Bid on the City Press

Bid on the City is the best way to buy, sell or rent apartments using patented online bidding technology. Below are press articles reporting on the introduction of Bid on the City in Manhattan and expansion to property for sale or rent in The Hamptons and Westchester County in New York; Miami, Florida and Moscow, Russia.


Manhattan Auctions
The New YorkTimes, June 24, 2011
The New York Times reports on real estate auctions, including luxury homes in Manhattan and New York apartments. Bid on the City appears in the article, and the article includes tips on what to do before an auction. To see the original article, click on the link below. See Online Version
Miami Apartments for Sale With Live Online Bidding - Live Interview
Plum TV - Miami, April 20, 2011
Plum TV's exclusive live interview of the launch of Bid on the City in Miami. The best Miami properties for sale, including Trump Tower, The W Hotel and Residences, The Mondrian Hotel & Residences, The 1800 Club and more. See the properties for sale via live online bidding and learn more during this lively interview with Dessiree Kane, Watch Video
Bid on the City Miami to go live tomorrow
The Real Deal | South Florida, April 12, 2011
By Alexander Britell - The Miami site of real estate auction company Bid on the City is set to go live tomorrow, with its first auction May 17.The company announced the opening of its Miami outpost last week.Bid on the City, which is an online real ... More » By Alexander Britell - The Miami site of real estate auction company Bid on the City is set to go live tomorrow, with its first auction May 17.

The company announced the opening of its Miami outpost last week.

Bid on the City, which is an online real estate trading platform, will begin its Miami foray by auctioning $12 million in luxury properties over $1 million in an auction that will be streamed worldwide and held in the company's showroom in New York's Times Square.

Hosting a Miami auction in New York is just part of the link between the two markets, said Vlad Sapozhnikov, Bid on the City's managing director for residential and commercial sales.

"The Miami market and the New York markets are so connected," he said. "It just made sense for us to expand to Miami; a lot of people in New York have second homes in Miami, and a lot of investors are looking at Miami more and more closely. It just made sense for us."

Another consideration for the company was the unique proportion of foreign buyers in Miami, he said.

"This is our philosophy: 30 percent of our traffic comes from overseas," he said. "A lot of our bidders, a lot of our users are foreigners. A lot of people from foreign countries are interested both in Manhattan and Miami, and that's one of the major reasons we decided to launch [in Miami], because it has an international appeal."

Part of the company's strategy is to find unique, higher-end properties, as opposed to a mass listing service.

Among the properties set for the firm's first Miami auction is a 3,756-square-foot condo at the Netherlands on South Beach's Ocean Drive.

"It's kind of a different concept," said Todd Nordstrom, a realtor with Keller Williams, who is listing the unit. "If you put something on, say, Realtor.com, or any number of other websites, it's just there, available. Whenever you have a timeframe, an auction gets people kind of curious because people don't like to lose something to somebody else."

The owner of the Netherland South Beach unit going to auction, Tom Donall, said the idea to list the property came from a wine and cheese event hosted for real estate agents.

"They saw the property, and that's how it came about," said Donall, who said the property has been on the market for about a year.

According to Sapozhnikov, only brokers are able to list with the site. That is consistent with most of the company's sites, such as in Westchester and in Russia, but in New York, sellers can list directly.
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Luxury real estate website comes to Miami
The Miami Herald, April 06, 2011
By Toluse Olorunnipa - A New York company is pitching a new option for frustrated sellers with million-dollar properties: online auctions.Owners of the website BidOnTheCity.com plan to launch their online luxury home auction website in Miami this wee ... More » By Toluse Olorunnipa - A New York company is pitching a new option for frustrated sellers with million-dollar properties: online auctions.

Owners of the website BidOnTheCity.com plan to launch their online luxury home auction website in Miami this week—with bids starting at $1.

The company, which has been auctioning homes in New York since 2009, plans to bring its “bidding events” to Miami, auctioning up to 10 properties at once. Potential buyers will be able to access information, pictures and listing prices for each property up to 30 days before the sale, said Vlad Sapozhnikov, executive director of residential sales.

Home hunters can tour the property online or visit an open house in person. For many, the on-site option may not be viable: many of the company’s clients are in New York, Russia and abroad, said Sapzhnikov.

On the date of the auction, potential buyers will be able to participate online in real time or in person at Bid on the City’s New York location. The property will go to the highest bidder, but the seller has the right to reject the sale if the price isn’t high enough.

The company’s offbeat strategy – which has been featured in The New York Times and on CNBC — essentially replaces real estate brokers with auctioneers. Buyers do not have to put down a deposit and anyone with a credit card can bid — creating potential for fraud and hiccups, say experts.

“In a traditional auction setting, before people come to make a bid, they have to put down some kind of deposit,” said Beth Butler, president of ONE Sotheby’s Realty. “If not, you’re going to lose your best opportunity to sell the property to somebody that has been vetted.”

But Albert Feinstein, managing director of Bid on the City, said the company has worked out many of the kinks since it first launched two years ago, improving the technology to prevent auction glitches.

The company makes money by taking a cut from each sale —3 percent from the seller and a 3 percent buyer’s premium.

The first Miami bidding event, scheduled for May 15, will feature condos in luxury buildings including the W South Beach Residences in Miami Beach, the 1800 Club in downtown Miami, and ICON Brickell. Most of the properties to be auctioned on the site have listing prices above $500,000.

Gustavo Gambino, a Miami investor, is hoping an auction will help him fetch $540,000 for his two-bedroom condo at ICON Brickell.

“We need the most exposure possible for this property and the typical Multiple Listing Service reaches only mostly agents and some other buyers,” he said. “The type of marketing and promotion that is behind the site will allow some unique properties to get the best exposure.”

Online home buying does currently exist in South Florida, but only for foreclosed properties being sold during courthouse auctions.

Sapozhnikov said creating an eBay-style marketplace for all homes is the wave of the future.

“People buy everything on line— cars, luxury goods,” he said. “I think it’s the future of real estate today.”

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Manhattan-based real estate auction company to launch in Miami
The Real Deal, April 05, 2011
Bid on the City, a Manhattan-based real estate auction company, is slated to launch in Miami this week, the company announced today. A spokesperson for the auctioneer, which allows online bidding, said it expects to have the site go live tomorrow. Th ... More » Bid on the City, a Manhattan-based real estate auction company, is slated to launch in Miami this week, the company announced today. A spokesperson for the auctioneer, which allows online bidding, said it expects to have the site go live tomorrow. The company, which was founded in April 2009, launched in the Hamptons in January 2010 for rentals. The Miami site will feature both sales and rental listings (note: correction appended). Vlad Sapozhnikov, general manager of Bid on the City, said that he saw a specific need for this expansion. "Today's economic climate has created a demand for a fast, efficient and transparent way to rent and sell property," Sapozhnikov said. The first Miami bidding event will be held at the auction house's new office in Times Square. The 7,500-square-foot office, located at 1500 Broadway on the corner of 43rd Street, marks a significant expansion for Bid on the City, whose original Manhattan office was 2,000 square feet. Sapozhnikov said that the business has changed significantly since its founding, with more of its clientele comfortable with the online bidding format. "Many people [had] believe they needed to be [in an office] physically in order to bid at a real estate auction," said Sapozhnikov of the company's founding. "Once bidders saw all bids were done online, they quickly realized they could watch and bid from anywhere in the world."   « Less See Online Version
Surfing the Recovery
New York Magazine, March 27, 2011
By S.Jhoanna RobledoAs our market begins to rebound, a few spots are lagging. Buyers: Consider yourselves tipped off. The real estate market these days has largely stabilized, having shaken off the lethargy that’s lingered since the recession smack ... More » By S.Jhoanna Robledo
As our market begins to rebound, a few spots are lagging. Buyers: Consider yourselves tipped off.
The real estate market these days has largely stabilized, having shaken off the lethargy that’s lingered since the recession smacked us all down two and a half years ago. But the recovery has been spotty, and that offers the chance to find an under-priced property before it catches up. New York asked a variety of experts to mine the data and read between the digits, looking for outlier bits of the market. Move fast: These inconsistencies are fluid, and the opportunities they represent are ephemeral.
1. For Starter-Apartment Buyers
If you’re looking for a studio or one-bedroom, StreetEasy.com data reveal three neighborhoods with high inventory and few sales right now. The financial district, Washington Heights, and Midtown South are the leaders, with 3.95 percent, 5.92 percent, and 6.78 percent, respectively, of starter apartments going into contract this year. (The rest of Manhattan is at 8.9 percent or higher.)

Consider: 20 West Street, Apt. 30B
A 544-square-foot studio in the former Downtown Athletic Club.
Asking price: $599,000.
Charges and taxes: $773.
Agents: Ester Lim and Albert Lim, Halstead Property.
2. For a Quick Close
It’s straightforward but bears repeating: “The longer a property sits on the market, the more the seller may be amenable to striking a deal,” says StreetEasy director of research Sofia Song. According to her firm’s data, Manhattan properties are averaging eighteen weeks to sell; Central Harlem tops the list with a median of 34 weeks, followed by Turtle Bay at 29 weeks.

Consider: 7 West 131st Street, Apt. A1
A three-bedroom, two-and-a-half- bath condo in central Harlem.
Asking price: $575,000.
Charges and taxes: $822.
Agent: Todd Stevens, Prudential Douglas Elliman.
3. For Hard-Nosed Negotiators
Starting in mid-2009, most Manhattan neighborhoods saw a rise in activity, appearing to indicate that the market had touched bottom. But not the financial district, says Urbandigs.com founder and broker Noah Rosenblatt. Activity there has stayed way below Manhattan’s overall level (see the chart above), even skipping the usual September and bonus-season bounces.

Consider: 350 Albany Street, Apt. 3R
A one-bedroom condo that hit the market last fall and is now being auctioned.
Asking price: Formerly $585,000 (new starting bid: $1).
Charges and taxes: $2,000.
Agent: Bid on the City.
4. For the Bidding-War-Averse
Right now, condos are a tougher sell than co-ops. According to data provided by StreetEasy.com, only 11.7 percent of condos have been absorbed out of market inventory this year, compared with 16.6 percent of co-ops. Higher prices are the sticking point, says Song. The lowest absorption rates are in Washington Heights, the financial district, and (oddly) Sutton Place.

Consider: 835 Riverside Drive, Apt. 6J
A renovated junior four in a prewar building recently converted to a condo.
Asking price: $450,000 (down from $520,000).
Charges and taxes: $705.
Agent: Sandy Edry, CitiHabitats.
5. For Small Families
Industry analyst Jonathan Miller has records that go back to 1989, and he’s spotted a trend: After the early-nineties, post-9/11, and 2009 crashes, the apartments that recovered fastest were two-bedrooms. “They anchor the market,” he explains. Last year, Inwood and Hamilton Heights/Morningside Heights (from West 116th to West 155th Streets) proved most affordable.

Consider: 523 West 121st Street, Apt. 32
A two-bedroom, one bath co-op in Morningside Heights.
Asking price: $559,000.
Maintenance: $1,076.
Agent: Brian Lewis, Halstead Property.
6. For Vultures
Try Washington Heights, Yorkville, and Midtown South. Song says they have the largest share of listings available (38.58 percent, 35.36 percent, and 35.07 percent, respectively) that have seen their asking prices cut. Central Harlem and Midtown West bear watching, too; they’ve had the biggest general price cuts, averaging a bit more than 8 percent across the board.

Consider: 340 West 55th Street, Apt. 2F
A midtown two-bedroom with a renovated kitchen.
Asking price: $1.175 million (down from $1.295 million).
Maintenance: $2,554.
Agent: Joy Weiner, the Corcoran Group.   « Less
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Get Ready to Bid on the City!
The Property Beat - Talk Radio, March 23, 2011
Join hosts Cliff Perotti and Jonathan Nicholas as they talk with Vlad Sapozhnikov, co-founder and General Manager of Bid on the City. Vlad will share his insights on New York real estate, buying New York apartments, real estate auctions, online auctions, and apartments in Manhattan. See Online Version
Bid on the City Hosts First Online Auction of Real Estate in Russia (Russian Version)
Lenta.RU, December 14, 2010
Alltech Development Company held Russia's first online auction of real estate using the platform developed in America by BidOnTheCity. com.See Online Version
Bid on the City hosts first online auction of real estate in Russia (English Version)
Lenta.RU, December 14, 2010
Alltech Development Company (a private investment company that also manages oil and gas assets, CH-Oil & Gaz LLC) held Russia's first online auction of real estate using the platform developed in America by BidOnTheCity.com. The auction was held on D ... More » Alltech Development Company (a private investment company that also manages oil and gas assets, CH-Oil & Gaz LLC) held Russia's first online auction of real estate using the platform developed in America by BidOnTheCity.com.
The auction was held on December 11. At the auction 11 properties were exhibited in luxury communities, with land and home values from 24.5 to 77 million rubles. The total original starting price of the lots was 482.7 million rubles. The bidding was done using a Dutch (reverse) auction system.
The auction was conducted live on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and was broadcast simultaneously over the Internet, TV and mobile communications. Bidding for each site was consistent and lasted from 4 to 14 minutes per lot. As a result, it sold 5 lots totaling 205.7 million rubles, with two more sites under negotiation.
"In November Alltech Development acquired the license to conduct online auctions in Russia using BidontheCity.com's technology. The suburban real estate market stopped functioning using traditional mechanisms to stimulate sales. The company plans on conducting auctions on a monthly basis.
Bid on the City was established in early 2009 in New York by the managers of a brokerage firm in New York - Albert Feinstein and Vlad Sapozhnikov. It allows the entire transaction online, from the receipt of applications before the auction to announcing a winner.) According to the owners of the investment into the technology amounted to $ 5 million. From 2009 through BidOnTheCity, has offered over 150 properties for sale via auction.
Russia has used the Internet before for auctions. In particular, the trading company Penny Lane Realty held one in conjunction with the auction house Lecort. However, the actual auction took place offline.

