- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 11, 2002

One of the area's leading home builders will place four new homes near Manassas for bid on EBay in a first-time auction of new homes for the Web site's real-estate division.
Beazer Homes, the third-largest home builder in the metropolitan area, is working with EBay to sell four of its new homes in Northern Virginia communities. The houses were listed on www.ebayrealestate.com for buyers to preview on June 3. Bidding on about 130 new homes in 18 markets across the country will open on June 15 and close on June 24.
The four homes for sale range in price from $385,990 to $461,990 or more. They are located in the Brambleton, Victory Lakes, Southbridge and Piedmont communities.
EBay Real Estate, started in August 2000, deals in residential homes, timeshares, foreclosures, plots of land and commercial real estate. It is open to individuals and real estate agents for both buying and selling. This auction will be the first auction of new homes on EBay Real Estate. A piece of real estate sells on EBay Real Estate every 30 minutes, said EBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove.
"By taking advantage of EBay's online resources and platforms, we can help home buyers find the ideal home in less time and with less stress," said Glen Johnson, executive vice president of Beazer Homes.
In February, EBay formed a partnership with Builder Homesite, a consortium of 30 of the nation's largest home builders, including Beazer Homes, to create a new marketplace for individuals and real-estate agents to buy new homes.
"Home buyers are showing an increasing comfort with using online resources during their new home search," said Tim Costello, president and CEO of Builder Homesite. "With 85 percent of new home buyers using the Internet during the home-buying process, now is the time to create a new channel that actually allows consumers to 'transact' online, not just shop and browse."
David Codley, general sales manager for Beazer Homes, said 53 percent of those who purchase Beazer homes use the Internet during the buying process. Beazer officials said those who buy one of their homes online will be able to visit the property before completing the sale.
Mr. Costello said the EBay partnership would help home builders reach the Web site's more than 40 million registered users.
"Buyers and builders can now use EBay Real Estate to connect within a secure, efficient and proven trading platform that allows buyers to preview and bid on properties online, and that allows builders to generate leads and close sales," said Doug Galen, vice president and general manager of EBay Real Estate.
The National Association of Realtors welcomes online auctions as a new way of making home buying easier and more informative.
"We're all for it," said Steve Cook, NAR vice president of public affairs. "Online auctions are one way that the real estate industry uses information technology to offer services and meet consumer demand."
Mr. Cook said most individuals will not attempt to purchase properties through online auctions without real estate agents, and the use of the Internet to auction properties is an expansion of the auction market, which in 2000 made up 6.5 percent of the total property sales in the nation.
After the inaugural new homes auction ends on June 24, other auctions will continue in new homes in a category resembling other EBay auction categories.
Beazer Homes plans to work with EBay in the future after the auction of the first four homes, said Mr. Codley. He said Atlanta-based Beazer will continue listing new homes on EBay, and the company expects the online auctions to grow in popularity.


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