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Can Web save the 6% commission?

Perspective: From the Future of Real Estate Marketing blog

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In its September 2008 issue, alongside its reviews of tub cleaners and organic produce, Consumer Reports turns its critical eye on the real estate industry (see related Inman News article and a related commentary by columnist Ilyce Glink here). The publication polled a sample of 3753 readers who sold or tried to sell a home, 4029 readers who bought a home and 7368 readers who did both. The results are illuminating to anyone in the industry; especially some of its findings which will surely be controversial. Let’s look a bit deeper at the numbers. First, the good news. Only 1 percent of sellers tried to use an online Web site (craigslist, etc.) to sell their home. 80 percent chose to go with an agent. It suggests that any fears that online players may someday disintermediate the Realtors seem overblown. Sellers want to work with a real estate professional. The bad news is that Consumer Reports concludes that "higher commission didn’t always translate into mor...