Are Real-Estate Online Tools Shifting the Paradigm?

New Jersey home sellers have had to slash their prices by up to 25 percent. The New York Times cites a ranch that was purchased for $709,000 in July of 2005 had to be sold for $528,110 in the spring of 2008.

Gene Riede, a real estate agent in Sacramento, California, writes on how the market is "flooded with low-commission listings." Riede adds that many agents have left real estate or have started their own discount real estate brokerages.

In Westchester, New York, single-family home, condo, and co-op sales dropped by 25 percent in 2008. The median price of a home dropped to $570,000, "down 11 percent from the same quarter a year before," according to the NYTimes. Homeowners are bypassing real estate agents and listing their houses themselves online to avoid paying real estate agents a commission.

The Real Estate Marketing Report Card audits how well or how broad a reach to which a seller's real estate listing has been exposed. Is an increased use of the Web 2.0 Syndication Search and the For Sale By Owner tool a means for home sellers to save on real estate broker commissions?