Forget about inventory shortages, tight mortgage underwriting and the lack of affordability in many markets.

The real reason home sales remain below historical levels is the “explosive growth of real estate websites and online homebuying tools,” says Qazzoo founder Michael Urbanski.

“Potential homebuyers search the Internet for information to purchase a home and miss out on the valuable counsel of Realtors, who are the real estate experts in that area,” Urbanski says. “Often, potential homebuyers become overwhelmed by all the information they collect online and the process ends there.”

Urbanski says Qazzoo “improves the house-hunting and homebuying experience by connecting interested homebuyers and Realtors in their area.” Translation: Qazzoo sells the contact info of consumers visiting the site to real estate brokers and agents (“for less than $2 per lead“).

Which pretty much describes the business model of every listing portal on the Web, including the big three: Zillow, Trulia and Source:

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