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by CareyBot

RealEstate.com, the online real estate portal owned by LendingTree, is planning to enter the real estate brokerage business in select markets during the first half of 2006, company officials said today. The company did not disclose exactly how many brokerage offices it plans to open, but said it will be a simultaneous launch in likely two or three markets in the Northwest. The new brokerage operations will not compete for leads with RealEstate.com's existing broker partners, according to Tom Reddin, CEO of real estate for InterActiveCorp Financial Services and Real Estate, which owns LendingTree and RealEstate.com among other real estate-related Internet companies. The company provides real estate information for consumers at RealEstate.com and helps connect them with real estate profess...