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BID ON THE CITY GOES INTERNATIONAL
CBS Money Watch.com, November 17, 2010
First Bidding Event Will Take Place in Moscow on December 11, 2010 Using Dutch Auction Method NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bid on the City, www.bidonthecity.com, the first and only online real estate trading platform for luxury reside ... More » First Bidding Event Will Take Place in Moscow on December 11, 2010 Using Dutch Auction Method
NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bid on the City, www.bidonthecity.com, the first and only online real estate trading platform for luxury residential and commercial real estate properties offering live audio and video bidding in real time online and first U.S.-based residential company entering the Russian market in this manner, announces today that it is has launched its bidding platform in Russia in partnership with Russia's top business media source, Ros Business Consultants [RBC] http://www.rbcnews.com and Global Advertising Strategies, http://www.global-ny.com, a leading international marketing agency. The newly launched company is to be called Bid in the City Russia, www.bidonthecity.com. When this site is accessed from Russia, viewers will see listings for Russian properties. They will also have a choice to see properties from Bid on the City's other locations. The site is in both Russian and English.

The first bidding event will include ten luxury properties for sale in luxury developments outside of Moscow. The properties' starting prices will range from RUB24,500,000 to RUB77,000,000 (US$800,000 to US$2,600,000) and can be viewed here: http://www.bidonthecity.com/searchResult.php?region_id=5. The event will take place live in Moscow and online in real time on December 11, 2010. Some properties will not have any reserve set, allowing buyers to get the best possible prices. This marks the first time the firm will be using the Dutch auction method for sales properties. A Dutch auction, also known as reverse auction, has a starting price that keeps going lower until there is a bid. Unlike traditional (English) bidding in which the price goes up and bidders have an opportunity to increase their bids, the dynamics for a Dutch auction are very different. The first bid is the final bid.

"BOTC's expansion into the Russian market will introduce Russia's affluent buyers to the simplicity of our platform, giving them an opportunity to buy, sell, or rent property directly from their location," said Albert Feinstein, managing partner, Bid on the City. "We are the only firm offering online live audio and video bidding in real time and this is the first time that there is synergy between a media company and online real estate firm. We are excited to work with Global and RBC on this international venture."

Global will use RBC's multiple media channels – online, TV and print – to establish BOTC's presence in the Russian market as well as position it as the premier source for those interested in U.S. real estate.

Bid on the City [BOTC] first launched in Manhattan in April 2009 to great success and has since expanded to the Hamptons and Westchester. This is the firm's first international division. Bid on the City Russia [BOTC Russia], similar to its U.S. constituent, will offer an effective way to buy, rent and sell local Russian luxury properties in the Russian marketplace using its unique online platform which allow users to bid on residential properties via computer, cell phone or in person at the live event.

There are many advantages for sellers, buyers, renters and brokers to using this innovative technique.

BOTC offers many distinct advantages to sellers, including:

A free detailed property analysis with comparable sales, a recommended starting bid price, a local and international marketing schedule and an open house schedule, within 90 minutes of their request;
A finite, much shorter than average, 30-day on-the-market cycle;
Sellers pre-sign a contract prior to listing their property making the transaction transparent and making the sale certain if there is a qualified buyer;
Marketing of properties locally, nationally and internationally, utilizing print, digital and broadcast media;
Access to a database of pre-screened and qualified buyers from around the world.
The highest accepted bid will be awarded the contract for sale and within three hours the contract and the closing schedule will be delivered;
Sellers pay nothing if the property is not sold.
Sellers pay 3% if property is sold, which is significantly lower than others charge.
By buying or renting residential and commercial properties through BOTC, buyers/renters are benefitted by getting a transparent process, the best prices, and the most comprehensive information about each listing.

BOTC also allows brokers to list and sell their exclusive properties through the platform.

Thirty days after a property is listed, buyers bid in real time on BOTC's platform to negotiate the best possible price. Bidding takes place simultaneously online, via mobile and in person at BOTC's bidding center located in the Russian Bid on the City showroom. The bidding is broadcasted live around the globe.

BOTC's New York operations are overseen by two Manhattan real estate professionals with more than 25 years of combined years of experience: Albert Feinstein, managing director and Vlad Sapozhnikov, executive director, residential sales.

Global Advertising Strategies will assist BOTC with its international expansion efforts by using the agency's established network of media and marketing sources as well as providing the strategic direction of the campaign. The marketing campaign will encompass a broad spectrum of print, broadcast, digital, out of home (OOH) and social media marketing for BOTC Russia and is slated to launch at the end of November 2010.

About Bid on the City:

Bidonthecity.com is the first online real estate trading platform created to sell and buy luxury residential and commercial real estate properties. Bidonthecity.com offers the best prices and contract terms and affords sellers a short listing agreement, lower commissions, an exceptional marketing campaign, and access to qualified buyers from around the world. The 30-day process culminates in a live bidding event where Bidonthecity.com's state-of-the-art platform allows buyers to bid in person or online while viewing real time audio and video. Bidonthecity's bidding engine has been designed and engineered by PropertyShark.com, the leading real estate online datacenter.
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Bid on the City Launches Real Estate Bidding Platform in Russia
MIAMI HERALD, November 17, 2010
NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bid on the City, www.bidonthecity.com, the first and only online real estate trading platform for luxury residential and commercial real estate properties offering live audio and video bidding in real time ... More » NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bid on the City, www.bidonthecity.com, the first and only online real estate trading platform for luxury residential and commercial real estate properties offering live audio and video bidding in real time online and first U.S.-based residential company entering the Russian market in this manner, announces today that it is has launched its bidding platform in Russia in partnership with Russia's top business media source, Ros Business Consultants [RBC] http://www.rbcnews.com and Global Advertising Strategies, http://www.global-ny.com, a leading international marketing agency. The newly launched company is to be called Bid in the City Russia, www.bidonthecity.com. When this site is accessed from Russia, viewers will see listings for Russian properties. They will also have a choice to see properties from Bid on the City's other locations. The site is in both Russian and English.

The first bidding event will include ten luxury properties for sale in luxury developments outside of Moscow. The properties' starting prices will range from RUB24,500,000 to RUB77,000,000 (US$800,000 to US$2,600,000) and can be viewed here: http://www.bidonthecity.com/searchResult.php?region_id=5. The event will take place live in Moscow and online in real time on December 11, 2010. Some properties will not have any reserve set, allowing buyers to get the best possible prices. This marks the first time the firm will be using the Dutch auction method for sales properties. A Dutch auction, also known as reverse auction, has a starting price that keeps going lower until there is a bid. Unlike traditional (English) bidding in which the price goes up and bidders have an opportunity to increase their bids, the dynamics for a Dutch auction are very different. The first bid is the final bid.

"BOTC's expansion into the Russian market will introduce Russia's affluent buyers to the simplicity of our platform, giving them an opportunity to buy, sell, or rent property directly from their location," said Albert Feinstein, managing partner, Bid on the City. "We are the only firm offering online live audio and video bidding in real time and this is the first time that there is synergy between a media company and online real estate firm. We are excited to work with Global and RBC on this international venture."

Global will use RBC's multiple media channels – online, TV and print – to establish BOTC's presence in the Russian market as well as position it as the premier source for those interested in U.S. real estate.

Bid on the City [BOTC] first launched in Manhattan in April 2009 to great success and has since expanded to the Hamptons and Westchester. This is the firm's first international division. Bid on the City Russia [BOTC Russia], similar to its U.S. constituent, will offer an effective way to buy, rent and sell local Russian luxury properties in the Russian marketplace using its unique online platform which allow users to bid on residential properties via computer, cell phone or in person at the live event.

There are many advantages for sellers, buyers, renters and brokers to using this innovative technique.

BOTC offers many distinct advantages to sellers, including:

•A free detailed property analysis with comparable sales, a recommended starting bid price, a local and international marketing schedule and an open house schedule, within 90 minutes of their request;
•A finite, much shorter than average, 30-day on-the-market cycle;
•Sellers pre-sign a contract prior to listing their property making the transaction transparent and making the sale certain if there is a qualified buyer;
•Marketing of properties locally, nationally and internationally, utilizing print, digital and broadcast media;
•Access to a database of pre-screened and qualified buyers from around the world.
•The highest accepted bid will be awarded the contract for sale and within three hours the contract and the closing schedule will be delivered;
•Sellers pay nothing if the property is not sold.
•Sellers pay 3% if property is sold, which is significantly lower than others charge.
By buying or renting residential and commercial properties through BOTC, buyers/renters are benefitted by getting a transparent process, the best prices, and the most comprehensive information about each listing.

BOTC also allows brokers to list and sell their exclusive properties through the platform.

Thirty days after a property is listed, buyers bid in real time on BOTC's platform to negotiate the best possible price. Bidding takes place simultaneously online, via mobile and in person at BOTC's bidding center located in the Russian Bid on the City showroom. The bidding is broadcasted live around the globe.

BOTC's New York operations are overseen by two Manhattan real estate professionals with more than 25 years of combined years of experience: Albert Feinstein, managing director and Vlad Sapozhnikov, executive director, residential sales.

Global Advertising Strategies will assist BOTC with its international expansion efforts by using the agency's established network of media and marketing sources as well as providing the strategic direction of the campaign. The marketing campaign will encompass a broad spectrum of print, broadcast, digital, out of home (OOH) and social media marketing for BOTC Russia and is slated to launch at the end of November 2010.

About Bid on the City:

Bidonthecity.com is the first online real estate trading platform created to sell and buy luxury residential and commercial real estate properties. Bidonthecity.com offers the best prices and contract terms and affords sellers a short listing agreement, lower commissions, an exceptional marketing campaign, and access to qualified buyers from around the world. The 30-day process culminates in a live bidding event where Bidonthecity.com's state-of-the-art platform allows buyers to bid in person or online while viewing real time audio and video. Bidonthecity's bidding engine has been designed and engineered by PropertyShark.com, the leading real estate online datacenter.


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Bid on the City Goes International: Launches Real Estate Bidding Platform in Russia
The Boston Globe, November 17, 2010
NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bid on the City, www.bidonthecity.com, the first and only online real estate trading platform for luxury residential and commercial real estate properties offering live audio and video bidding in real time ... More » NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bid on the City, www.bidonthecity.com, the first and only online real estate trading platform for luxury residential and commercial real estate properties offering live audio and video bidding in real time online and first U.S.-based residential company entering the Russian market in this manner, announces today that it is has launched its bidding platform in Russia in partnership with Russia's top business media source, Ros Business Consultants [RBC] http://www.rbcnews.com and Global Advertising Strategies, http://www.global-ny.com, a leading international marketing agency. The newly launched company is to be called Bid in the City Russia, www.bidonthecity.com. When this site is accessed from Russia, viewers will see listings for Russian properties. They will also have a choice to see properties from Bid on the City's other locations. The site is in both Russian and English.

The first bidding event will include ten luxury properties for sale in luxury developments outside of Moscow. The properties' starting prices will range from RUB24,500,000 to RUB77,000,000 (US$800,000 to US$2,600,000) and can be viewed here: http://www.bidonthecity.com/searchResult.php?region_id=5. The event will take place live in Moscow and online in real time on December 11, 2010. Some properties will not have any reserve set, allowing buyers to get the best possible prices. This marks the first time the firm will be using the Dutch auction method for sales properties. A Dutch auction, also known as reverse auction, has a starting price that keeps going lower until there is a bid. Unlike traditional (English) bidding in which the price goes up and bidders have an opportunity to increase their bids, the dynamics for a Dutch auction are very different. The first bid is the final bid.

"BOTC's expansion into the Russian market will introduce Russia's affluent buyers to the simplicity of our platform, giving them an opportunity to buy, sell, or rent property directly from their location," said Albert Feinstein, managing partner, Bid on the City. "We are the only firm offering online live audio and video bidding in real time and this is the first time that there is synergy between a media company and online real estate firm. We are excited to work with Global and RBC on this international venture."

Global will use RBC's multiple media channels – online, TV and print – to establish BOTC's presence in the Russian market as well as position it as the premier source for those interested in U.S. real estate.

Bid on the City [BOTC] first launched in Manhattan in April 2009 to great success and has since expanded to the Hamptons and Westchester. This is the firm's first international division. Bid on the City Russia [BOTC Russia], similar to its U.S. constituent, will offer an effective way to buy, rent and sell local Russian luxury properties in the Russian marketplace using its unique online platform which allow users to bid on residential properties via computer, cell phone or in person at the live event.

There are many advantages for sellers, buyers, renters and brokers to using this innovative technique.

BOTC offers many distinct advantages to sellers, including:

A free detailed property analysis with comparable sales, a recommended starting bid price, a local and international marketing schedule and an open house schedule, within 90 minutes of their request;
A finite, much shorter than average, 30-day on-the-market cycle;
Sellers pre-sign a contract prior to listing their property making the transaction transparent and making the sale certain if there is a qualified buyer;
Marketing of properties locally, nationally and internationally, utilizing print, digital and broadcast media;
Access to a database of pre-screened and qualified buyers from around the world.
The highest accepted bid will be awarded the contract for sale and within three hours the contract and the closing schedule will be delivered;
Sellers pay nothing if the property is not sold.
Sellers pay 3% if property is sold, which is significantly lower than others charge.
By buying or renting residential and commercial properties through BOTC, buyers/renters are benefitted by getting a transparent process, the best prices, and the most comprehensive information about each listing.

BOTC also allows brokers to list and sell their exclusive properties through the platform.

