The internet has opened yet another new avenue for homeowners to sell their homes, Mercury News reports. Websites like have made it appear easier than ever for owners to circumvent the broker’s office process entirely, by contacting each other and arranging home trades online. The decrease in buyers in the housing slump for non-REO properties has only increased individual sellers’ reliance on the internet to find prospective buyers – in an exchange of homes.

first tuesday take:  Regardless of the popularity and usefulness of home-trading websites, wise California buyers will retain an agent to clear the many legislated obstacles to selling their homes. Those who choose to undertake the sales process themselves, much less attempt an exchange transaction, would do well to have an attorney on call after the close of escrow. However, enterprising brokers and agents will soon figure out how to banner advertise on these do-it-yourself, exchange-of-a-home websites, and bargain to handle the necessary paperwork which they, as the gatekeepers, are trained to do. But then, escrow companies may be bright enough, and sufficiently entrepreneurial, to do the same – just call.

Re: “Homeowners turn to online home trading sites”, from the Mercury News