No Monopoly in Real Estate Sales

Real Estate Agent with -Coldwell Banker Danforth

For those that might think there's a monopoly by a few brokerages or agents in the real estate market, take a look at the top 10 Greater Seattle residential sales for 2009 listed on the NWMLS.  (Top sales of single family Seattle homes here - one condo added for this list).

I count 18 different brokerages involved in these top 10 transactions.  If there is a monopoly, it's certainly not at the top of the luxury home market.  Not only are the offices spread widely, but there are many independent/non-national brands represented across the spectrum.

City Price Listing Office Name Selling Office Name
Seattle $5,300,000 Windermere Madison Windermere Wallingford
Clyde Hill $5,399,900 John L. Scott Bellevue RE/MAX Connected
Bellevue $5,460,000 Windermere Kirkland Wallace Properties, Inc.
Mercer Island $5,950,000 Windermere Bellevue Ewing & Clark Mercer Isl.
Medina $6,095,000 John L. Scott Mercer Isl. John L. Scott Mercer Isl.
Bainbridge Island $6,275,000 Coldwell Banker McKenzie Windermere Bainbridge
Seattle (condo) $9,750,000 ek Real Estate Group Prudential NW
Seattle $10,600,000 Madison House, Ltd. Gerrard Beattie & Knapp
Seattle $11,500,000 Windermere Wallingford Windermere Wall St
Mercer Island $15,560,000 Ewing & Clark, Inc. Coldwell Banker Bain

Also interesting, is the spread of agents.  There are 19 different agents/teams involved.  Larry was the only agent listed twice, for selling his own Medina listing (congrats Larry!)  If there was a monopoly, this is where it would exist--at the top of the luxury market, where clearly the most successful agents and companies strive to position themselves. 

Listing Agent Name Selling Agent Name
Mary P Snyder M. Patrick Chinn
Stephen D MacDonald Sam DeBord and Brian Wiegand
Dave Rodland Susan Naficy
Tere G Foster Kris B Robbs
Larry Williams Larry Williams
Georg Syvertsen Jan R Johnson
Edward S Krigsman Tracy E Harris
Kitty K Hughes Spafford Robbins
Bob Bennion Holley Ring
Betsy Q Terry Linda H Tsang

What's the take-away from all of this information?  A pretty yard sign does not sell a home, no matter which company logo is pasted on it.  Even the highest-end of luxury home buyers aren't worried about the company you're listed with. 

While the general consensus is that a few big brokerages control a huge percentage of the marketplace, there's really a lot of space for new and independent companies to grow in the industry.  The image of a national brand is a great marketing tool, but every brokerage is working as a separate entity.  There's no glass ceiling for a new real estate company to break through, besides getting past the perception of the invulnerability of the industry stalwarts.  Small companies are competing at the top of the spectrum with the "800 lb gorillas" right now.

Sam DeBord - Washington State Realty - (206) 658-3225
Real Estate Brokers, Realtors, Green Certified Pros

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(Information not compiled or published by the NWMLS)


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