I don’t know about you, but I’m counting down to the new series of my favourite show, Selling Houses Australia, starting on Wednesday (4 February). I couldn’t wait to chat to host Andrew Winter, in my opinion, one of the most amusing men on television! Perhaps it is the Brit in me that finds his sarcasm and bluntness utterly hilarious, but I can often be heard shrieking at the television when he delivers one of his crushing comments about a homeowner’s decor choices or DIY handiwork. For me, the reasons this show is in its eighth series are obvious, and Andrew’s just one of them.
Andrew would like to say it’s all down to him, but he admits it has just as much to do with his co-hosts Charlie Albone and Shaynna Blaze, suspecting a lot of female viewers are tuning in for “young Charles” over him. But that’s okay, because he thinks he has the best job in the world. Forget that Great Barrier Reef job Andrew says, he gets to say what he really thinks as well as getting away with doing barely any manual labour (although he tells me he is “flat out” driving and fetching coffee!). And let’s not forget there is a real point to the show; helping people who really need to sell their most expensive asset and are failing miserably.
Eight series is no mean feat. Andrew remembers thinking if they managed to do five and get a sixth commissioned that would be pretty amazing, and now here we are. “I’m absolutely delighted and I still enjoy it. I think we’ve been on so long now that we’ve unintentionally become a barometer of the Australian housing market. We started the last series, for example, with a house on the Gold Coast that sold for 10k over what they expected and that hadn’t been heard of for five years before then! So it’s interesting to watch these thing over the years.”
Andrew, Charlie and Shaynna’s genuine chemistry is clear and I find they’ve all become more equal stars of the show as time has gone on. “The three of us get on really quite well despite being totally different,” Andrew says. “Charles has a pretty crude and appalling sense of humour which always shocks Shaynna, but I of course, am always perfectly lovely!” On a more serious note, Andrew says there’s no pretence. All three of them are experienced and qualified in what they do and they just get on with it. “Everyone thinks they’re an interior designer these days because they’ve done some six-week course, but come back to me when you’ve worked in the industry for five or 10 years, and Shaynna’s done that and more. Charlie runs his own landscaping business and I was a real estate agent for years.
“It’s not a fluffy makeover show. Our brief has always been clear: take a property that can’t be sold and sell it! Of course, it isn’t always possible but we will do our utmost.” And someone upstairs, says Andrew, is looking down on them and continuing to hand them the amazing stories of the homeowners which really add to the show’s appeal. “Maybe that’s why I can get away with being a bit harsh, cheeky or rude, because the end game is not about winning a prize, it’s about selling a house that really needs selling for whatever reason. We can get in there and kick it up the whatsit and get it sold.”
What always drives me mad though, is when, despite the trio’s efforts and an auction bringing a realistic selling price, homeowners get greedy or, for whatever reason, decide to dig their heels in and not sell. And this often brings some of frustrated Andrew’s harshest words! We can expect plenty of the same in the upcoming series, as well as the cheapest house they’ve ever worked on, with Andrew saying at least three episodes fall into the “confrontational” category. Can’t wait! “I’m so glad I live in a gated community with security,” Andrew quips.
One of the best things about his profile on a top rating TV show these days, is that when Andrew consults privately to people trying to sell, they take his ideas on board, something that rarely happened in his 15 years as a real estate agent. “I go and sit there and they actually listen!”
I’ve already seen episode one and you’re in for a treat! and with Andrew pointing out that Foxtel is cheaper than ever, he hopes as many of you will be tuning in as possible!
Selling Houses Australia series 8 starts on Wednesday 4 February 2015 on the LifeStyle Channel at 8.30pm AEDT.
Tomorrow on the blog, Andrew shares the top three mistakes he thinks people make when selling their homes.