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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 16, 2003

Discount agencies picking up home sales

By Marshall Loeb
CBS MarketWatch

NEW YORK - Home sellers are beginning to seek alternatives to the traditional 6 percent commission that many real-estate agents charge for finding suitable homebuyers.

Many people who are looking to sell their homes are looking for ways to cut down on the broker commissions by opting for no-frills discount real-estate agencies.

One way these discount real-estate brokers function is to substitute a virtual tour on their company's Web site for actual tours. They also can cut costs by decreasing their advertising budgets. Sometimes they add 1 percent to the commission if the homeowners choose not to show the property themselves.

Examples of these companies are at www.forsalebyowner.com/ or www.yhdfoxtons.com/.

Discount real-estate brokers tend to start out in specific regions of the country, so home sellers may want to browse online to find other low-cost options in their area.

Some traditional real-estate brokers say they aren't worried about the increasing competition from discount brokers because many home sellers often want more than the reduced services offered with a lower commission.