Over the last few years, only a handful of industries have remained untouched by technological disruption, real estate being one of them. Since forever, sellers have been relying on real estate agents to get their properties off the market in the least amount of time at the best possible rates. However, the Australian real estate market is already experiencing the winds of change since Purple bricks, one of UK’s leading real estate agents, set foot in Australia with its fixed-fee model, saving sellers thousands of dollars in commissions. Apart from Purple bricks, other DIY home selling platforms such as ‘For Sale By Owner’ and ‘Buy My Place’ are also becoming popular.

Lisa recently sold her house in Melbourne through one of the DIY home selling portals, saving precious money in agent’s fee and commission. “I found the whole process to be quite easy. Since I know my house and my neighbourhood best, undoubtedly, I am the best person to negotiate a good price for my house. The website provided me with lucid instructions and I chose the basic package that advertised my property on popular real estate websites,” says Lisa. “I sold my house in just a couple of weeks, and I am not surprised. With internet being the first place that buyers scour for a house, it is best to stick to a DIY portal and save on unnecessary commissions,” she adds.


So, is the time up for real estate agents?

Within few months of setting shop in Australia, Purple bricks already claims to have over 1,000 houses on its websites listed for sale or already sold. Recently, one of the largest real estate groups in Australia, LJ Hooker, launched its own DIY home selling portal, Settlr. So, does this mean it is time for real estate agents to be shown the door?

While the disruptors in the market are positive about growth, real estate agents beg to differ. “Owners might think they can do all the possible things done by an agent while selling their house, however, private sellers lack the skill and experience that many real estate agents have built over years and through hundreds of sales,” says Ruth, a real estate agent.

“Sellers who use an agent are more likely to fetch a better price for their property as agents understand the market and the requirements of the buyers better and are usually better placed than private vendors to negotiate a higher selling price,” she adds.

How much can you save?

Purple bricks charges a flat fee of $4,500-$5,500 per listing. This price also includes marketing and advertising charges. This means, if you sell your property for $800,000 through a real estate agent, you’d be paying at least 2% of the selling price or $16,000 as commission to the agent. The marketing costs may sum up to another 1% of the selling price, depending on your arrangement with the real estate agent. However, when selling through Purple bricks, you are paying less than one-third of this amount, leading to substantial savings. The same is true for any other DIY portal you may use.

As you may already be aware, DIY disruptors charge you a flat fee and advertise your property on top websites such as and Further, you could also request for a ‘for sale’ sign in your yard. To make the process smoother, you are provided a personal dashboard from where you can manage your listing and drive the sale. And herein lies the difference…

While you yourself engage potential buyers, you lose out on invaluable advice from experienced real estate agents on everything from staging your house for a sale to whether you should hold an open house or go for a private sale. Further, you do not have a seasoned agent negotiating the price on your behalf, but you only have yourself to make or break the sale. Indeed, when you are dealing with something as important as the sale of your house, having a good negotiator on your side may be invaluable. However, many sellers are saving big by taking the sale of their property into their own hands. The ‘disruption’ in the real estate market has begun!

Talking of disruption, HashChing, an online mortgage marketplace, is successfully leveraging innovation and technology to transform the mortgage market in Australia, making it a borrower-friendly place. Compare mortgage rates online to get lower interest rates on your home loan.

By Vidhu Bajaj


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