Thirty days after a property is listed, buyers bid in real time on BOTC's platform to negotiate the best possible price. Bidding takes place simultaneously online, via mobile and in person at BOTC's bidding center located in the Russian Bid on the City showroom. The bidding is broadcasted live around the globe.
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INTERVIEW: Bid on the City's Live Bidding Event on Nov. 16th
WVOX Good Morning Westchester, November 12, 2010
Live morning show with popular talk show host Bob Marrone interviewing Raymond Villani, Managing Director of Bid on the City. Enlightening and and engaging they cover a wide range of topics including the advantages of buying and selling real estate on Bid on the City.
To listen to the interview click on the button below.
RBC partners with BidontheCity.com and Global Advertising Strategies (Russian Version)
RBC - TV Moscow, November 09, 2010
Click on link below for Russian version.See Online Version
RBC partners with BidontheCity.com and Global Advertising Strategies (English Version)
RBC - TV Moscow, November 09, 2010
BID ON THE CITY'S REAL ESTATE BIDDING PLATFORM LAUNCHED IN RUSSIA.....RBC-TV Moscow (RBC) announced that it has partnered with leading online luxury real estate auction site BidontheCity.com as well as the leading international marketing agency Globa ... More » BID ON THE CITY'S REAL ESTATE BIDDING PLATFORM LAUNCHED IN RUSSIA.....RBC-TV Moscow (RBC) announced that it has partnered with leading online luxury real estate auction site BidontheCity.com as well as the leading international marketing agency Global Advertising Strategies (Global), to launch the BidontheCity platform in Russia.

Through its cutting-edge technology, BidontheCity.com offers an opportunity to bid on real estate via web based, mobile and in-person live auction. Similar to its U.S. constituent, BidontheCity Russia will provide its sophisticated online bidding platform for buying, selling and renting Russia’s luxury real estate.

As part of the partnership RBC received a 45% stake in the company, which will operate on the Russian market. RBC will provide access to its diverse media offerings – online, TV and print – to establish BidontheCity’s presence within the Russian market as well as position it as the premier source for Russians interested in bidding on high-end real estate.

With its network of media and marketing partners around the world, Global will continue to provide strategic direction and guide BidontheCity’s international expansion. The initial marketing campaign for BidontheCity Russia is slated to launch in November 2010.

“BidontheCity’s expansion into the Russian market will introduce the country’s affluent buyers to the simplicity of our platform, giving them an opportunity to purchase, rent or sell property from their home, office, or anywhere in the world,” said BidontheCity’s Founder and Managing Director Albert Feinstein. “We are excited to work with RBC and Global on this international venture.”

“Russia’s growing purchasing power no longer needs to be proven,” said Givi Topchishvili, Global’s Founder and CEO. “With BidontheCity’s high-end offerings as well as its user-friendly globalized approach to buying real estate, we anticipate BidontheCity Russia will quickly garner significant market share.”

“Online real estate auctions are successfully and widely used within Europe as well as the United States and have proven their effectiveness both for real estate buyers and sellers. Global’s strategic leadership and our media network guarantees a broad reach for the BidontheCity Russia launch. In addition, RBC’s participation in the project will promote the development and diversification of the company’s media services and will reinforce our leading online presence in Russia, “said German Kaplun, RBC’s General Director.

About BidontheCity:

Bidonthecity.com is the first online real estate trading platform created to sell and buy luxury residential and commercial real estate properties. Bidonthecity.com offers the best prices and contract terms and affords sellers a short listing agreement, lower commissions, an exceptional marketing campaign, and access to qualified buyers from around the world. The 30-day process culminates in a live bidding event where Bidonthecity.com’s state-of-the-art platform allows buyers to bid in person or online while viewing real time audio and video. Bidonthecity’s bidding engine has been designed and engineered by PropertyShark.com, the leading real estate online datacenter.

About Global:

Global Advertising Strategies is a full service international marketing and communications company that specializes in cross-cultural campaigns and worldwide expansions. Its client base consists of some of the world’s leading brands in the pharmaceutical , lifestyle, travel, entertainment, financial and media industries. Global’s marketing team hails from over 16 different countries, bringing with them in-depth knowledge and understanding of various countries and cultures in the global marketplace
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Home Sales Stalled? Auction That House!
The Christian Science Monitor, September 07, 2010
BY CHRISTIANNA McCAUSLAND -- Home sales may be headed lower. So sellers and even real estate agents are turning to auctions instead. Are home sales auctions for you? When Stephanie Sea­cord and her sisters were preparing to sell the contents of th ... More » BY CHRISTIANNA McCAUSLAND -- Home sales may be headed lower. So sellers and even real estate agents are turning to auctions instead. Are home sales auctions for you?
When Stephanie Sea­cord and her sisters were preparing to sell the contents of their childhood home just outside Boston, an acquaintance in the auction business asked if she'd considered auctioning the house.

With her mother's nursing-home bills mounting, the allure of selling the house quickly and "as is" was too good to let pass. The auctioneer advertised the event, held three open houses, and last October the 1830s Federal-style house on one acre went on the block.

Bidding started at $200,000, dropped to $150,000, and then rose to a final sale price of $225,000. It was over in 20 minutes. By December, the family had a check in hand. "I honestly believe the price that was got at auction that day was what that house was worth and what the market was willing to pay for it when we needed to sell it," Ms. Seacord says.

Weary of watching their homes languish under "For Sale" signs in a sluggish market, homeowners increasingly are turning to auctions as a viable alternative. Residential real estate has been one of the fastest-growing segments of the auctioning industry. According to the National Auctioneers Association (NAA), based in Overland Park, Kan., the sector accounted for nearly half the industry's growth between 2003 and 2008.

Auction sales were booming even at the height of the housing market, says Chris Longly, deputy executive director of NAA. He attributes some of the uptick to the popularity of sites like eBay. "Consumers today want it now," he says. "We don't want to wait around or negotiate and, more important, we want to pay the price we want to pay."

Although a popular way to sell homes in places like Australia, and a growing trend in New Zealand, real estate auctions are generally seen as a way to unload distressed homes in the United States. Now, that could be changing.

"The auction model generally is a great market-price discovery tool, even for luxury properties, if positioned properly," says Vlad Sapozhnikov, cofounder of BidOnTheCity.com, which offers high-end residential real estate in and around Manhattan in simultaneous online and in-person auctions. "One of the major challenges of today's luxury real estate market is to properly price your property," he writes in an e-mail. "One of the biggest mistakes you want to avoid as a seller is to overprice your house or apartment and stay on the market for too long."

It can be hard to arbi­trarily price a home, luxury or otherwise, especially in a temperamental buyers' market. Auctions quickly gauge what the market will pay. Since launching a beta version of its service in May 2009, BidOnTheCity.com has expanded from Manhattan to the Hamptons on Long Island and Westchester County, N.Y., and sold franchises to major brokerage houses in Miami and Moscow.

Even real estate agents are piling onto the auction bandwagon. At the Nashville Auction School in Tullahoma, Tenn., one of the nation's only full-time auction schools, at least 90 percent of the women attending and 75 percent of the men are already in the real estate business.

"For real estate professionals looking at how to best move real properties, the more opportunities they have to meet the needs of their client, the better they're able to serve their client," says Rhessa Orr, executive director of the school. "If they have a full-service approach to the marketing of real property, they can also have more presence in their market."

The main appeal of auctions is their speed and transparency. "Our sellers are typically real estate brokers or individuals [who] are looking to sell their property for top price within 30-45 days' time frame," writes Mr. Sapozhnikov in an e-mail.

For those considering putting their home on the block, research the company, check references, and visit a sale, auctioneers suggest.

On the day of auction, interested buyers must come with a cashier's check in hand to get a bid paddle, dissuading casual speculators. Sales are "as is" with no contingencies and can either have a reserve amount (the lowest for which an owner will sell) or be "absolute," where any price goes. Closing takes a standard 30 days after the auction.

Another auction advantage: action. Unlike a "For Sale "sign, an auction indicates a finite window of opportunity. Seacord notes that her family home sold to someone in the neighborhood who had wanted the house for years – and seized the chance before it was gone. Says Seacord, "I think she might have paid a little bit more because she loved it."
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New York City Realtor Branches Out into Westchester County
WCBS 880 Newsradio, July 21, 2010
BY CATHERINE CIOFFI - A well-known online Manhattan realtor is moving up the Hudson River into Westchester County. It's sort of like eBay for property. BidOnTheCity.com has long been in the business of auctioning off New York Cit ... More » BY CATHERINE CIOFFI -

A well-known online Manhattan realtor is moving up the Hudson River into Westchester County.
It's sort of like eBay for property. BidOnTheCity.com has long been in the business of auctioning off New York City homes online. Now, the company is branching out in Westchester.
BidOnTheCity co-founder Vlad Sapozhnikov says, "It's a very logical move for us because Manhattan is so interconnected with Westchester."
He says this is the wave of the future and yes, he says, you do get used to seeing the starting bid of an $800,000 home be $1.
"There is a sense of oppourtunity for people to buy the property," says Sapozhnikov.
Copyright 2010 WCBS 880, All Rights Reserved.

(transcript of WCBS Newsradio 880 broadcast, Catherine Cioffi reporter)
REPORTER: Starting bid on a $800,000 home – one dollar. That’s the way it is on BidOnTheCity.com. A website that auctions off property.
SAPOZHNIKOV: The process is completely transparent
REPORTER: And while they’ve been doing business in the city for a while, Bid on the City co-founder Vlad Sapozhnikov says they’ve recently branched out into Westchester.
SAPOZHNIKOV: We need a tool for us to help people sell their properties quickly.
REPORTER: He calls this the wave of the future.
SAPOZHNIKOV: We believe that in a competitive environment we determine the true market value for the property by definition.
REPORTER: In Westchester, Cathering Cioffi, WCBS News
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To listen to the interview click on the button below.
Online auction: Is this the future of home sales?
The Journal News, July 20, 2010
BY DIANA COSTELLO — Buying a home in the city's luxury Premium Point development had always been considered a safe investment, especially since the gated community is only about 20 miles from New York City. So when Peter Mastroianni bought a h ... More » BY DIANA COSTELLO — Buying a home in the city's luxury Premium Point development had always been considered a safe investment, especially since the gated community is only about 20 miles from New York City.
So when Peter Mastroianni bought a home there for $2.2 million in March 2007, he figured he would enjoy the summer with his family and then rent out the property.

But then the housing market collapsed, leaving his rental prospects high and dry.

"Sobering reality, that's what it is," said Mastroianni, a community banker who has been unable to rent or sell the property despite dropping his asking price to $1.95 million. "You ride the highs and deal with the lows, like any business."

Now he and his Realtor are trying their luck in a new venue — an online home auction site called Bid on the City.

Launched in Manhattan in October, the business is starting to make waves in Westchester County as buyers and sellers seek the best deals in a generally deflated housing market.

The site's second Westchester County auction will begin at 11:30 a.m. today.

Bidders can register at BidontheCity.com, which will stream the auction in real time out of the company's New York headquarters. Interested buyers can also participate in person at 226 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan.

There are about 10 properties up for sale, with bids starting at $1. Sellers have a base price requirement, though, so don't expect to run away with a complete steal.

Homes on the bidding block are mostly around $1 million and up this time around. An auction planned for September will be dedicated to homes under $1 million.

"Our experience in Manhattan shows that the most successful events are those that are dedicated to certain groups of buyers," said Vlad Sapozhnikov, general manager, who co-founded Bid on the City with Albert Feinstein.

There are no listing fees to put a home up for auction; the only charge is a 3 percent buyer's premium once a transaction is completed.

Approximately 70 people are already registered to bid in today's auction, though many more are expected to tune in just to watch.

"The people who put their houses up on Bid on the City are the same people who put their houses on the market," Sapozhnikov said. "It's people who need to sell. There's nothing to lose. We take all the risk up front. We sponsor all the advertising and marketing."

In Westchester, Bid on the City has partnered with Realtors to show the properties and conduct open houses, unlike in Manhattan, where they also handle this component.

Lester J. Kravitz, a Pelham Realtor who has two houses up on Bid on the City, says this combines the best of 20th- and 21st-century marketing.

He sees this as the future of real estate, likening it to eBay, the online marketplace.

"Basically, this very well may be the wave of the future and we may be ahead of the curve," said Kravitz, who is working to sell the Premium Point property with his wife, Rosalie Kravitz. "There are many houses on the market people need to sell. What we need to do is give our sellers whatever advantage we can."

The goal is to expand Bid on the City internationally, selling the brand and technology on a franchise basis.

The company just sold the franchise in Moscow for $450,000, said Sapozhnikov, and talks are under way in Miami and Rome.

Bid on the City also conducts auctions for rentals in the Hamptons.

"Thirty percent of the traffic to Bid on the City is from overseas — Dubai, London, India, Brazil, Russia, Canada," Sapozhnikov said. "Our dream is to interconnect the main cities of the world and have a loop of interactive investors and people who travel."   « Less
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Gimme Shelter
New York Post, July 15, 2010
BY JENNIFER GOULD KEIL - Joe Torre’s former Westchester residence is up for auction. The New Rochelle mansion, located at 60 Premium Point Road and offering Long Island Sound views, had originally been listed at $2.695 million. The six-bedroo ... More » BY JENNIFER GOULD KEIL - Joe Torre’s former Westchester residence is up for auction. The New Rochelle mansion, located at 60 Premium Point Road and offering Long Island Sound views, had originally been listed at $2.695 million.

The six-bedroom, five-bathroom, 6,534-square-foot home that Torre rented, in a gated community with a private beach, has a dock and an indoor pool. The master suite opens onto a deck, and the family room has a stone fireplace. Bidonthecity.com is auctioning off the property on July 20.

Although Torre is now with the Dodgers, his former Westchester neighbors don’t seem to hold it against him. A Larchmont restaurant, La Riserva, even has a dish —Pollo Joe Torre — named after him.

Bidonthecity.com is also auctioning off a piece of music history — the Pelham childhood home of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Felix Cavaliere. Cavaliere’s band, The Rascals, wrote and performed classics like “Groovin’ ” and “Good Lovin’.”

