DIY Homes

Reporter: Clare Brady

The old saying is: if you ever want the job done properly, do it yourself.And worldwide, people are putting those words into practice when it comes to selling their homes.They're turning the traditional real estate agent and going on-line to take control and save tens of thousands of dollars.

Sold, sold, sold, then the auctioneer's voice peeters out to nothing. Each weekend, it echoes across our suburbs but soon this could be a sound of the past. Down here, inside thousands of Australian homes, there's a revolution. It's quite clever, and upsetting the most stealthy 'animal' of them all the land rat. "I think that people will do this, in most instances will lose much more, much much more than the fee they're trying to save," Tim said

Real estate heavyweight, Tim Fletcher is protecting his turf from on-line invaders...the do-it-yourself real estate sites. Buy my place is one of them and this couple tested it, sold their home and are smiling all the way to the bank. Jackie and Jim Friel may joke but didn't when it came to making the choice of using an agent or going it alone. They sold their home on a DIY site.

In the US do-it-yourself real estate sites now claim 25 per cent of all sales, more than one million homes sold by their owners. In Canada it's accounts for nearly half of all the sales ...and in Britain, supermarket giant Tesco spotted it as the next big thing and launched its own DYI real estate site. "I think there are two things we've realised people are the great benefit to them, first is that they are saving on commission and marketing dollars which on a average home is up to $15,000. The second is they are staying in control and they know what is happening. The other benefit is the homes that are selling on By My Place are selling on average within 15 days, so the speed to which the selling can take place is much faster," Peter Butterss says.

Okay it sounds like an ad, and Peter Butterss may be the Chief executive of Buy My Place but he's also road tested the site to sell his own home.

Clare: "Its only the agents who hate you?"

Peter: "Only some of them"

Clare:Q. Do you hope some of them learn?"

Rick Skrezelinski worked as a real estate agent for years, but opted for DIY, when it came to selling his 80 year old father's house

"we discussed it with dad and we went to plenty of auctions ourselves and we just decided well rather than paying someone else a hefty commission, that we could save and so here we are today sold our house and it's all good

T here are three packages starting around $250, and at the top end nudging 600," said Rick.

"I wrote my own blurb took my own pictures sent it in, and for a nominal fee, extraordinarily low fee they posted the internet ad for me they also arranged the board it was delivered, I could have my own numbers on the board, my own contact numbers, it was just too easy so it was a simple process," he adds. This man's dropped more hammers than nails in his decades of selling property, and warns caution for home owners thinking they can just go it alone.

"I would understand people saying I have an agenda I'm an estate agent and why wouldn't I say it. but I've been in the business for 40 odd years and I genuinely believe the agent who is doing the job properly for the vendor and not the buyer incidentally but the vendor does all of those things - negotiates well, markets the property well, has a very good data base and in essence gets every buyer in the marketplace to that property you've got to get a better price than someone who plucks someone out of the air and says you can have it it has to happen that way," said Tim.

"Well I think in any industry and if I look in the industry I was in before there is always change. Nothing remains the same forever and the cream always rises so if you look at our market its in that 250 to 270k bracket and I think we add a great deal of value to those sellers and buyers. In some markets where people are not as keen to save money they will probably continue to use good agents and ofcourse there are good agents but look in essence agents have been around for 100 odd years and we have all has our experiences, its not up to me to tell you what your experience was like there is another opportunity here."