The Katie Couric Effect

Originally published February 2013, updated and re-published several times since, most recently on March 1, 2022

Most of us know and love Katie Couric.

Photo:Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

She brightened our mornings and delivered bad news directly and compassionately. But a lot of us forgot one of the bravest things she ever did.

In 2000, eighteen months after losing her husband to colon cancer, Katie Couric underwent a colonoscopy. Live, on national TV. When the word ‘colonoscopy’ was not even mentioned in polite company, she went through with the unthinkable, for all the world to see.

Can you imagine what was going through her mind? 

But she took this conversation public, and made screening process mainstream.  She de-mystified and de-personalized this procedure,  saving countless lives in the process. She saw past her own discomfort because she knew there was a greater good.

The Katie Couric Effect refers to the resulting increase of people who made changes after this. Those who put off even having a conversation about this got tested because someone they knew and trusted showed them it was important, and it was ok.

Every day I meet sellers in real pain. Physical, financial, mental, and emotional. Pain of a cancer diagnosis is not the same thing as your house not selling. But pain is pain. And if you can do anything reasonable to prevent it, or help someone through it, why wouldn’t you?

Putting off saying or doing difficult things is understandable. But easy in the short run often causes worse pain down the line. If you

Agents: this sellers’ market isn’t going to last forever. But even if it did, will the search of smart ROI tasks and strategies ever go out of style? I think not.

Your sellers know about home staging, they expect you to know more. Take the time now to frame up a business model you’re comfy with, and can easily explain before you have to. OR make some calls, meet for coffee. Know who’s doing what out there, and get to really know people you trust who can do it on your behalf.

Sellers (and other people with a lot of stuff): Another, more recent trend I will confess to having a hard time with myself is Sweedish Death Cleaning. Best-sellers a few years back, it was recently profiled in NYT as an affirming and comforting act more and more people were embracing.

Devotees found sharing the past, and being in control of your present replaced anxiety with joy and peace of mind.

The Refreshed Home has worked with many thousands of people over the years…in their homes, with their things. And learned a lot in the process. One-we have so many more commonalities than differences. Also, fear or love drives most of what we do (or don’t do).  And guilt, shame or stiff upper lips may get things done, but at a terrible expense. If you’re not feeling brave, seek out someone who went before you who was. Talk to me today if I can help.