SNOHOMISH — These twin sisters are bringing Snohomish County real estate to reality TV.
What’s up with that?
Real estate agents Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis are the makeover mavens of “Unsellable Houses,” a new series that airs Tuesdays starting Feb. 4 on HGTV. The sisters work their magic on modest homes in desperate need of help.
Promos have started running on the network of the show that will bring global attention to Snohomish County, hopefully the way “Fixer Upper” transformed Waco into a trendy Texas town.
The homes in the 11 episodes of the first season of “Unsellable Houses” are in Everett, Marysville, Bothell, Lake Stevens, Snohomish and Lynnwood.
The 38-year-old twins are identical, but you won’t be seeing double. Lyndsay has brown hair, bangs and glasses. Leslie has flowing blonde hair and a sock cap.
“In sixth grade she cut bangs, and she said, ‘I’m having bangs from now on,’ ’’ said Leslie, who is three minutes younger. “So I’ve never been able to have bangs.”
“I claimed them,” Lyndsay said.
They sound alike, though. They speak in unison, repeat each other, finish the other’s sentences and mirror hand gestures while exchanging back-and-forth banter.
The series is by production company High Noon Entertainment, whose hits include “Fixer Upper” and “Cake Boss.” The company contacted the sisters in 2017 after seeing YouTube videos of them singing car karaoke with a GoPro and dancing with homebuying clients to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”
This led to a pilot on HGTV last spring about an 1890s house in Everett that wasn’t selling until the twins took over. It sold the network on their screen charisma. They landed a deal to do 11 shows, for starters.
The focus is on homes between $350,000 and $500,000. In many areas of the country, this still buys luxury digs, not a starter house.
A March episode is about a three-bed, one-bath Everett rambler at 1307 Pinkerton Ave. that recently went on the market for $375,000 after a four-week renovation by the twins. The house is in the Pinehurst neighborhood, not far from Cascade High School and across the noise barrier from the Boeing freeway. The sisters said the home received multiple offers within two days on the market and went over the listing price by about $30,000.
“The sellers of all the homes will be on the show, but not the buyers,” Leslie said. “A lot of the buyers don’t even know they are HGTV homes.”
Lyndsay does the spending. Leslie does the spreadsheets.
“Lyndsay is ridiculously creative. I have to rein her in,” Leslie said. “I am so incredibly cheap. I shop in her giveaway pile. Everything I’m wearing is her hand-me-downs. Other than this cap, I bought it at a hardware store.”
“She knows how to run a business. I cast vision,” Lyndsay said.
“We are the epitome of yin and yang. It’s like the perfect marriage. If I could marry my sister, I would,” Leslie said.
Growing up in Snohomish, they were the LaCourse twins. Both married their Snohomish High sweethearts. Their husbands were roommates in college.
“They knew that they were marrying two women, not one,’” said Lyndsay. Or maybe it was Leslie.
The twins live a mile apart, and have 14-year-old sons who are best friends. Leslie also has two younger children.
They began their careers in their 20s in marketing and sales for their aunt Tina Kuna, co-founder of Dream Dinners, which now has franchises nationwide. With three young children, Leslie later became a stay-at-home mom. Lyndsay started selling homes and opened Lamb Real Estate at ReMax Town Center in Mill Creek. Leslie got her real estate license to help out while Lyndsay’s son went through extensive cancer treatment eight years ago. He’s cancer-free now.
The TV show is separate from their day job, but the homes become their listings.
The sisters do the staging, painting and design. Jeff Lawrence, owner of JL Remodeling of Lynnwood, does the construction.
“The premise of this show is to take a more reasonable budget — $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 — and make the improvements and invest it where it’s going to make sense to sell the home and make the client more money,” Leslie said.
The sisters plunk their own money into the house, then split the profit with the seller.
They put $40,000 into the Pinkerton Avenue home for a new driveway, bathroom renovation, kitchen revamp with butcher block countertops and refinished floors to bring the 1955 place up to speed for 2020.
The 1,152 square foot home was built in a day when closets were small and everyone shared one bathroom. The new buyers will still have to share one.