NRT and HomeServices of America topped an annual ranking of 500 residential real estate companies. The 2004 Real Trends 500 survey, released Thursday, separately ranks companies based on 2003 data for sales volume and closed transaction sides.

NRT is a subsidiary of powerhouse Cendant Corp., which also owns the Century 21, Coldwell Banker and ERA real estate franchise networks, among other companies. NRT placed first on both the Real Trends closed transaction sides list and the sales volume list, while HomeServices of America, a subsidiary of billionaire Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway company, placed second on both lists.

Real Trends, a publishing and communications company, reports there are about 80,000 residential real estate firms in the nation. The top 500 companies represented about 27 percent of all new and resale transactions in 2001, the most recent year for which data is available. That year, the top 500 companies closed about 2.64 million home transactions, valued at about $560 billion, Real Trends also stated.

To be ranked in the top 500, companies must respond to a Real Trends survey sent in January. Surveys are mailed to all companies that are “potentially large enough to be listed in the report.”

Weichert Realtors, the largest privately owned real estate company in the nation, placed third on the sales volume rankings and fourth on the transaction rankings. The Long & Foster Cos., which bills itself as “the leading one-stop, total home ownership company” in the Mid-Atlantic region, placed third in transactions and fourth in sales volume.

GMAC Real Estate’s company-owned operations ranked fifth in sales volume and seventh in closed transactions, while Real Living placed fifth in transactions and seventh in sales. Real Living is the largest independently owned residential real estate company in the Midwest region.

Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors, which has a focus on Greater Philadelphia and the Tri-State area of New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, placed sixth on both lists.

John L. Scott Real Estate, Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate and Prudential California/Nevada/Texas Realty are also in the top 10 for sales volume, and Howard Hanna Holdings, John L. Scott Real Estate and Crye-Leike are in the top 10 for transactions.

RE/MAX International offices were well-represented on both lists, accounting for about 32 percent of the sales volume listings and about 34 percent of the transactions listings. Some 50 Prudential offices were on either list, too. In 2003, RE/MAX reported that its offices accounted for more than 30 percent of the top 500 companies, and six of the top 10 firms ranked by sales volume per office were affiliated with RE/MAX.

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