I don’t have time to watch it.”

The shoot will happen on Thursday.

Tim Pitzer says from what he understands, usually during a “House Hunters” episode, a buyer has already selected a home even though other homes are shown.

He says he’s OK with that.

“Anything that would drum up an idea for someone to look at our home, we’re up for that,” Pitzer says.

And if somehow someone on the show is actually interested in his home?

“Oh, yes, that would be cool,” Pitzer says. “If my friends are wrong, and that’s something they’re looking at, that would be awesome.”

The owners of The Tibbetts House, Highland's newest bed and breakfast and book shop, located at 809 9th St. in Highland, give a first look inside the business and a sneak peak at the new themed guest rooms.

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