Help-U-Sell Real Estate today announced it grew its franchise network by 40 percent in 2004, ending the year with 700 offices nationwide, up from 500 at the beginning of the year.

The company reported it has grown its franchises 780 percent since 1999. Help-U-Sell President Rick O’Neil said he expects the company to have 1,800 franchises by 2008.

“As consumer-driven alternative models become more user-friendly and the real estate industry becomes more accepting of the idea, the industry will have to change,” O’Neil said. “In 1999, there were less than 150 alternative real estate offices nationwide and they were operating mainly on the West Coast. Today, there are well over 1,000 operating in virtually all 50 states with the potential to hit the 2,000 mark by year-end 2005.”

Help-U-Sell Real Estate’s fee-for-service model allows sellers to select and pay for only the services they want, making it the middle ground between the “For Sale By Owner Model” where sellers do all of the work and pay nothing and traditional brokers that do everything and charge upwards of 6 percent of the sale of the home.

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