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Survey Says

Fewer FSBOs Going It Alone
When it comes to selling their homes, most homeowners still turn to a real estate professional.

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) recently reported a drop in the number of for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) transactions to 12 percent of all sales today from 18 percent in 1997. NAR spokesman Walter Molony says property owners believe sales associates are better equipped to achieve fast sales attop dollar in a slow market, adding that the median price for agent-assisted transactions was about 16 percent higher than FSBO sales last year.

Sales associates orchestrate showings, handle paperwork and identify serious buyers for sellers, who often lack the time or experience necessary to complete such tasks, according to Molony.

NAR’s 2006 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows that 5 percent of sales from mid-2005 to mid-2006 involved FSBO sellers turning to a real estate professional, with only 1 percent of sales involving sellers who abandoned their sales associates to go it alone.

Look Closer
Seventy-one percent of homes purchased were detached single-family houses within 18 miles of the buyer’s previous residence; and the average price paid, including all forms of housing, was $217,600 for a 1,729-square-foot home. The average buyer searched for eight weeks and visited eight listings before he or she bought.

The report indicated that the median age of Florida homebuyers is 46 and for first-time buyers it's 34.

Looking at Florida home sellers, a full 72 percent contacted only one real estate associate before selecting someone to assist in the sale of their home, and 43 percent based their choice on a recommendation from a friend, neighbor or relative. Of the sellers, 34 percent used the same sales associate for their home purchase as well.

Want to learn more? The complete 20-page 2006 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers Florida Report can be downloaded in PDF format. You can find it by clicking on “Legislature” and then “Research” on the navigation panel to the left.

Survey Says
Nobody's Home

As the number of homes available for sale goes up,it’s no surprise that more homes are vacant—more than 30 percent during the third quarter of 2006 compared to a year earlier, or 1.9 million homes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

That’s about half of all single-family homes on the market, says Michael Carliner, vice president of economics for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Fair Housing
Access for LEP Readers

To help ensure that people with limited English proficiency (LEP) have equal access to housing, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently published a guidance policy in the Federal Register.

The policy is not a regulation. Title VI and its implementing regulations require that housing providers take reasonable steps to ensure LEP persons meaningful access to housing. It also provides a framework that helps property managers and sellers figure out how best to comply with statutes and regulations that require meaningful access to the benefits, services, information and other important portions of programs for individuals with LEP.

“The goal of the LEP guidance is to eliminate the disparities in access to housing between those with a limited comprehension of English and fluent English speakers,” says Kim Kendrick, HUD’s assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity. “When signing a lease for an apartment or a contract for a new home, people—regardless of their nationality—should have access to forms, brochures and other important housing information they can understand.”

HUD currently has discrimination complaint forms in English,Arabic, Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese and Spanish, and one model lease in Spanish. The documents, which can be used free, are currently available on HUD’s Web site, In thefuture, HUD also plans to translate a model apartment lease into French, Portuguese, Korean, Amharic, Russian and Chinese.

For more information about fair housing issues, go to: