Architecture and Renovation, Brisbane's sales market

A Winter worth having: lessons on selling houses

Sometimes, just sometimes, home owners need to hear some very brutal truths.

If you haven’t yet snuck a look at “Selling Houses Australia” on Foxtel’s Lifestyle Channel we’d highly recommend it, and the new series premieres this Wednesday Feb 6th. This is must-see TV for real estate agents because host Andrew Winter and his team get to say all the things so many agents would love to! Called in by desperate home-sellers who’ve often already endured months if not years on the market, the Selling Houses guys tell them how it is.

This kitchen is badly out of date. That home handyman work is poor quality and needs replacing. Your decor is scaring away small children.

Taking a very pragmatic view Winter and his design and reno team are very successful in getting results where all else has failed. And here’s the secret why: they tell the truth. Warts and all. The entertainment of the show comes with the colourful turn of phrase this ex-Pommie real estate agent shares with the home owners. He’s brutal, but with their best interests at heart.

So why can’t real estate agents be so frank? Because we get hired and paid by home-owners – he’s doing them a favour digging them out of trouble! All of us love our own property. We chose it, we swallowed a big debt to buy it, we often added our own personal touches (for better and worse) and usually it’s our personal home. Very emotive stuff. So having some snotty-nosed realtor telling us home buyers will discount us for our choices can be pretty tough medicine!

So when you go to sell why not ask your real estate agent: “Is there anything we can do to prepare the place for sale?” It’s a nice broad question and it’s part of their job to give these recommendations. Good agents do front this topic with clients – usually a lot more subtly than Mr Winter! Try not to take the agents’ comments personally but don’t be afraid to challenge their thinking. Is it just their taste or does the target market for this property really care? Remember there are many and varied tastes in housing but you do need to appeal to the broadest possible market to achieve the highest possible price for you.

So please don’t shoot your agent messenger . And switch on to “Selling Houses Australia” to see some homes much harder to sell than your place or mine!