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RISMEDIA, August 20, 2008-Last week, Help-U-Sell filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company says that its brand and franchisees will not be affected by the bankruptcy proceedings, but others in the industry are using this as an opportunity to discount the viability of alternative business models.

Mary LaMeres-Pomin and Lyle Martin, co-founders and co-chief executive officers of Assist-2-Sell Inc., a leading full-service discount real estate company, had these comments:

“Many ‘traditional’ real estate brokers are pointing to the Help-U-Sell bankruptcy as a sign that all ‘discounters’ are doomed to fail. First of all, Help-U-Sell hasn’t failed. So far, it has simply made a financial decision that many companies make. Second, one simply has to talk to home sellers who have recently used a discount brokerage to see that the model is alive and well. More than ever, homeowners need to hold onto more of their home’s equity, and as awareness for alternatives to ‘traditionally-priced’ brokers grows, so will discount real estate.

“It’s not a surprise that Help-U-Sell-along with most of the major real estate franchises-has lost offices over the last couple of years. It’s unfortunate but it’s not unusual for a down real estate market. Anyone who has been in the industry for long knows that real estate is cyclical.

“We remain committed to the business model we developed more than 20 years ago and are confident that Assist-2-Sell will once again be one of the fastest growing real estate franchises when the market inevitably picks up.

“Today, Assist-2-Sell has more than 450 franchise offices throughout North America. As a franchisor, we continue to be strong and debt free. One of the things we are most proud of is the fact that we have not undergone any significant disruptive management changes over the years. We [Mary and Lyle] started Assist-2-Sell in 1987 and continue to run the company, along with a team that has been in place for many years.

“We are also proud to have saved home sellers nearly $1 billion in real estate commissions*, without forcing them to sacrifice any of the service or support they want and need. We have customer testimonials from all over the United States and Canada, and from all income levels, attesting to the fact that Assist-2-Sell is truly a full-service real estate brokerage. Competitors who say otherwise are simply confused or uninformed.”

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