$1.7 Million Home Sells Over Internet

Wed. February 16, 2000 12:00 AM by Business Wire

Sale thought to be the largest transaction of its

Walnut Creek, CA - A homeseller in the e-HomeSale launched last week by Prudential California Realty, Homebid.com and Yahoo! Real Estate has received and accepted a $1.7 million offer for a home in Pleasanton. This is considered one of the largest consumer transactions to take place via the Internet to date.

"We are excited and surprised at how quickly this property sold," said Ed Krafchow, president of Prudential California Realty. "We knew that the e-HomeSale would be attractive to consumers, but never anticipated the kind of enthusiasm and participation we have already seen."

The home, located in an upscale Pleasanton suburb was originally listed in August of 1999, but did not receive any offers during the listing period. The seller entered the e-HomeSale at the suggestion of their agents, Cynthia and Tom Hussey of Prudential California Realty.

"We thought the exposure to thousands of potential buyers might boost activity on the home, especially in a marketplace as hot as the East Bay," said Cynthia Hussey. "The sellers were elated to receive two offers within a week of the launch of the e-HomeSale, one at very close to their asking price."

The Pleasanton home was listed at $1,795,000 with a acceptable bid of $1,700,000 entered on Sunday.

A threshold offer has been established for each home that dictates what the seller considers a minimum starting offer. Once an acceptable offer has been placed, the seller may choose to enter a 24, 48 or 72-hour countdown period that allows for final competing bids. If no better offer is received during the countdown window, the bidding ends, and the house enters escrow.

Currently 12 properties are available on the e-HomeSale, with offers already presented on four of the homes, some with competing offers. "This was supposed to be the preview period, where agents and buyers could virtually tour and then start make offers next week," said Kevin Hickey, CEO of Homebid.com, the company responsible for developing the infrastructure of the site. "But consumer demand was so great that we began the offer process ahead of schedule. And most of the offers coming in now are meeting our threshold requirements."

"This event is significant because it signals a paradigm shift in the real estate industry," said Krafchow. "The consumer is now better informed, has all of the information before an offer is placed, and can act in an educated manner with the help of a professional agent. For the seller, this process provides greater exposure and competition, which is always in their best interest."

Homes selected for the sale are not available through conventional marketing means. In order to place an offer, potential buyers must log on the site through one of three portals: Yahoo! Real Estate (http://realestate.yahoo.com), PCR (http://www.PruWeb.com) and Homebid.com (http://www.homebid.com).

The site allows the consumer to take a virtual tour of the listed properties, visit the property in person with a professional agent, pre-qualify on-line and place an offer.

"Overall the process was very simple. The Internet provided an innovative marketing tool that differentiated this home from others in the marketplace." stated Cynthia Hussey, who has been a professional agent for 10 years. "When you see this kind of enthusiasm from buyers and sellers, you know you're looking at the way of the future."

News, photos provided by Business Wire.



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