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The 500 largest real estate brokerages in the country completed 6.7 percent fewer transaction sides in 2010 than in 2009, according to rankings from real estate publishing and communications company Real Trends.

Real Trends ranks the country’s 500 largest brokerages each year by transaction sides (in every real estate sale there are two transaction "sides": the buyer’s side and the seller’s side) and closed sales volume.

Transaction sides among the 500 fell to 1.89 million in 2010 from 2.02 million in 2009. Total sales volume rose 1.3 percent, to $513 billion. The average home price among the 500 rose 7.4 percent last year from 2009, to $271,278.

The rise in sales volume was sharper among the top 25 firms: a 4.5 percent increase, to $247.7 billion.

The top five brokerages in both transaction sides and sales volume remained unchanged from last year. For transaction sides, NRT LLC was at the top, followed by HomeServices of America Inc., The Long & Foster Companies Inc., Hanna Holdings Inc., and ZipRealty Inc.

Each closed fewer transaction sides in 2010 than in 2009. NRT closed 259,114 sides, down 5.5 percent from 2009; HomeServices of America closed 114,070 sides, down 7.9 percent; Long & Foster closed 65,284 sides, down 6.6 percent; Hanna Holdings closed 30,493 sides, down 4 percent; and ZipRealty closed 22,013 sides, down 4.7 percent.

Eight of the top 25 brokerages saw their completed transaction sides rise in 2010: Real Estate One (up 2.4 percent); Baird & Warner (4.6 percent); Realty One Group Inc. (35.1 percent); Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate (16.3 percent); Re/Max Results (3.5 percent); Keller Williams Realty (0.8 percent); Watson Realty Corp. (2.7 percent); and William Raveis Real Estate Inc. (6.1 percent).

Sales volume rose in 18 out of 25 brokerages in 2010. Among the top five, NRT saw its sales volume increase 5.4 percent to $112.9 billion. Volume at HomeServices of America fell 3.4 percent to $33.8 billion, while at Long & Foster it fell 3.8 percent to $22.9 billion. Prudential Douglas Elliman saw its volume rise 33.5 percent, to $11.5 billion, while at Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors it rose 1.9 percent, to $7 billion.

There were a few newcomers to the top 25 rankings this year. A 35.1 percent increase in closed transaction sides in 2010 pushed Realty One Group Inc. to No. 13 from its No. 26 showing in last year’s list. William Raveis Real Estate Inc. rose from No. 29 to No. 23, with a 6.1 percent rise in closed transaction sides. Despite a 0.2 percent dip in transaction sides, First Team Real Estate rose to No. 24 from No. 28.

A 37.3 percent jump in sales volume in 2010 pushed Houlihan Lawrence up to No. 15 from No. 26. First Weber Group rose to No. 25 from No. 32, with a 24.4 percent rise in sales volume.

  Ranked by 2010 closed transaction sides Ranked by 2010 closed sales volume
1. NRT LLC NRT LLC
2. HomeServices of America Inc. HomeServices of America Inc.
3. The Long & Foster Companies Inc. The Long & Foster Companies Inc. 
4. Hanna Holdings Inc. Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate
5. ZipRealty, Inc. Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors
6. Crye-Leike Realtors Alain Pinel Realtors Inc.
7. Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors Hanna Holdings Inc.
8. Coldwell Banker United, Realtors ZipRealty Inc.
9. Realty USA First Team Real Estate 
10. Real Estate One William Raveis Real Estate Inc. 
11. Realty Executives, Phoenix Coldwell Banker United, Realtors 
12. Baird & Warner Ebby Halliday Real Estate, Inc. 
13. Realty One Group Inc. Crye-Leike Realtors 
14. Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate John L. Scott Real Estate 
15. Ebby Halliday Real Estate Inc. Houlihan Lawrence
16. Allen Tate Companies Intero Real Estate Services 
17. West USA Realty Inc. Coldwell Banker Bain & Coldwell Banker Barbara Sue Seal Properties
18. RE/MAX Results Baird & Warner
19. Keller Williams Realty Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Mason-McDuffie
20. Watson Realty Corp. Prudential Connecticut Realty
21. John L. Scott Real Estate Allen Tate Companies 
22. First Weber Group Realty Executives, Phoenix 
23. William Raveis Real Estate Inc. Realty USA
24. First Team Real Estate West USA Realty Inc. 
25. Hunt Real Estate Corporation/ERA First Weber Group

Source: Real Trends

For the first time, Real Trends also ranked the top 25 firms in productivity per sales associate, based on sides and volume. Re/Max brokerages dominated among both lists, taking 21 out of 25 spots in terms of transaction sides per associate, and nine out of the 25 top spots in terms of sales volume per associate.

Also new this year, Real Trends ranked productivity per office. Of the top 25 firms with the most transaction sides per office, Keller Williams brokerages accounted for 10 and Re/Max brokerages accounted for nine. The two franchises also dominated among the top 25 in sales volume per office: Keller Williams accounted for 12 out of 25 while Re/Max accounted for five out of 25.

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