E*Trade Branches Out Into Real Estate Market

Not content with being just an online broker, E*Trade (Nasdaq: EGRP) announced today that it is expanding its e-commerce arsenal by branching out into real estate. E*Trade and online real estate marketplace Owners.com have launched a co-branded real estate service that can be accessed on E*Trade’s mortgage center.

The new service will allow E*Trade’s customers to use Owner.com’s “by-owner home marketing services” — including a national database of homes for sale, online classifieds and features — to help homebuyers and sellers evaluate and manage the purchase and sale of their homes.

“Summertime is one of the hottest times of the year for the buying and selling of homes and, consequently, the time when homeowners need the most help,” said Hans Koch, chairman and CEO of Owners.com. “By collaborating with E*Trade on this co-branded service, we’ll be able to educate thousands of consumers on the intricacies of the transaction process.”

Tools for Buyers and Sellers

Owners.com bills itself as America’s largest by-owner real estate service. The company says that by empowering homeowners, it can save its customers an average of $10,000 (US$), per transaction, in realtor commissions.

Customers can use the new co-branded service to review the buying or the selling and process. Tools and services include mortgage services, home pricing reports, insurance and customized yard signs. Users will be able to manage their transactions from their own personalized home page on Owners.com

“The buying and selling of a home is one of the largest financial decisions a person can make, and we believe the new co-branded service with Owners.com will facilitate that process,” said Jerry Gramaglia, chief marketing officer of E*Trade.

In addition to offering buyers and sellers “handbooks,” Owners.com also provides information that will help home-buyers and sellers manage their finances over the long term. The Web site’s personal finance section includes information about investing in the stock market and tax planning.

Owners.com Adds E*Trade To Major Partners

Owners.com (formerly known as Abele Owners Network), which the Wall Street Journal has named as “the best for-sale-by-owner network,” has marketed more than 200,000 residential properties in all 50 states since being launched in May 1996.

Owners.com now adds E*Trade to a list of marketing and content partners that include Yahoo!, E-Loan, CityAuction, iOwn, Countrywide Home Loans, American Home Shield, Vista E/Risk, InsWeb, Loanworks, iCreditReport.com and National School Reporting Service.

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