While Cavaliere rehearsed in the garage/basement, his dad worked as a dentist out of the home, which still has zoning that permits a small medical office. The five-bedroom, 2½-bathroom, 2,810-square-foot house was originally listed at $1.095 million



Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/realestate/residential/hey_lady_R10CyKOKxgRd8f1WaqCqqO#ixzz0trqEhoZm
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Going, Going, Gone
Westchester Magazine, June 17, 2010
BY ELSA BRENNER - Bid on the City, a new online bidding service for luxury real estate, has chosen Westchester as one of three upscale areas in the New York Metro region for technologically advanced approach to selling in the current housing market. ... More » BY ELSA BRENNER - Bid on the City, a new online bidding service for luxury real estate, has chosen Westchester as one of three upscale areas in the New York Metro region for technologically advanced approach to selling in the current housing market.

“It’s the new eBay for real estate,” says Vlad Sapozhnikov, Bid on the City’s co-founder and general manager. “A standard brokerage approach no longer works in this type of economy. There is a need for much more dynamic tools.”

Live bidding takes place in Bid on the City's 4,000-square-foot Fifth Avenue headquarters, but can also be done online with video and audio streamed in real time.

Properties—not foreclosures, mind you—that are up for bid range from $684,000 to $5 million, with opening bids starting at $1. These are houses that simply have not sold for one reason or another, and the owners, while not in desperate straits, are nevertheless anxious to strike a deal.

Under the Bid on the City model, sellers sign a 60-day exclusive listing agreement. The houses will be sold to whomever bids the most above the seller’s stated minimum.

Want a sample of what’s up for bid? Check this out.

Among the offerings, you’ll find a 5-bedroom, 5-bath house with an in-ground pool on 1.25 acres in Scarsdale, with a starting bid at $1.99 million. (It came on the market at $2.8 million.) Taxes: $54,662.

If you miss that one, though, not to worry. There’s more to come, like a 4-bedroom, 5- bath Colonial at 182 Finch Road in North Salem, which came on the market at $3,200,000, but has a starting bid of only $1,995,000.   « Less
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Westchester Home Market, Sales By Realtors & Auction
The New York Times, June 06, 2010
This article appeared in The New York Times, reporting on the current real estate market in Westchester, New York and features an interview with Bid on the City, which offers Westchester homes for sale using live online auctions. Click on the link below to read the entire article that appeared in the real estate section.

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Apartments hit auction block with $1 opening bid
Crain's New York Business, May 28, 2010
BY AMANDA FUNG - A one-bedroom on 15th Street fetches $650,000, a 12% discount from original price-and exactly $649,000 above the starting bid... Apartment auctions haven't quite caught fire in Manhattan as expected, so auctioneers at Bid on the Cit ... More » BY AMANDA FUNG - A one-bedroom on 15th Street fetches $650,000, a 12% discount from original price-and exactly $649,000 above the starting bid...

Apartment auctions haven't quite caught fire in Manhattan as expected, so auctioneers at Bid on the City are dramatically lowering the ante. They will now be putting properties on the block at starting bids of a mere buck.

Last year, the e-Bay-like website for apartment and building sales began holding auction events, where properties were auctioned off at starting bids of as little as 35% off the original price. Now, to attract more buyers, it has decided to put properties, including posh Hamptons homes, on the block for starting bids of $1. The move comes after the Manhattan-based start-up briefly tested the idea earlier this year.

“We are very excited. Our $1 events are so much more successful,” said Vlad Sapozhnikov, co-founder and managing partner of Bid on the City. “It brings more traffic to our website and results in more bids.”

While apartments clearly do not sell for $1—there are bidding increments of at least $50,000 based on the original sale price and reserve prices—the one-buck starting point grabs people's attention. The hard part can be getting the property owner to agree to sign off on the idea.

For $1 auction events, the company attracts four to five times more bidders than at regular auctions, Mr. Sapozhnikov noted. Most recently, Bid on the City successfully auctioned off a one-bedroom at The Parker Gramercy, located at 10 W. 15th Street, for $650,000, a 12% discount from original price—and exactly $649,999 above the starting bid.

Bidders participate in events live at the company's 4,000-square-foot showroom at 226 Fifth Ave., at 27th Street, or online via the firm's website. Each property attracts roughly 2,000 daily page views and 30% of those visits are from overseas, according to Mr. Sapozhnikov. Bid on the City collects a 3% commission from sellers and a 3% commission from buyers upon closing.

Previously, Bid on the City held an odd reverse auction for Hamptons rentals, in which rents for the properties fell over time when no bids were offered, and the first person to bid on the property won the rental. Now Hamptons rental auctions will start at $1 and rise from there.

Next month, Bid on the City will launch its Westchester auction event, in which as many as nine properties will be up for grabs. Its next Manhattan auction will be devoted solely to studios and is scheduled for July 20. Coming this fall, the firm also plans to begin auctioning off high-end Manhattan rental apartments.

“Studios are in high demand and they will sell,” said Mr. Sapozhnikov. “We want to target first time homebuyers and pied-a-terre buyers.”
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Is Chappaqua for the Fockers?
New York Magazine, May 10, 2010
BY S.JHOANNA ROBLEDO - Ben Stiller was spotted recently checking out a mansion in Westchester. The house is, after all, still available - but he may be interested to know that the property has just found its way to BidontheCity.com, an auction site w ... More » BY S.JHOANNA ROBLEDO - Ben Stiller was spotted recently checking out a mansion in Westchester. The house is, after all, still available - but he may be interested to know that the property has just found its way to BidontheCity.com, an auction site where bidding is set to start at $1 later this month.

The Clintons may be getting a new neighbor soon. A source says Ben Stiller was spotted recently checking out a 7,223-square-foot nine-bedroom, six-and a-half-bath mansion in Chappaqua originally priced at $4 million. Built in 1929, it has undergone a historically respectful renovation that kept its columned
façade intact. (Plus, it comes with a swimming pool.) The Meet the Fockers actor may have passed on it—the house is, after all, still available—but he may be interested to know that the property has just found its way to BidontheCity.com,
an auction site where the bidding is set to start at $1 later this month. (It won’t necessarily go for anything like that, though, since the owner has a reserve price in mind that must be met before an agreement can be reached.) Interestingly, our source says the former president and the current secretary of
state also toured the estate last year, though nothing came of that, either.   « Less
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Video - Live TV Broadcast of Hampton's Bidding Event
PLUM-TV, March 26, 2010
Watch the original live broadcast of the first ever "Dutch" auction for luxury Hampton's rentals. Hosted by Jillian Tucker at Bid on the City's Fifth Avenue showroom, this fast paced half hour features interviews, tours of homes, tips and of course, live bidding! Watch Video
Foreign Home Buyers Still Keen for Big Apple Slice
Reuters, March 25, 2010
BY EDWARD KRUDY - Signs are that some overseas buyers are drifting back into the New York real estate market, betting a decline in prices may be about to turn. The dollar's recent rally, rather than putting off foreign buyers, is encouraging them t ... More » BY EDWARD KRUDY - Signs are that some overseas buyers are drifting back into the New York real estate market, betting a decline in prices may be about to turn.

The dollar's recent rally, rather than putting off foreign buyers, is encouraging them to jump into the market before it rallies further and drives up prices, insiders say.

"People are thinking it might run away from them because there are these predictions the dollar will even go further," said Richard Martin, specialist at DE Capital Mortgage. "We are talking a lot about foreign borrowers lately."

The luxury end may be starting to stir in Manhattan, the 23-square-mile island that is the heart of the city's
cultural and business life and one of the most built-up areas in the world.

A Chinese businessman recently bid $33.2 million for a 5,500 square-foot apartment belonging to Italian film producer Vittorio Cecchi Gori, according to local media. U.S. billionaire Henry Silverman paid nearly $20 million for a Manhattan townhouse, setting a record for the neighborhood, other media said.

Two competing all-cash offers, one from an Italian buyer and the other from a French buyer, came in recently on a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan's sought-after Greenwich Village, said Drew Glick, a broker at Brown Harris Stevens.

The asking price for the small apartment was $950,000, he said.

"The foreigners that are coming to buy now, they're wealthy, they have all cash, they're people who have
weathered the financial storm that the whole world has been through," he said.

The euro has fallen nearly 7 percent to the dollar since the beginning of the year, and hit a 10-month low on Tuesday, after having risen for much of the previous year.

MIXED OUTLOOK

With experts mixed on whether New York property prices are heading up or down, the outlook is still risky. City property prices have fallen 15 percent to 30 percent since 2008 in the wake of the global financial crisis, in some estimates.

While there are fewer overseas buyers now than two years ago, Glick estimates 15 percent to 20 percent of recent viewers of a two-bedroom, 1,525 square-foot (142 square meter) apartment in Manhattan came from overseas. The asking price was $1.45 million.

Next month, Glick said, he hopes to host a prospective buyer from London looking to buy in the $3 million to $4 million price range.

Bid on the City, a online real estate auctioneer that specializes in Manhattan property, estimated a third of the people enrolled at a recent auction were from overseas and said foreign participants were more likely to join in.

Brokerage StreetEasy said foreign traffic on its website has more than doubled from a year ago with hits from Asia leading the way, up nearly one and a half times from last year.

"I am hearing that there are a lot of Asian buyers who have come back to the market and a lot of Asian papers have actually approached our company," said StreetEasy's Sofia Song.

Exact data on foreign purchases of New York real estate are difficult to get in part because there is no
centralized source and because many buyers purchase through locally formed companies with U.S. addresses.

Heading into the peak of the market, ahead of the global financial crisis, foreign buyers in New York were as much as 30 percent of sales, said Jonathan Miller, an appraiser at brokerage Prudential Douglas Elliman.

Euro investors who bought before late 2008's financial meltdown saw their investment eroded by the weaker dollar and falling house prices.

Miller, noting more foreclosures, high unemployment, and scarcity of credit, cautioned that he believes prices will fall another 10 percent to 15 percent over the next two to three years.

"I think that we have more pain in store," he said.   « Less
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Audio - Live Interview with Joan Hamburg
WOR 710 Radio, March 23, 2010
Nationally known radio host Joan Hamburg conducts a live interview in with co-founder of Bid on City, Albert Feinstein. Informative, entertaining and a useful primer on renting in the Hamptons.
To listen to the interview click on the button below.
Hamptons Rentals go on odd Auction Block
Crain's New York, March 17, 2010
Breaking with traditional auction rules, prices will fall rather than rise as the bidding progresses. The move aims to spur renters to act fast to catch properties. Just in time for summers, posh Hampton rental houses will soon go up for grabs at two ... More » Breaking with traditional auction rules, prices will fall rather than rise as the bidding progresses. The move aims to spur renters to act fast to catch properties. Just in time for summers, posh Hampton rental houses will soon go up for grabs at two unusual auctions...

Just in time for summer, posh Hampton rental houses will soon go up for grabs at two unusual auctions. The interesting catch—rents for the properties on the block will fall rather than rise as the auction progresses.

Bid on the City, which operates an eBay-like site for apartment and building sales, will hold the Hamptons auctions on March 26 and April 9. Some 13 properties will be auctioned off at the first event. The auction was rescheduled from its original March 20 date so that more properties could be added, said Vlad Sapozhnikov, cofounder and managing partner of Bid on the City. “The more properties we have, the more income we generate,” he said. “We only have so much time until the summer, so we are trying to squeeze in as many properties as we can.”
The initial asking rents are for occupancy from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Bids must be approved by owners 24 hours after the auction has closed.

The reverse auction will send prices lower as time passes. For instance, the starting bid for a 5,800-square-foot,five-bedroom space with hot tub and pool house on 7 Hannah Court is $135,000, but the price will decrease by $500 every 15 seconds. The first person to bid on the property wins the auction.

Mr. Sapozhnikov said owners prefer this method for the exposure the property gets and because they don't have to pay to list their properties—although they do have to pay Bid on the City a fee equivalent to 5% of the rental price for each successful auction.

The most expensive home to be auctioned later this month will be a waterfront, 2,200-square-foot, five-bedroom house with four Jacuzzi-equipped bathrooms at 10 Murphy Dr. in Hampton Bays. The starting bid for that property is $159,000.

“I'm curious to see if the auction works,” said Diane Saatchi, a broker at Saunders and Associates in Bridgehampton. “The property will sell no matter what gimmick you use if it is valued right.”

While Ms. Saatchi notes that the rental market in New York's playground for the rich has picked up since December, it is not the same as its heyday. “The market is way better than last year in terms of prices,” she added. However, unlike “the good old days,” there are still great properties to rent after President's Day.

“But at least now people are looking,” she said.   « Less
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Love at First Bid
New York Post, March 11, 2010
BY MAX GROSS - Now that auctions have become an accepted way to nab a Manhattan condo or a Jersey loft, why not a summer rental? At least that's Bid on the City's thinking; it will host its first-ever Hamptons summer rental auction March 20 for nine ... More » BY MAX GROSS - Now that auctions have become an accepted way to nab a Manhattan condo or a Jersey loft, why not a summer rental? At least that's Bid on the City's thinking; it will host its first-ever Hamptons summer rental auction March 20 for nine properties. It will be what is called a Dutch Auction...

Now that auctions have become an accepted way to nab a Manhattan condo or a Jersey loft, why not a summer rental?

At least that’s Bid on the City’s thinking; it will host its first-ever Hamptons summer rental auction March 20 for nine properties.

It will be what’s called a Dutch auction, in which prices start high and go lower until there is a bidder. Meaning: The first bid on a property is the highest bid. If you can keep quiet (and if everyone else does, too), you could have your vacation home for a low price.

The auction might be a bit of a gimmick, however. Even though there is no minimum “reserve” price, bids are “subject to a two-hour approval window by the owner,” according to Bid on the City’s managing director, Raymond Villani. Super-low bids will no doubt be rejected.

