1997, Total Running Time 104 Minutes (4 x 26 Minutes)
Following buyers, sellers and agents, this tension-filled series follows their dramas as homes—and lives—go under the hammer.
The auction of a home is an extraordinary, emotionally-charged event: for some, exhilarating, as prices soar on the auction floor; for others fraught with fear and anxiety as their homes and lives go under the hammer. Under the Hammer follows the lives of Sydney buyers, sellers and real estate agents from week to week over an extended period of time. The stories unfold through observational sequences and interviews with the main players at critical points in the drama. What motivates the real estate agents in matching buyers and sellers? In Under the Hammer, the agents, often seen as mysterious and inaccessible, allow us to watch as they candidly discuss and apply their tricks of the trade. We see the tension and manipulation involved in closing the deal, as well as the highly-sophisticated techniques used in selling by auction. For buyers and sellers the auction system is often a perilous journey into uncharted waters. For them, there’s more than bricks and mortar at stake—it’s their dreams, their memories and the single biggest investment of their lives. Under the Hammer is there with them at the dinner table, at the open house, at the meeting with the agent and of course just prior to, during, and after the auction. This is a series which captures not only intimate emotional moments but the displays of bravado, happiness, shock and disappointment as the hammer goes down.
Squeeze, The Going behind the scenes of the highly-competitive real estate business, this episode follows agents as they prepare for an auction. It’s a comedy of errors as the boss turns up the heat on his agents to get more listings and sellers make them compete to lower their commissions. Watching the pressure mount, this is an unusually candid look at the frustrations and foibles of the real estate auction business.
Crunch, The Looks at the sellers—a young couple with very big ideas about how much their home is worth, and an elderly man and wife who can no longer manage to live independently. On auction night both are under mounting pressure from their agents to sell—even if the price falls below their expectations. This episode is alternately humorous and emotionally moving as their homes and lives go under the hammer.
Hunt, The In the auction system there are often too few homes for sale and too many people wanting to buy. This episode follows three families attempting to buy a home at auction—a young couple from England who feel like they’ve landed on another planet, an extended family of six who are just learning how to play the game, and a wealthy couple who simply can’t find what they want for less than a few million dollars. Uncertain of their futures and feeling manipulated by agents, frustrations build as each buyer attempts to come to terms with the harsh reality of buying a home at auction.
Split, The Every couple’s worst nightmare—having to sell a home after separation and divorce. As auction night approaches, the battle between the sellers escalates while the beleaguered agent just wants to close the deal. This drama leaves viewers on the edge of their seats until the very last moment when the hammer goes down.
A Film Australia National Interest Program. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Co-producer/Director/Writer: Susan Lambert
Total Running Time: 104 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification
Curriculum Links: Real Estate and Property, Agency/Client Relationship, Communication and Negotiation skills, Conflict Resolution, Legal Studies, Psychology, Workplace Learning Environment.