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. Legally required acknowledgements for publication: An Australian National Film Board Production. Produced for the Department of Immigration by the Australian Commonwealth Film Unit. Copyright - 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.