The properties (listed at bidonthecity.com) range from a three-bedroom, two-bathroom waterfront house in Hampton Bays starting at $159,000, to a five-bedroom, four-bathroom house (also in Hampton Bays) starting at $42,000. All properties are available from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The auction starts at noon and broadcasts on PlumTV (plumtv.com); you can bid in the showroom at 226 Fifth Ave., online or via phone.

Just try to control yourselves.   « Less
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And the Winner Is...
Gotham Magazine, March 01, 2010
BY MIKE OLSON - When the virtual gavel fell on a mansion at 11 East 74th St. last May, history was made. The home was one of the first sold by Bid on the City, a brokerage4 that takes the passion of Manhattan real estate and adds the bidding power of ... More » BY MIKE OLSON - When the virtual gavel fell on a mansion at 11 East 74th St. last May, history was made. The home was one of the first sold by Bid on the City, a brokerage4 that takes the passion of Manhattan real estate and adds the bidding power of eBay."We think it is a quick, efficient and transparent way to sell...

NOT SO LONG ago we were in the dark ages of real estate listings.

Whether buying or renting, New Yorkers had to embark on a nomadic quest, going from Corcoran to The Times and back again to feel out the market and, hopefully, keep from getting screwed. But StreetEasy changed all that, becoming the city’s most dominant listings aggregator in the process.

“We get New York, and we focus on doing it very well,” says vice president of strategic development Dawn Doherty. And with more than 30,000 daily page views, the results speak for themselves.

StreetEasy rose to the top by being a gateway to the freshest information. Click on any listing and you get the unit’s history as far back as 2004, telling you when it hit the market and how much the price has dropped since those halcyon pre-Great Recession days. Is jumping from the 22nd to the 31st floor in 20 Pine really worth an extra 400K? The “New Developments” section will help you answer such questions building by building.

Or hit the “Talk” section, message boards where diehards discuss everything from tax benefi ts for fi rst-time buyers to how to intentionally tank a co-op board interview (seriously).

It all adds up to a free service that acts as a valuable ally in a tricky economy. (Though for $10 a month insiders can access the sales prices of properties in contract.) “People are looking for confidence,” Doherty explains. “A couple of years ago there was no fear and double-digit appreciation annually; now people are reluctant to sign that check. We help them make a decision.”

WHEN THE VIRTUAL gavel fell on a mansion at 11 East 74th St. last May, history was made. The home was one of the first sold by Bid on the City, a brokerage that takes the passion of Manhattan real estate and adds the bidding power of eBay. “We think it is a quick, efficient and transparent way to sell,” says the site’s managing director, Raymond Villani.

Rather than estimating the price of a property, Bid on the City lets the market decide. Sellers sign a listing agreement that puts their listing on the site for 30 days. That’s where buyers find floor plans, comparable sales, sales contracts and open-house schedules. On the day of the auction, prescreened buyers head online or to Bid’s swanky Fifth Avenue showroom to bid on the property.

If the reserve price is met, the apartment goes into contract and proceeds as with a regular real estate transaction. If not, Bid works with the seller and highest bidder to close the gap.

Skeptics may be wary of this “let’s make a deal” mentality, but Bid on the City refuses to be a fl ash in the pan. “We don’t go after foreclosed properties because our business model is not to make hay in a depressed market,” says Villani. For proof, see the site’s recent expansion into Hamptons rental properties. “We’re looking to higher-end markets, and the Hamptons makes sense, because renting for a season is not a high-risk venture,” he explains.
“People say, ‘Why don’t you test it out in a smaller market like [they do with] a Broadway tryout?’” laughs Villani. “But we’re starting in the toughest market in the world because the goal is to have a worldwide brand.” Visit bidonthecity.com.—M.O.   « Less
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High-End Home Bargains In Your Backyard
Forbes Magazine, February 11, 2010
BY FRANCESCA LEVY - More million-dollar properties are in foreclosure, some on the auction block. Translation? Deals. When homes go on the market with multimillion-dollar price tags, some don't sell for several years, since there are only ever a han ... More » BY FRANCESCA LEVY - More million-dollar properties are in foreclosure, some on the auction block. Translation? Deals.

When homes go on the market with multimillion-dollar price tags, some don't sell for several years, since there are only ever a handful of prospective buyers. But today pinched owners can't endure-or afford the wait.

“Get Your Property SOLD!” shouts Grand Estates Auction Co., a luxury real estate Web site. It’s an exhortation that might appeal to the scads of middle-class homeowners on the brink of foreclosure.

But attention-grabbing fire-sale promises like this are also being directed to owners of multimillion-dollar homes, many of whom are faced with foreclosure or unaffordable carrying costs in the down market. In 2009 18,817 properties worth $1 million or more went into foreclosure- -162% more than in 2008, according to data from RealtyTrac.

One example: the 11,500 square foot Aspen, Colo., chalet Grand Estates recently auctioned for $7.04 million. The price may sound high, but it’s a relative discount compared with the $14.5 million a nearby ranch half its size sold for in August 2008. That’s good news for buyers of these estates, who can bring costs down significantly by setting their own prices.

“There’s still a gap between what sellers are usually asking and what people are willing to bid,” says Ray Villani, managing director of New York-based Bid on the City, an auction Web site for homes of all price levels in the New York metro area, including some multimillion-dollar properties. “We find we get the most interest if properties are 35% off their original asking price.”

Change of Scene
When homes go on the market with multimillion-dollar price tags, some don’t sell for several years, since there are only ever a handful of prospective buyers. But today pinched owners can’t endure–or afford–the wait.
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Manhattan Real Estate Auction Site Launches Hamptons Rental Program
The Real Deal, January 26, 2010
Bid on the City, the online Manhattan real estate auction site, has announced the launch of a Hamptons bidding program for rentals... Bid on the City, the online Manhattan real estate auction site, has announced the launch of a Hamptons bidding pro ... More » Bid on the City, the online Manhattan real estate auction site, has announced the launch of a Hamptons bidding program for rentals...

Bid on the City, the online Manhattan real estate auction site, has announced the launch of a Hamptons bidding program for rental, rather than sales, properties. The move marks Bid on the City's first foray into rentals, and the company plans to unveil this new branch of its site with a Hamptons bidding event “on a Saturday in late February or early March,” according to a release sent yesterday. The rental auctions will be structured differently from the site’s Manhattan events, opting for a so-called “Dutch auction” rather than the more traditional approach. “Unlike traditional bidding in which the price goes up and bidders have an opportunity to increase their bids, the Dutch auction… has incremental decreases [from a higher starting price] until the first bid comes in,” a statement from the auction company explained. Once someone puts in a bid, the auction is over. Although it is not yet clear what villages in the Hamptons the site will focus on, the company said it will make information on the rental listings available 30 days prior to the auction event. Last year during this same month, brokers told The Real Deal that they were less optimistic about the coming rental season, with rental activity way down.   « Less
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Video - Eyewitness News Report
WABC-TV Eyewitness News, December 29, 2009
ABC: Tonight a more affordable way to buy an apartment and an easier way to sell one in Manhattan. Online auctions, a start-up virtual real estate company is now helping people do just that – getting buyers and sellers together. But is it righ ... More » ABC: Tonight a more affordable way to buy an apartment and an easier way to sell one in Manhattan. Online auctions, a start-up virtual real estate company is now helping people do just that – getting buyers and sellers together. But is it right for you?

Liz Cho: It is worth $4 million but this four-story townhouse in Murray Hill hasn’t had any takers. This one bedroom in Clinton is worth about $800,000 but no buyers, either. Well now they’re both going on a virtual auction block.

Albert Feinstein: We put it online for thirty days. We market it around the globe.

LC: Albert Feinstein and Vlad Sapozhnikov founded Bid on the City, a real estate firm and auction house all in one that does its selling online. On its website, properties to be auctioned off and information about the properties to help buyers decide if they want to bid.

AF: Property reports, comparative sales, virtual tours, pictures – everything is out there.

LC: Properties are listed for thirty days, and then go under the virtual hammer on auction day. Potential buyers can make their bids online from home or at Bid on the City’s Manhattan office.

AF: The highest bidder would have to wait for the owner to approve that bid. If the owner says yes, the buyer gets a contract.

LC: Sellers don’t have to accept the highest bid but both sides are then encouraged to negotiate. If the bid is accepted, the buyer has 48 hours to get everything signed, sealed, and a down payment delivered. But there is one catch; to make an apartment more sellable, Bid on the City advises owners to take about 35% off the previous asking price.

AF: Therefore we’re offering sellers minimal buyers.

ABC: Well in February, 12 apartments will be on the auction block in Manhattan ranging in price from $300,000 to $6 million. Everything from studios to townhomes will be available and the starting bid is $1.
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A New York City Brownstone for $1?
Fox Business, December 29, 2009
If you’ve ever wanted to own property in Manhattan, you may now have a chance. On February 1, Bid on the City is auctioning off at least 13 homes, all of which have starting bids of $1. Of course, there is a catch: the seller has to okay the ... More » If you’ve ever wanted to own property in Manhattan, you may now have a chance. On February 1, Bid on the City is auctioning off at least 13 homes, all of which have starting bids of $1.

Of course, there is a catch: the seller has to okay the sale and bidding increments range between $50,000 and $250,000, so you won’t actually be able to buy a home for $1. But most of the properties can be financed, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for in the city, you can try for Bid on the City’s first Hamptons auction, also taking place in February.   « Less
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Who will bid $1 for a Manhattan home?
Crain's New York Business, December 28, 2009
Next year, at least 13 Manhattan homes, originally priced from $225,000 to $5 million, will be auctioned off at starting bids of just $1. Bid on the City, which operates an eBay-life site for apartment and building sales, will hold the $1 event on Fe ... More » Next year, at least 13 Manhattan homes, originally priced from $225,000 to $5 million, will be auctioned off at starting bids of just $1. Bid on the City, which operates an eBay-life site for apartment and building sales, will hold the $1 event on Feb. 1.

Bid on the City, which operates an eBay-like site for apartment and building sales, will hold the $1 event on Feb. 1. Interested buyers can snap up the discounted properties live at the company’s 4,000-square-foot showroom at 226 Fifth Ave., at 27th Street, or bid online via the firm’s Web site.

The catch? There will be bidding increments ranging from $50,000 to $250,000, depending on the property, and sellers must approve any sale. There are also reserve prices for some of the properties.Sites range in size from studios to five bedrooms. The Manhattan-based start-up began marketing the event in major publications, including the New York Times, this weekend.

“Buyers and sellers understand that properties will not be sold for $1,” said Vlad Sapozhnikov, co-founder and managing partner of Bid on the City, adding that the $1 starting bid is more of a marketing ploy to grab buyers’ attention. “We are hoping to sell all of the properties.”

Almost all of the apartments to be auctioned off in February are financeable. But two of the properties, three-bedroom co-ops at East 102nd Street, have income restrictions and require all cash, according to Mr. Sapozhnikov. So far, the priciest property to be listed for the $1 auction event is a $4.7 million, 4,800-squarefoot townhouse at 155 Lexington Ave. “We are positioning ourselves as a high-end marketing firm rather than an auction house,” he said. “We are not working with distressed properties. We cater directly to brokers and sellers.”

Since launching in October, Bid on the City’s Web site has been attracting 2,000 visitors a day, with about 20% to 30% of the visits coming from overseas, Mr. Sapozhnikov said. So far, the company successfully auctioned off one property—a single-family townhouse on 75th Street and Fifth Avenue for $18 million, a 28% discount from the properties original price of $25 million. The starting bid was $15 million. Four more properties are currently under contract, said Mr. Sapozhnikov. Bid on the City collects a 3% commission from sellers and a 3% commission from buyers upon closing.

Bid on the City will also be launching its first Hamptons auction event in February, when at least five rental properties will be auctioned off. Landlords will have reserve rent prices or have the option to stop an auction at any time, he said.

“Things are difficult in the Hamptons,” said Mr. Sapozhnikov. “It’s an additional tool for landlords to use to rent a house.”   « Less
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Now in Auction Stunts, Bid $1 for a Manhattan Apartment
Curbed.com, December 21, 2009
Bidders, look over here! "Ebay for real estate" Bid on the City let us know that at its February 1 auction, at least 13 apartments will hit the block with a minimum bid of $1. Now that no one in New York City is batting an eye at real estate auction ... More » Bidders, look over here! "Ebay for real estate" Bid on the City let us know that at its February 1 auction, at least 13 apartments will hit the block with a minimum bid of $1.

Now that no one in New York City is batting an eye at real estate auctions any longer, it’s time for a new gimmick. Bidders, look over here! “Ebay for real estate” Bid on the City let us know that at its February 1 auction, at least 13 apartments will hit the block with a minimum bid of $1. The apartments would normally list for $225,000 to $5 million and are, a press release hastens to add, in “top-notch buildings” that are not distressed. (Click here and look for listings with the “$1 Event” stamp to see what’s up for grabs). There is, of course, fine print. Isn’t there always?

The apartments will have reserve prices, which we presume are a good deal higher than $1. And each seller will have 24 hours to approve the highest bid (or not). We don’t really expect these properties – like the 4,800-square-foot townhouse at 155 Lexington Avenue originally listed for $4.69 million, and the condos in the gallery above – to go for bargain-basement prices, but it’s a fun stunt that might bring a few extra bidders in to wave those paddles, er, hit the “bid” button. At least for the first few minutes, when competition will be thick to land those “I bid $1 for a Manhattan apartment!” bragging rights.
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The Non-Hot Hot Spots. Where are sellers hungriest to make a deal?
New York Magazine, November 23, 2009
When the proprietors of the real-estate auction service Bid on the City wanted to find out where their services would come in handy ... Bid on the City's Albert Feinstein says he expected unglamorous areas to top the list, but the results were very d ... More » When the proprietors of the real-estate auction service Bid on the City wanted to find out where their services would come in handy ... Bid on the City's Albert Feinstein says he expected unglamorous areas to top the list, but the results were very different.

