Prop­erty of the week open for dis­sec­tion

‘ You want more space? This has more space than an episode of Star Trek ’

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - Susan Kuro­sawa

Sell­ing Houses Aus­tralia 7.30pm, LifeStyle

I AM one of the world’s lead­ing television prop­erty show ad­dicts. Any­thing you need to know about Scot­land’s of­fers- over sys­tem or get­ting on the prop­erty lad­der in Bas­ingstoke, I am your wo­man.

The best prop­erty shows are set in Bri­tain, which is why I could prob­a­bly re­sign my job this minute and talk my way into a po­si­tion as a real es­tate agent in the Cotswolds.

There are also spin- off sor­ties abroad, mostly in Spain and Italy. In Re­lo­ca­tion, Re­lo­ca­tion , my favourite team of Phil Spencer and Kirstie All­sopp of­ten have to find Euro­pean life- changer prop­er­ties for their dither­ing buy­ers. Our Kirstie takes no pris­on­ers; she is Miss Bossy Boots, with a pen­chant for knock­ing through walls and lec­tur­ing on un­re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions. ‘‘ Space? You want more space? This house has more space than an episode of Star Trek .’’ She is my idol.

Andrew Win­ter is a Bri­tish real es­tate agent who tells it like it is in his Sell­ing Houses se­ries. He gives home­own­ers a blunt re­al­ity check about their dumps that have been on the mar­ket for, say, 125 years. Th­ese unlov­able tips in­vari­ably fea­ture mouldy car­pet on the bath­room floor and hall­ways that smell of cats.

Win­ter has brought his sharp tongue and agent’s pat­ter to Aus­tralia in this 10- parter based on the Bri­tish for­mat. It’s all about greed — ‘‘ max­imis­ing your profit’’ in the par­lance — but also the re­al­ity TV sta­ple of hu­mil­i­a­tion.

What fun it is to see inside houses that are worse than our own, to laugh at peo­ple who think black leather lounges are the height of posh.

While Win­ter does get the gussiedup prop­er­ties sold, in­vari­ably the process comes at enor­mous cost to the home­own­ers’ self- es­teem.

Tonight’s episode is set in Syd­ney’s wa­ter­side Bil­gola Plateau. Win­ter has been called in to help Erana Clarke sell her prop­erty, which has been on the mar­ket with $ 900,000- plus ex­pec­ta­tions for seven months. It has a wild gar­den with no proper ac­cess, a grotty sec­ond bath­room and mish­mash decor.

Be­hind ev­ery suc­cess­ful TV prop­erty makeover pre­sen­ter is a band of get- down- and- dirty ex­perts; in Win- ter’s case it’s land­scape de­signer Char­lie Al­bone and an in­te­rior de­signer with the suit­ably dec­o­ra­tive name of Shaynna Blaze- Vaughan. Theirs is a quick- fix approach, but there are good ideas here to be ap­plied to one’s own do­mes­tic dump.

Which is one rea­son I am such an ad­dict. That, and cu­rios­ity, and the view­ing of oth­ers tak­ing risks and do­ing the hard slog. It’s why I love food shows, too. Not be­cause I want to cook but be­cause I want to eat.

Icy re­cep­tion: Andrew Win­ter, host of Sell­ing Houses Aus­tralia

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