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eBay, HomeSeekers.com Partner

eBay signed a marketing agreement with HomeSeekers.com Inc. that will offer real estate agents and brokers easy access to the online trading community and increase the number of listings on eBay Real Estate.

The real estate category was launched by eBay last July.

"HomeSeekers.com and its national network of real estate professionals will create a new marketing vehicle for agents and brokers ," said Richard Rock, general manager of eBay Real Estate.

The companies said they will jointly create a new advertising mechanism designed to let brokers and agents prominently position their home listings in the real estate section of eBay.

The companies will immediately begin work on site development, with anticipated launch of the joint program scheduled for the first quarter of 2001.

Financial specifics of the deal were not disclosed.

Homeseekers stock is trading in the $1.50 range, down from its 52-week high of $25.50. The company clearly is facing increased competition in the face of the planned acquisition of Cendant Corp.'s real estate portal move.com by Homestore.com Inc.

Although that deal is being looked at by federal antitrust officials, if it goes through it will create the largest real estate-related operation on the Internet.

"We look forward to combining our strengths in technology and exposure in the real estate industry with the formidable consumer and market development presence of eBay to create a new alternative for real estate professionals and consumers to come together in the Internet space," said John Giaimo, president and chief operating officer of HomeSeekers.

Earlier this week, HomeSeekers signed a multi-year agreement with Deco LLC, a company comprised of major real estate brokers in New York City, to provide ongoing real estate listing management technology and related services. Members of the Deco group include New York City real estate firms Douglas Elliman LLC and Corcoran Group Inc.