Home sale commissions; tracking e-mails
Lower real estate commissions are now commonplace, thanks largely to the Internet, says a national study of real estate agents. Most consumers start their search for a new home on the Web, and then bring to an agent a list of houses they'd like to see. In some regions of the country, the increased competition with online brokers has brought commissions down to 4 or 5 percent from the traditional 6 percent mark, even though less than 1 percent of real estate deals are closed online. Researchers from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Syracuse University, and Penn State conducted the study.
Worried that an important e-mail was never read? Then check out DidTheyReadIt (www.didtheyreadit.com). The service tracks your e-mails invisibly, so the people who get your e-mails won't know you're checking up on them. You can find out when the e-mail was opened, how long it stayed open, and where it was read. The service is free for one month, for up to 10 messages. After that, it's $49.99 a year for up to 750 messages.
Yvonne Wollenberg. Online UPDATE.
Aug. 20, 2004;81.