The owners of a Beverly Hills, California, mansion recently bought a new home — and, therefore, they need to sell their current “Italianate Estate” quickly.

To do so, they listed it on the new online luxury home bidding platform plumBid Inc., which launched this week.

If no buyer accepts the “pre-emptive asking price” of $11.5 million before the July 26 auction date, the 90210 listing will be opened up to a three-hour live bid.

Los Angeles brokerage Deasy/Penner & Partners designed plumBid for just this type of seller. The Beverly Hills home is the only listing on the platform, but the firm plans to add some of its other luxury listings on it as well. This is an example of a traditional broker experimenting with new ways of selling properties, using the latest online auction technology.

The 100-agent firm may consider opening up the platform to listings from other brokerages but hasn’t decided if it will do so, Deasy/Penner & Partners President George Penner said.

“We wanted to come up with a more efficient way to market a property,” Penner said.

The firm plans to fully market the listings that hit the platform, as it does with its traditional listings.

How it works

Sellers on plumBid pay no fees. Buyers pay a 1.95 percent premium on the sale price of the home.

If no buyer decides to buy the home at the pre-auction price, it goes to a “Dutch auction,” where the price continues to decrease until a buyer raises his or her hand to purchase. The price will decrease by varying amounts until a buyer bids or the seller’s reserve price is met.

PlumBid is different from high-end home auction marketplace Concierge Auctions, which uses a live auctioneer and starts bids off low, then increases amounts until bidding stops, according to Concierge Auctions President Laura Brady.

PlumBid does not use a live auctioneer. Sellers can reset their reserve price during the auction if they choose, Penner said.

George Penner

George Penner

All plumBid buyers will be prequalified, so as soon as they agree to a price, they immediately move into a purchase contract and open up escrow on the home.

Buyers can get prequalified with their own lender, but to bid on a plumBid home, they’ll need to get checked over by plumBid’s preferred lender.

“We want to assure buyers’ financial capabilities,” Penner said.

PlumBid also sends out backup offer requests to the other bidders to secure a buyer if the original one falls through.

If a home listed on plumBid doesn’t get a bid, it just converts to a standard listing, Penner said.

The firm expects to list between five and seven homes on the platform by year’s end.

Email Paul Hagey.


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