The National Association of Realtors®(NAR) recently conducted a survey that concluded “83 percent of sellers use a full service realtor, 9 percent limited service, and 8 percent minimum service, such as simply listing a property on the MLS."
This data shows that discount real estate business models are finally starting to take hold. It seems to me that the growth of these non-traditional models is only limited by the number of people who are actually aware of their existence. Every day I speak to someone who is completely unaware that these services exist. Listing homes for a flat fee is a great way to get marketing exposure for a property without having to pay 5-6% commission. 80% of home buyers are looking to the internet to start their home search. MLS listings routinely get posted to the top real estate websites in the world including Realtor.com, AOL, msn, and Yahoo.
The same NAR study also pointed out that homes sold “for sale by owner” (FSBO) are on the decline. Currently only 12% of home sellers end up selling a home as a true FSBO. This is compared to a record high of 20% in 1987. Limited service real estate brokers are partly responsible for the trend. The 2006 president of NAR Thomas Stevens is quoted as saying: “Limited and minimal service brokerage services cater largely to owners who would prefer to sell on their own but recognize that they need some type of professional help. These services are a good match for certain consumers and help to explain the decline in owners selling purely on their own."