Not all moneybag homeowners turn to real estate agents to chauffeur would-be home buyers around their estates. In fact, a significant number of multi-million-dollar homeowners chose to sell their homes without a real estate broker last year, ForSaleByOwner.com reported today.

The company noted a 57.5 percent increase in homes listed for more than $1 million last year. In 2003, 156 homes in that price range listed for sale, up from 99 homes in 2002. ForSaleByOwner.com is an online marketplace that offers aggregated information, resources and research to those who wish to sell their homes without a broker.

“Owners of more expensive homes have much more to lose using a broker,” ForSaleByOwner COO Colby Sambrotto said. “As we continue to add more services and offer tailored advice to our customers, upmarket sellers are realizing that there’s no reason to share the commission with a real estate agent in home sales transactions.”

Based on the average commission rate of 6 percent, a person selling a home for $1 million could save as much as $60,000 by doing it themselves. A seller of a $2 million home could save as much as $120,000.

The most expensive home currently listed on ForSaleByowner.com is a $5.5 million residence located in the prestigious Hamptons area of Long Island, N.Y. The most expensive home listed in the company’s history was an $8.5 million estate sold by its owner in November 2002 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

A survey of ForSaleByOwner.com customers also revealed that 35 percent of users who listed homes on the site in 2003 had an annual household income of more than $100,000.

“These numbers reflect a shift in consumer attitudes toward the ‘for sale by owner’ alternative,” Sambrotto said. 

ForSaleByOwner last year launched its own discount mortgage company and expanded with the purchase of three additional for-sale-by-owner Web sites: Fisbo.com, SaleByOwner.com and ByOwnerSales.com.

The company offers its mortgage arm, YourLoanHelper.com, in 48 states through a relationship with an undisclosed “middle-tier” banking partner. Thirty-five loan officers at ForSaleByOwner’s Salt Lake City offices can broker mortgages from more than 30 major national lenders, including Chase Manhattan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, IndyMac Bank, Countrywide Home Loans and Washington Mutual. “Discount” loan services include mortgage brokering, loan pre-qualification, loan pre-approval, debt consolidation and home loan refinancing.

ForSaleByOwner this year launched its own online auto marketplace that connects car buyers and sellers. The company added a service that targets home builders who wish to sell their homes without an agent.

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