More homeowners in Detroit choose to sell their homes themselves, without help from a real estate broker, than any other state in the nation, a national survey revealed.

An annual survey of home-selling habits released today by independent real estate services company ForSaleByOwner.com revealed that Detroit homeowners were first in such sales, the company said.

“Detroiters are known for embracing alternatives that make a bottom-line impact on their pocketbooks,” said Colby Sambrotto, COO of ForSaleByOwner.com. “The revitalization of Detroit’s downtown district has also caused an upswing in listings in that area.”

More than 40,000 homes were listed with ForSaleByOwner.com in 2004, an increase of 45 percent over last year. The company reported that 4 percent of the total listings came from Detroit.

Dallas, No. 5 in last year’s survey, rose to the No. 2 spot this year, with 2.4 percent of “independent” home sellers. Atlanta was No. 3, with 21 percent, New York No. 4, with 2 percent, and Houston No. 5, with 1.7 percent, the company said.

Sambrotto said the growing popularity of independent home sales in New York, whose real estate market has traditionally been dominated by brokers, was another significant development this year.

“With New York City apartment prices continuing to skyrocket, and metro New York home prices trending way up, homeowners are realizing a 6 percent broker’s commission means sacrificing a significant amount of money,” Sambrotto said. “Even in a market like New York, where brokers are such a part of the landscape, consumers are realizing there are alternatives.”

Portland, Ore., No. 8 on the list, and Seattle, No. 10, are surprise newcomers to the top-10 list, reflecting a sharp increase in awareness and usage from consumers in the Pacific Northwest, according to Sambrotto.

Data was based on geographical information for listings posted on ForSaleByOwner.com since July 2004. Last year, the top cities for independent home sellers included Houston; Charlotte, N.C.; Indianapolis; Raleigh, N.C.; and Virginia Beach, Va.

Also appearing in this year’s survey are Washington, D.C. (No. 6) and Indianapolis (No. 9).

Top Cities in 2005

1. Detroit, Mich.

2. Dallas, Texas

3. Atlanta, Ga.

4. New York, N.Y.

5. Houston, Texas

6. Washington, D.C.

7. Chicago, Ill.

8. Portland, Ore.

9. Indianapolis, Ind.

10. Seattle, Wash.

***

Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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