When the proprietors of the real-estate auction service Bid on the City wanted to find out where their services would come in handy, they turned to Matthew Haines for data. The founder of PropertyShark.com, Haines and his team dug into third-quarter numbers to help pinpoint the five areas of prime Manhattan that have been toughest on sellers, based on three major criteria: how long it takes a typical seller to find a buyer there (Manhattan average: 150 days), median-price drops over the past two years (Manhattan overall: 10 percent), and the number of closed sales relative to the total number of properties on the market (the average is 23 percent, and higher is better). Bid on the City’s Albert Feinstein says he’d expected unglamorous areas like Murray Hill to top the list, but the results were very different. (It may be that dullness equals stability.) As for where the market may be headed based on these numbers? “If I knew [that], I would be so busy acting on that information that I wouldn’t have time to speak to you,” says Haines with a chuckle. Still, it’s fair to say that where there’s a weak market, there’s space for negotiation.

1. Chelsea/Flatiron/ Union Square/ Hudson Yards
Average days on market: 162
Sales-price change from 2007: –36 percent
Closed sales versus inventory: 21 percent
The explanation: Feinstein says he was surprised to find Chelsea and the Flatiron atop the list. But the whole area’s not uniformly problematic. The main trouble’s in “Chelsea Heights,” the area more or less centered on 23rd Street west of Eighth Avenue. According to appraiser Jonathan Miller, in 2008 this area had “one of the highest concentrations of new-development activity. That’s what this is about: the skew in the far west where there’s a lot of projects to be absorbed.” High Line fans, consider making an offer in 2010.

2. Midtown/Midtown South
Average days on market: 149
Sales-price change from 2007: –27 percent
Closed sales versus inventory: 19 percent
The explanation: Many apartments here are pieds-à-terre, and that’s a weak market segment at a time when getting approved to buy a first home is tough enough. On top of that, a lot of new condos in the area were built specifically for that market, compounding the problem. That said, if you have the cash to buy with a minimal loan, opportunities abound.

3. Soho/Tribeca/Little Italy
Average days on market: 184
Sales-price change from 2007: –15 percent
Closed sales versus inventory: 11 percent
The explanation: Lots of low-hanging fruit here, so pluck away. The particular problem, Miller points out, is that much of the housing stock, both new and old, is made up of larger apartments, requiring bigger loans and more cash up front and therefore “very susceptible to the credit contraction.” For buyers who’ll have no trouble obtaining a mortgage, now may be prime time for loft-hunting.

4. Upper East Side/Carnegie Hill
Average days on market: 162
Sales-price change from 2007: –8 percent
Closed sales versus inventory: 18 percent
The explanation: Feinstein hadn’t expected this moneyed area, but the stats speak for themselves. The occasional buzz-heavy megasale seems to be obscuring the fact that the luxury market has been suffering. “There certainly are sales, but the activity has thinned quite a bit,” reports Miller. “Even though the decline in employment [in the city] wasn’t as high as expected, high-wage-earners were really hit.” Watch this space closely during bonus season.

5. Battery Park City/Financial District/South Street Seaport
Average days on market: 162
Sales-price change from 2007: –7 percent
Closed sales versus inventory: 9 percent
The explanation: Haines says he was struck by the low number of closings, especially in Battery Park City, where prices haven’t dropped much and “nothing’s moving. There seems to be a lot of unrealistic sellers.” Within this area, says Miller, the financial district is particularly bad off, because despite all the new building, the neighborhood, even after a decade, has never quite jelled. Given all the chatter about the neighborhood’s vulnerability, Bid On the City’s Raymond Villani says he’d actually expected the financial district to be higher on the list.   « Less
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Bid on the City: Pioneering the Auction World
The Epoch Times, November 19, 2009
Sold! To the person sitting in his or her living room in Dubai. Buying a Manhattan apartment just got more comfortable - in fact, you don't have to leave your own home. In New York, Bid on the City is property's answer to eBay, and it's on the way to ... More » Sold! To the person sitting in his or her living room in Dubai. Buying a Manhattan apartment just got more comfortable - in fact, you don't have to leave your own home. In New York, Bid on the City is property's answer to eBay, and it's on the way to going global.

The auction site lists properties for sale at an average of 35 percent off the previous listing price. After 30 days and two open homes, the apartment goes under the virtual hammer and the highest bidder wins. Bid on the City takes two weeks to tie up the contract—they take 3 percent on top of the winning bid from the seller and 3 from the buyer.

Current perceptions of auctions in the United States are that they have an air of desperation for low quality goods, according to co-founder Vlad Sapozhnikov. “The auction world needs to be changed and we are the pioneers,” he said. “But eBay did all the education for us. Everyone now knows what a reserve is and how auctions work.” The company does not auction foreclosed properties.

Vlad Sapozhnikov and Albert Feinstein owned a boutique brokerage firm for 10 years in Manhattan before they anticipated the market turning sour more than two years ago. The concept evolved, and after extensive research on auctions and the tech, the site went beta in April.

Apartments have been sold each month since May, and interest in the method is growing. A developer in Harlem has sold two condos and a penthouse at 147th St. through Bid on the City, and he has three more lined up for the next three auctions, as well as some commercial space.“He wants out,” Sapozhnikov said of the developer. “The condos are very well-priced—selling below construction cost.”

Developers are coming to them with 20 or 30 units, but the absorption rate is low and Bid doesn’t want to take on excess, said Managing Director Raymond Villani. “We’re not able to auction off that many in one day,” he said.

“We proposed single properties, put in each 30-day cycle.”

There have been good deals from both sides. One studio on Park Avenue listed with a starting price of $299,000 and is now in contract for $400,000. On the flip side, a co-op at 352 West was $420,000 a year ago and is now in contract for $199,000.

So far, there have been anywhere between 3 and 12 people interested in bidding on each property that has been listed—two auctions saw no interest. Villani said there is often a tense silence before the first person bids. “Nobody wants to be first,” he said. The clock ticks down as the auction begins, and minutes are added again after each bid— not allowing for a last-second property grab. The average auction time so far is 12 minutes. “Fifty percent of the time we have been able to close the gap between the buyer and seller,” Villani said. The seller sets the reserve price, but the Bid on the City team say 35 percent off the previous listing price is the way to go.

“The general tendency of market—and a lot of brokers don’t know and won’t tell you—you need to discount 35 percent to generate interest,” Sapozhnikov said. He said Bid on the City is great for brokers. “We do all the work.” Villani said brokers have been a little slow to pick up the concept, afraid his company was taking their business. “But we are just another tool for them to use,” Villani said. A broker selling a property gets his or her commission from the seller.

BEST DEAL: Ready for auction is a studio on 23rd Street with a starting price of $299,000. The first open home recently attracted around 40 people and caused quite a stir for the building. The next auction will be held online in less than two weeks.

Bidders need to register by providing an address and credit card details to verify they are over 18 and that they have $5,000—which is charged if they fail to sign a contract within two days of the auction. People from up to 14 countries have been involved in bidding so far, including Greece, Canada, and England. There have been overseas buyers from Israel and Dubai. Most buyers are local and see the place before they buy, and most interaction is done through the Bid on the City Web site.

The company has had interest from other states within the United States, as well as areas around the world that would like to replicate their platform. Bid is in discussion with people in England and Miami, and some have expressed interest in opening a franchise in California; Baltimore is also interested, Villani said. “Bid on Moscow” is on the cards as the founders have Eastern European connections that have expressed interest.
Bid will expand into the Hamptons in January and they have just come back from an event in California.

“Bid on the City has three cornerstones,” Sapozhnikov said, “approach, technology, and marketing.” The partners spent $3 million to get the company going and are not concerned about getting competition any time soon.

“It’s so hard to copy this model,” said Sapozhnikov.   « Less
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Sold! Bid On The City combines a well conceived website with a live auction to create a user-friendly service.
Avenue Magazine, November 01, 2009
Manhattan's first real estate auction website, bidonthecity.com, offers homeowners and brokers a much needed option when selling Manhattan residences. Auctioning off luxury Manhattan properties after listing them for just 30 days. Manhattan’s ... More » Manhattan's first real estate auction website, bidonthecity.com, offers homeowners and brokers a much needed option when selling Manhattan residences. Auctioning off luxury Manhattan properties after listing them for just 30 days.

Manhattan’s first real estate auction website, bidonthecity.com, offers homeowners and brokers a much needed option when selling Manhattan residences. Auctioning off luxury Manhattan properties after listing them for just 30 days, the site includes everything needed for a sale, like pictures, floor plans,
virtual tours, area comparables, a schedule of open houses and even the sales contract. “The demand has been so great that we now have weekly auctions of Manhattan properties,” says Raymond Villani, managing director of Bid On The City. “I don’t now if there were weekly, non-distressed property auctions at
any point in Manhattan’s history!”

Properties are marketed locally, nationally and internationally. In fact over 20 percent of visitors to the Bid On The City website are from outside the United States. Those who are local recently took advantage of a double-decker tour bus that Bid On The City rented to take people around to the auction properties prior to bidding. The practice was so useful, it maybe come a regular feature. The auction itself is conducted live at a Fifth Avenue bidding center, with real-time video feed and audio streaming worldwide. Interested parties can participate in person or online.

“It is a simple, efficient and transparent way to buy and sell real estate,” Villani says. “Clients can view and take part in the auction anywhere an Internet connection is available.”

“Bid On The City was founded by brokers to be an effective tool for brokers,” says Villani. “In fact, we are currently considering allowing only brokers to use the platform, rather than dealing with sellers directly.” Brokers can list their
exclusives on Bid On The City at no cost, enjoy worldwide marketing and, after 30 days, have buyers compete to purchase the property. If the final bid isn’t high enough, the broker can reject it. If the final bid is accepted, the broker keeps 100 percent of the commission—unless the buyer also used a broker, in which case they would co-broke the deal, as is custom. Bid On The City charges a 3-percent buyer’s premium that is added to the final cost of the home.

Bid On The City has been so well received that it will soon debut in the Hamptons with both sale and rental properties. Considering how much the service simplifies real estate, it’s no wonder Bid On The City is expanding. Luckily for New Yorkers, no matter how much international attention the site garners, its
properties remain close to home.   « Less
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Online apartment auctions offer discounts up to 45%
Crain's New York Business, September 11, 2009
Manhattan-based start-up Bid on the City, an eBay for apartment and building sales, will be auctioning off six different properties next week. The company ... auctioned off seven properties totaling more than $21 million via three auctions over the s ... More » Manhattan-based start-up Bid on the City, an eBay for apartment and building sales, will be auctioning off six different properties next week. The company ... auctioned off seven properties totaling more than $21 million via three auctions over the summer

Manhattan-based start-up Bid on the City, an eBay for apartment and building sales, will be auctioning off six different properties next week. Asking bids start at as little as 45% of original prices. The company, which had its soft launching in April, auctioned off seven properties totaling more than $21 million via three auctions over the summer. Opening bids on those properties were 30% to 40% below original prices and ended up being sold at discounts in the 20% to 25% range. The Tuesday auction is Bid on the City’s fourth.

“It is exceeding our expectations by far,” said co-founder Vlad Sapozhnikov, adding that there are more than 200 individuals waiting to auction their properties. “Today, no one knows what true market value of property is.”

Starting Sept. 29, the company plans to hold an auction every week. Each will feature about five properties. All of its auctioned properties are neither distressed nor in foreclosure and are in Manhattan. The company plans to add properties in the outer boroughs.

Six properties, including a mixed-use building with retail space and apartments, will be auctioned off on Tuesday with starting bids that are discounted by at least 20% from original prices. For instance, an 800-square-foot one-bedroom condo on 142nd Street will have a starting bid of $299,000, down 30% from its original price, and a 550-square-foot studio co-op on West 56th Street will have a starting bid of $199,000, down 46% from its original price. As an additional perk, the company will provide a free double-decker bus tour of the auctioned properties three hours before the auction begins.

Bid on the City collects a 3% commission from sellers and a 3% commission from buyers upon closing. Auctions take place at the company’s 4,000-square-foot showroom at 226 Fifth Ave. at 27th Street and potential buyers can bid online via the company Web site.

What helps the auctions is that sellers get an option to select a reserve price on their property, he added, if a buyer’s winning bid does not match the designated reserve price the seller has the option not to sell.   « Less
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Selling homes in this real estate market can be a nightmare
Fox News Channel, September 07, 2009
We've heard it for a while now. Selling homes in this real estate market can be a nightmare. In this economy, selling a home can take years and the odds of getting your asking price are slim to none. Peter Platzer thinks he has figured out a way to still get a fair price for his property. He put his New York apartment on the auction block.Download PDF
If your apartment won't sell, how about auctioning it off?
New York Magazine, August 10, 2009
In April, Bidonthecity.com made its debut as Manhattan's first real-time real estate auction site - just in time for apartment sales in general to sink to new lows ... "the market wants a bargain," says co-founder Albert Feinstein. In April, Bidonth ... More » In April, Bidonthecity.com made its debut as Manhattan's first real-time real estate auction site - just in time for apartment sales in general to sink to new lows ... "the market wants a bargain," says co-founder Albert Feinstein.

