googlecapitalIf N.A.R., realtor.com, and/or other industry leaders don’t get out in front of the changing market, then those with the big bucks will put an attractive spin on their model and try to determine our future.  From techcrunch.com:

Fresh off its public debut last week, Google Capital is putting more money to work this week with the announcement of a $50 million investment in real estate marketplace Auction.com. The valuation of the company post-money is $1.2 billion, and a representative from Google Capital will join the company’s Board of directors and another will take a board observer position.

Similar to other real estate marketplaces, Auction.com connects buyers and sellers of real estate. And the company has sold $26 billion of property since inception. What differentiates Auction.com is that the real estate transaction actually happens online. It’s been described as an “eBay for real estate.” Financing options remain the same as in the offline world (it happens via a bank). Similar to eBay, the highest bidder wins on these auctions.

Launched in 2008, Auction.com only started expanding in Silicon Valley last year, with the company’s headquarters in Southern California. And while Auction.com has raised money from private equity, it hasn’t used much of its unvested capital and is profitable.

Of course, you can draw comparisons to other real estate marketplaces like Zillow or Trulia. As Jake Seid, president of Auction.com, explained in an interview, “Trip Advisor is to Priceline as Zillow is to Auction.com.” He sees sites like Zillow as complimetary.

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