In April, BidontheCity.com made its debut as Manhattan’s first real-time real-estate auction site—just in time for apartment sales in general to sink to new lows. The company’s held a handful of auctions since then, each giving us a look at what the free market has to say at a moment like this. And what is that exactly? First, that those foreign buyers said to be propping up our sales prices are still out there. (The site gets hundreds of international hits daily, mostly from Europe.) Second, and more important, “the market wants a bargain,” says co-founder Albert Feinstein. We asked him to show us his recent auction results, and had two observers—both of whom sell apartments through more conventional means—judge how the sellers did.   « Less
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Tricks of the Trade
Brokers Weekly, June 03, 2009
In its first billed event, Bid on the City just sold a modest 4 properties. But the newly founded company expects to capture 10% of the area real estate market in due time. In its first billed event, Bid on the City just sold a modest four propertie ... More » In its first billed event, Bid on the City just sold a modest 4 properties. But the newly founded company expects to capture 10% of the area real estate market in due time.

In its first billed event, Bid on the City just sold a modest four properties. But the newly founded company expects to capture 10% of the area real estate market in due time. "It’s ambitious, but we’re ambitious people,” said Albert Feinstein, who co-founded the company with Vlad Sapozhnikov, both executives at the real estate firm, New York Business Group.

The auction company requires sellers to sign an exclusive 30-day listing agreement. The property then goes to auction, with potential buyers placing bids from a personal computer or in person at Bid on the City’s offices on Fifth Avenue.

This $3 million venture was conceived well before New York City real estate took its present dive, but the service was rolled out at perhaps the most ideal time: When worried sellers are willing to give untraditional methods a shot. “There are definitely auctions now where there weren’t a year or two ago,” said Derrick Gross, business analyst at the property listings Web site streeteasy. com. “It’s a good idea. It’s a way to differentiate yourself.” Non-traditional selling techniques and marketing methods currently being tested are not limited to auctions, though. In Palm Beach, Florida, a savvy Realtor is offering one buyer a $1 million coupon to use towards the purchase of an oceanfront condo there.

Rusty Gulden has been running an advertisement in the Palm Beach News. “FREE $1,000,000 with this coupon. Offer expires May 31, 2009,” the ad reads. The coupon can be used towards the purchase of a 2,000 sf unit at the Sun & Surf Condominium at 100 Sunrise Blvd. Listed at $3.7 million, it’s $2.7 million with the coupon.

Two years ago, a Maryland couple decided to raffle their home after traditional selling methods failed. The couple sold tickets at $80 a pop and netted over $600,000 (including $225,000 profit) for the 2,700 sf farmhouse and sparked a trend that has seen firms specializing in home raffles sprout all over the Internet.

Take USA.HomeRaffle.com. The concept involves selling your home to a non-profit organization so it can raffle it off as a main prize. Sellers usually have to sign a contingency contract that says the non-profit will buy the house once they have sold a set number of tickets. On the day of the raffle, someone gets a new home for the price of a raffle ticket, the seller gets the full appraised value of his home and the non-profit pockets the profits. Everybody’s happy.
While raffles and coupons haven’t quite taken off in the tri-state market, many developers are thinking outside the box when it comes to tempting buyers.

Hudson Hill Condominiums, 462 West 58th Street, recently advertised a “facade completion blowout” where officials announced they are slashing prices up to 29% for the next 25 buyers. The Alchemy Properties development consists of 67 luxury units in a 10-story building. “Who knows if they will raise the prices after the 25 (buyers), but it creates a sense of urgency,” Gross said.

At Andre Balazs’ William Beaver House in the, financial district, a number of units are being marketed as rentals. Gross said such actions can upset existing owners ill the building, but at the same time it can be an opportunity to fill up a building and generate cash flow for ownership.

Gross has also seen a spike in the number of rent-to-own situations being pitched by developers. Northside Piers, the 30-story development in Williamsburg, announced such a program in the fall while Latitude in the Riverdale section of the Bronx is also hawking rent-to-own. Gross said it is no surprise the market is seeing such strategies to lure buyers, so many of whom are hesitant to sign a contract or are having trouble securing appropriate financing.

“The volume of sales is still pretty low,” Gross said. “There’s a lot of inventory. There are a lot of rentals coining onto the markets. Developers are going to do something different if they want to move their units. It’s a great idea to try these different ways to sell.”

Davida Katherine Maron, a broker associate for Century 21 NY Metro, said another non-traditional trick some developers are taking is selling units in bulk. Problem is, she said, there seems to be the same impasse between buyers and sellers when it comes to price. One recent experience was with an out-of-country referral. “Somehow, some of these foreign investors think we’re having a fire sale here,” she explained. “The Canadian agent was actually indignant when I gave her pricing for a four-unit package. She expected to pay much less for ‘re-possessed’ property. I then explained to her that these are not re-possessed units but units sold in bulk by the developers. Anyhow, no fire sale, no deal.”

Maron knows of a seller looking to unload bulk units in New Jersey, yet she has doubts the price tag will be palatable to an investor once homeowners’ fees and taxes are figured into the equation. “The most you can get here is $1,700 a month in rent,” she said. “It’s not a win situation.”

Maron said both buyers and sellers need to get more realistic to make deals happen. Auctions may be more appealing. “From what I hear, it’s probably a bettor way to go,” she said. “There’s something enticing about it for buyers.”

Bid on the City, of course, is hoping Maron is correct. Of the properties listed at the company’s first auction, bidding prices started anywhere from 25-52% of the unit. Final bids were anywhere from 2% (a I-bedroom unit at 555 West 23rd street) to 57% (a studio unit at 555 West 23rd Street) more than the starting price. “The great thing is, all were marketed as all cash,” Sapozhnikov said. Bid on the City, which takes 3% of the sale from both the buyer and the sellers, has not used hidden reserve’ bids, but will begin experimenting with them in the future. Feinstein said when potential buyers show up in person, it is a silent affair, with participants providing bids with an electronic ‘’tablet’’ so as not to disadvantage online bidders. Sapozhnikov said bidding lasted no more than 10 minutes per property. Each unit was offered up by an investor, but he said there is no limit to the type of customer Bid on the City can assist. The necessary technology was developed by propertysharkcom. Plans are already in the works to expand outside of New York City - and the United States.

“Absolutely,” Feinstein said. “We’re talking to people internationally, talking to representatives in Eastern Europe, and doing the same in Miami and California.”
No worries from the pair about their concept being duplicated and their business stolen. “Every single day we operate we have to improve and instill new technologies,” Feinstein said.   « Less
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Do Auctions Really Work?
The Real Deal, May 29, 2009
While the auction gavel has made its way onto the real estate scene in the New York area in recent weeks, not everyone is sold on the idea of putting properties up for bid ... Meanwhile, last month, Vlad Sapozhinikov and Albert Feinstein held their first auction through their new company, Bid on the City with largely positive results...Download PDF
Townhouse Buyers Scarce
The Real Deal, May 29, 2009
One of her listings, a turn of the century, six story mansion at 11 East 74th Street, had been scheduled for an auction in May through Bid on the City, an online real estate trading venture ... If developers think selling new condominiums in Manhatt ... More » One of her listings, a turn of the century, six story mansion at 11 East 74th Street, had been scheduled for an auction in May through Bid on the City, an online real estate trading venture ...

If developers think selling new condominiums in Manhattan is tough, they should try finding buyers for high-end townhouses. Pricey, older townhouses appeal to a tiny percentage of buyers — by one broker's estimate, just 3 percent of house hunters are looking for a townhouse — and as a result, they've always taken longer to sell than condominiums.

But since the real estate market crashed, townhouses are proving even more difficult than usual to sell, and when properties do change hands, it’s only after steep price reductions. "The townhouse market has been a little on the slow side,” said Anne Snee, a senior vice president at the Corcoran Group. “Townhouses are trickier to market. It’s taking longer than normal for everything to sell.”

Fewer buyers for high-end properties, combined with hard-to-get financing, are causing townhouses to languish on the market. According to data on closings from StreetEasy, 10 townhouses were sold in April, and the average length of time on the market was 54 weeks, compared to 100 new condominiums, which sold after an average of 28 weeks on the market. Brokers who specialize in townhouses cautioned against drawing too many conclusions from townhouse sales data because of the small number of transactions.

Officials at StreetEasy said the numbers do not fully reflect the current market, which they describe as far more active than in the early months of 2009. Brokers interviewed by The Real Deal said that while they’re seeing much greater interest in the second quarter, townhouse buyers are looking for bargains, and sellers are not jumping at their offers. In some cases, sellers are reluctant to accept offers because they owe more on their mortgage than the property’s current value. One of the hardest-hit areas is Harlem, which has a glut of townhouses for sale. Just four sales were recorded in April in Upper Manhattan, compared to 11 in April 2008, according to StreetEasy’s data.

A beautifully renovated three-family home in historic Hamilton Heights, originally listed at $2.6 million in July 2008, sold in February for $1.7 million, after three price cuts, said Brian Phillips, an associate broker with Prudential Douglas Elliman who specializes in Harlem townhouses. The buyer, an investor, paid cash for the house at 457 West 143rd Street.

Would-be buyers are finding apartments on the Upper West Side more affordable, which adds to the challenge of selling a townhouse in Harlem, Phillips said. “I’m getting offers, but some sellers owe more than the properties are worth,” he said. Still, the inventory of houses in all of Manhattan has dropped. The number of Manhattan townhouses on the market in April dipped 6.4 percent, to 539 houses, compared to 576 at the end of April 2008, according to Miller Samuel, the real estate appraisal and consulting firm. Meanwhile, the numbers of available co-ops and condos were each up 20 percent for the same period, said Jonathan Miller, the firm’s president and CEO. Debby Solomon, a senior vice president with Elliman, sees more townhouses for rent and fewer for sale.

Owners are eager to make some rental income as they wait for prices to go up before putting their homes on the market, Solomon said. “The listings for sale are limited,” she said. “I’ve been looking for clients from Los Angeles who want to rent a townhouse. There are tons to choose from for rent.” But some sellers are going to great lengths to close a sale, as was the case with a townhouse on West 69th Street that had been carved up into multiple apartments.

The townhouse sold last month for $4.4 million to a New York investment group, but only after a $500,000 price cut and months of complicated negotiations. The house took nearly a year to sell, said Edward Mermelstein, a real estate attorney whose firm was involved in the transaction. The deal went through because the seller provided the financing, he said. Sales of townhouses above $5 million are rare in today’s market, he said.“You’re having issues financing these properties,” Mermelstein said. “On top of financing, the market itself has contracted,” he added. The people purchasing [high-end properties] are slowly disappearing. You’ve got bankers and hedge-fund guys who’ve lost their jobs and bonuses. Those were the targets of the townhouse market.”

SPRING THAW
Still, some brokers are seeing a thaw after dealing with a dead market at the beginning of 2009.

Two townhouses on the Upper East Side are enticing house hunters, including one home with a garage on East 75th Street that attracted Madonna’s attention, said Don Correia, a senior vice president at Halstead Property. That home, originally listed at nearly $7 million, has an accepted offer. There’s also a signed contract on a two-story townhouse at 75th Street and York Avenue that initially went on the market for $2 million. “It was as dead as a doornail in January and February,” Correia said. “Things have turned around in the last month.”

Based on fresh interest among high-end buyers, Rachel Koenig of Prudential Douglas Elliman expects the second quarter to be much better for townhouse sales. One of her listings, a turn-of-the-century, six-story mansion at 11 East 74th Street, had been scheduled for an auction in May through Bid on the City, an online real estate trading venture, but the auction was canceled after a contract came in, Koenig said. “The activity I’m seeing on the higher-end market has picked up,” Koenig said. “I’ve seen some houses go into contract in the last few weeks.”

That should be encouraging to Irish investor Derek Quinlan, who needs a wealthy buyer for his 13,000-square-foot limestone mansion at 20 East 64th Street, priced at $37 million, according to the New York Post. Built in 1857, the house has five bedrooms, two terraces, a gym, massage room, basement staff quarters and library.
According to the Post, Quinlan had been renting it out for $90,000 a month before putting it on the market.   « Less
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Online Video Report
The Real Deal, May 17, 2009
Sara Polsky checks out one of the first Manhattan property auctions to provide an alternative to the normal brokerage process. Bid on the City which operates out of a Fifth Avenue storefront, put five properties ...Sara: While residential property au ... More » Sara Polsky checks out one of the first Manhattan property auctions to provide an alternative to the normal brokerage process. Bid on the City which operates out of a Fifth Avenue storefront, put five properties ...

Sara: While residential property auctions are often associated with distressed sales, some real estate professionals are now testing them on regular properties that simply aren’t selling fast enough. Today we’re here at Bid on the City, a new company with a storefront on 5th avenue, which allows sellers to put their properties on the auction block rather than going through the standard brokerage process. The company will hold its first five auctions this afternoon. We’ll talk to the major players here to see what happens.

Sara: Unit 33E at 325 5th Avenue is a 1 bed/1.5 bath apartment with a southern exposure that owner Yana Reznick bought two years ago for 1.13 million dollars. She wasn’t planning on selling it but in this economy the upkeep on the property, which she rents out, has gotten expensive.
Yana Reznick: I think that if I’m at the danger to run a couple of apartments by myself just to pay the rent, the mortgage, and maintenance fees, and taxes, it becomes quite expensive. I can’t really afford it.

Sara: She put the apartment up for auction with Bid on the City on Sunday for the same price she paid for it, $1.13 million. With only four people registered to participate in her auction, the tension was running high. But after a couple of minutes of frenetic online bidding, she was more than satisfied with the results. The apartment went for $1.305 million to a buyer in San Jose, CA, who made his bid during a live online auction.

Sara: Reznick’s apartment was one of the 5 Manhattan properties Bid on the City put up for auction the other day. Three of the remaining four units, 2 one bedrooms and one studio sold for over their minimum asking prices. The fifth, a one bedroom condo, at 150 West 51st street failed to sell.
Vlad Sapozhnikov: None of the tools that brokers use today work and we need a new technologically advanced system to move real estate.

Sara: The company charges the winning bidder a nonrefundable $5,000 and sends the buyer a contract three hours within of the auction. The buyer must then wire a down payment within 48 hours. 40 days later, a closing is scheduled. Albert Feinstein, one of the company’s co-founders, showed us the hi-tech bidding terminals available for in-person bidding at the company’s office. But Bid on the City expects the majority of bidders to watch the auction on live streaming video and bid online from home like the San Jose buyer did.

Albert Feinstein: All the numbers are automatically refreshed everywhere in our bidding room as well as around the globe.

Sara: Selling nondistressed properties through auctions is a relatively new by-product of the recession. But Bid on the City is hoping to gain some momentum and recoup the $3 million investment that its backers made. To do that, it is collecting a 6% commission on most properties, half from the buyer and half from the seller.

VS: The idea behind this is to bring everybody interested to bid on the property at the same time. We feel this is the only way the property will get a true market value.

Sara: Bid on the City tries to set minimum prices for properties at 20% below their market value to generate interest. That should only feed critics who say that auctions only depress the values of surrounding properties. But co-founder Vlad Sapozhnikov, insists that the Bid on the City system is unique and will only help get transactions moving again. Unlike a standard brokerage, the company takes listings for 30 days in advance of an auction and hosts open houses for potential bidders. So far, they say, the open houses have gotten a strong response.

VS: It was a lot of people. We had to take them in groups inside the building because they were crowding the apartment, there was no room in the apartment.

Sara: Still, not all has been smooth sailing. As has been reported, a planned auction for Bid on the City’s most expensive property, a $15 million townhouse at 11 East 74th Street was canceled a few days before bidding was scheduled to take place when the seller accepted the standard offer. But despite the tough marketplace and any start-up growing pains they might experience, Bid on the City’s founders are optimistic that their real estate sales platform will catch on.

VS: I get a sense of very positive reactions from brokers. They’re very happy that finally there is a reason for a buyer to come back to the market and feel safe that they’re not overpaying for real estate.

Sara: Thanks for joining us for this edition of The Real Deal Webcast. I’m Sara Polsky, see you next time.

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Going, going, gone
Brokers Weekly, May 13, 2009
New online bidding service looking to put the $$$ back in pricing. A $30 million Prudential Douglas Elliman listing is set to go under the hammer on a new website run by industry veterans Albert Feinstein and Vlad Sapozhnikov A $30 million Prude ... More » New online bidding service looking to put the $$$ back in pricing. A $30 million Prudential Douglas Elliman listing is set to go under the hammer on a new website run by industry veterans Albert Feinstein and Vlad Sapozhnikov

A $30 million Prudential Douglas Elliman listing is set to go under the hammer on an new website run by industry veterans Albert Feinstein and Vlad Sapozhnikov.|

Bids for the 10,000 sf townhouse will start at $15 million but could, feasibly, go well over $30 million if enough bidders get online.
That, at least, is the theory behind the city's first online real estate trading platform - a virtual e-Bay for homes - that could provide the kick start this sluggish sales market has been crying out for. "Lately, in this market, sellers haven’t been able to sell their properties because buyers are unsure if they
can find a property of their choice and get the best possible deal,” said Feinstein. “After almost two years of development, we created the BidontheCity.com platform to offer sellers and buyers the most innovative and certain approach to selling and buying Manhattan premium residential and commercial real estate.”
Added Sapozhnikov, “Having worked in residential sales in Manhattan for many years and having been the top sales person for many buildings, I realized that a standard brokerage approach no longer works in this type of economy. “There is a need for much more dynamic and technologically-advanced tools to sell and buy on Manhattan, so we created Bidonthecity.com as a type of “E-Trade” for real estate.” BOTC says it offers sellers, buyers and brokers a whole host of advantages against the competition, not least a global marketing strategy.

Here’s how it works: The listing package comes with a free detailed property analysis with comparable sales, a recommended starting bid price, a local and international marketing schedule and an open house schedule all within 90 minutes of the initial request.

Sellers pre sign a contract prior to listing their property; BOTC markets properties locally, nationally and internationally and has a database of pre-screened and qualified buyers from around the world.
Thirty days after a property is listed, buyers bid in real time on BOTC’s platform to negotiate the best possible price. Bidding takes place simultaneously online and in person at BOTC’s Manhattan ground-level, bidding center located at 226 Fifth Avenue. The bidding is broadcasted live around the globe. The highest accepted bid will be awarded the contract for sale and, within three hours, the contract and the closing schedule are delivered.

Sellers pay nothing if the property is not sold and 3% if it is.
Bidding for the Upper East Side townhouse takes place tomorrow (May 14).
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It's Like eBay for Manhattan Real Estate
CNBC, May 07, 2009
First eBay and Etrade, now eRealEstate in Manhattan but they are calling it "Bid on the City" ... First Ebay and Etrade, now Erealestate in Manhattan, but they’re calling it “Bid on the City” or: www.bidonthecity.com. This is a ne ... More » First eBay and Etrade, now eRealEstate in Manhattan but they are calling it "Bid on the City" ...

First Ebay and Etrade, now Erealestate in Manhattan, but they’re calling it “Bid on the City” or: www.bidonthecity.com. This is a new auction site, launched in April that will hold its first online real estate auctions on May 14th and 17th. So far, on residential, they’ve got five properties up for sale, including one for $15 million!

It’s the brainchild of a 10 year veteran real estate broker, Vlad Sapozhnikov and a real estate attorney, Albert Feinstein. They made their big bucks selling condos to international buyers during the housing boom. Well as we know, most of those buyers have taken their big wallets and gone on home. Real estate prices and sales in Manhattan are tanking, and inventory is soaring. That makes it really hard to value any listings. So why not auction? “The number one problem for sellers and brokers, it’s extremely hard to estimate the price right now,” says Sapozhnikov. “Properties are sitting on the market. They feel that they need to reduce the price, they don’t know how much, and the only way is through auction.”

You don’t have to pay to bid. You just have to register. The sellers are individuals as well as developers, and they sign a 30-day exclusive listing agreement before the auction. There are open houses, video tours and advertising. So far they have five properties. The first auction will be May 14th, then the rest on May 17th.

The website shows two properties on the front page, one with “Original Price” of $35,000,000 and “Starting Bid” of $15,000,000. It’s a townhouse at 11 East 74th Street, so right off Fifth Avenue. The other originally at $1,500,000 and starting bid $1,300,000, is a 3.5 bedroom condo at 325 Fifth Avenue, which is much further downtown.

Obviously, in the Manhattan real estate market, there are contingencies on the purchase, especially for co-ops, where those sticky co-op boards have the last say on every sale. These first properties on the site are all condos. Some sellers want mortgage contingencies as well. Bid on the City charges you a 3 percent commission for the buyer and the seller, equaling 6 percent.
“Our platform was two years in the making so the decision was a while back,” adds Sapozhnikov. That’s when Manhattan still seemed above the crash in the rest of the housing market. But all that is over now and Manhattan is falling hard. He thinks “right now is the perfect time. We’re happy we didn’t launch before. The market needs our platform now more than ever.”   « Less
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Pros Claim Online Platform Offers Convenience
GlobeSt.com, April 24, 2009
Two New York City real estate executives have started a web-based company to auction residential and commercial properties. "It speeds the process, it make it more convenient and it accomplishes the objective of selling the property" ... Two New Yo ... More » Two New York City real estate executives have started a web-based company to auction residential and commercial properties. "It speeds the process, it make it more convenient and it accomplishes the objective of selling the property" ...

Two New York City real estate executives have started a web-based
company to auction residential and commercial properties. But Albert Feinstein and Vlad Sapozhnikov, former officers of a boutique real estate firm, prefer to think of the newly launched $3-million auction site as the city’s “first online real estate trading platform.” “It’s not about the auction process,” says Feinstein. “It’s about the way we market properties and the advantages it offers the sellers.” The new site, Bid on the City, launched this week. Offering real-time bidding online or in-person, it’s powered by a three-pronged technology platform, which includes a listing engine, a bidding engine and video broadcasting. Feinstein – an attorney and former principal broker at the New York Business Group LLC – predicts the site “is going to be huge.” While that remains to be determined, what is already clear is that the site reflects a trend: no matter how you describe them, online real estate auctions are gaining traction.
Proxibid, an Omaha-based provider of live auction webcasting services, reported a 63% increase in the number of auctions in the first quarter of 2009 over the same period a year earlier. One of its strongest growth areas is real estate, which has expanded as investors rushed to take advantage of falling interest rates, says CEO Bruce Hoberman.
In February, Los Angeles-based Downtown Properties Holdings LLC used innovative Internet technology to auction 79 lofts in the historic Rowan Building in Downtown Los Angeles. In about three hours, the developer sold 63 units or $21.8 million worth of real estate, says William R. Stevenson, a partner with Downtown Properties.
More recently, two former executives with Inland Real Estate Auctions in Oak Brook, IL capitalized on the interest in auctions with the formation of Chicago-based Global Real Estate Auctions Inc. “If there’s one recurring headline in today’s news, it's that real estate assets have become harder to value through conventional brokerage," says John DeMato, president and CEO of Global Real Estate Auctions.

“Tough-to-value properties, however, are the auctioneer’s forte, because no other marketing tool is as efficient in quickly gathering interested parties together and immediately determining value through competitive bidding,” DeMato adds.
Feinstein couldn’t agree more. “It speeds the process, it makes it more convenient and it accomplishes the objective of selling the property,” he says.
Quick sales weren’t a problem when Feinstein and Sapozhnikov began selling real estate at the New York Business Group. Founded in 2002, the company specialized in selling Manhattan condominiums to foreign buyers. But then the real estate boom went bust.
Since then, Feinstein and Sapozhnikov–a former senior vice president and salesperson at the firm–have been toying with technology as an alternative to traditional real estate. The key, they maintain, is a system that restores some of the urgency that excess inventory and lagging buyer confidence has stripped from the market.
To create that, they worked with Matthew Haines, founder of Brooklyn-based PropertyShark.com, a real estate property database. Haines designed and developed the price negotiation engine, which he describes as “the most sophisticated and advanced technology” on the market today.

Here’s how it works:

Sellers sign a 30-day exclusive listing agreement with Bid on the City. They also pre-sign a contract of sale, making the transaction transparent and a sale certain, as long as a qualified buyer offers at least the minimum bid. Sellers pay 3% commission if the property sells, but nothing if it doesn't.
Potential buyers can bid online or at the company’s headquarters near Madison Square Park. Bidders register with a credit card and must sign contracts within two days of winning an auction or incur a $5,000 charge. Like the seller, the buyer pays a 3% fee.
The site currently has five listings, all of them residential:
* A 899-square-foot, one bedroom, 1.5 bath unit at 325 Fifth Ave. with a minimum bid of $1.13 million.
* A 634-square-foot, one bedroom, one bath unit at 555 West 23 St. with a minimum bid of $499,000.
* A 440-square-foot, one bedroom, one bath unit at 150 West 51 St. with a minimum bid of $399,000.
* A 621-square-foot, one bedroom, one bath unit at 212 East 47 St. with a minimum bid of $499,000.
* A 462-square-foot studio at 555 West 23td St. with a minimum bid of $299,000.
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It Happened One Weekend: eBay for Apartments
Curbed.com , April 13, 2009
It makes sense there should be a website for one stop shopping. Enter Bid on the City... With all the Manhattan apartments supposedly coming to auction in the near future, it makes sense that there would be a website to go to for one stop shopping. ... More » It makes sense there should be a website for one stop shopping. Enter Bid on the City...

With all the Manhattan apartments supposedly coming to auction in the near future, it makes sense that there would be a website to go to for one stop shopping.
Enter Bid on the City, which goes live on Friday with 10 Manhattan condos, half listed by developers, half by sellers. The auctions will be a realtime event, happening live and online (through an engine built by PropertyShark) simultaneously, with no hidden reserve prices. So far, the apartments are in buildings such as 555 West 23rd Street in Chelsea, Millentium Tower in BPC, Place 57 on East 57th Street and 325 Fifth Avenue. Based on the impulsive way we use eBay (did we really need that bronze bald eagle sculpture?), let's just say we're wary about bookmarking.
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New Venture Auctions Off Condos
The Real Deal, April 13, 2009
Potential buyers can bid on condos online or at the company's headquarters near Madison Park. Some of the properties will be units in 555 West 23rd Street and the Millennium Tower Residences at 30 West Street ... Two real estate executives have star ... More » Potential buyers can bid on condos online or at the company's headquarters near Madison Park. Some of the properties will be units in 555 West 23rd Street and the Millennium Tower Residences at 30 West Street ...

Two real estate executives have started a company to auction off apartments in the city. Albert Feinstein, a lawyer and principal broker of New York Business Group, and Vlad Sapozhnikov, a senior vice president at New York Business Group, founded the $3 million venture called Bid on the City, which opens this week. Potential buyers can bid on condos online or at the company’s headquarters near Madison Square Park. The first few condos to be sold belong to sellers who paid $660,000 to $1.38 million within the past few years, and expect to take losses, and other units belong to developers who will offer apartments at significant discounts. Sellers have to sign a 30-day exclusive listing agreement with Bid on the City, and the condos are auctioned four weeks later. Some of the auctioned properties will be units in 555 West 23rd Street and the Millennium Tower Residences at 30 West Street.
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Bid On The City Opens in Manhattan
New York Times, April 12, 2009
The New York Times broke the story about Bid on the City a new real estate company that offers real estate for sale with live online auctions. It describes how the realtors selling luxury homes and property for sale, created an advanced platform for ... More » The New York Times broke the story about Bid on the City a new real estate company that offers real estate for sale with live online auctions. It describes how the realtors selling luxury homes and property for sale, created an advanced platform for real estate auctions. To see the original real estate article that appeared in The New York Times, click on the link below.   « Less See Online Version
If you are a member of the press and would like to learn more about BidOnTheCity.com, please contact:

Kelly Kreth
(201) 417-8691
PR@bidonthecity.com

Thank you for your interest in BidOnTheCity.com.