Florida home to be auctioned as NFT has attracted over 7,000 potential bidders

NFT (Non-Fungible Token) — Courtesy: Shutterstock — Rokas Tenys

Two superheated markets, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and real estate, have collided in what could be one of the first home auctions as an NFT.

The Gulfport, Florida, house will be auctioned on Thursday with a starting price of $650,000. The home will be auctioned through a partnership between real estate companies Heckler Realty and Propy. The winning bidder will get an NFT, a digital token that in this case will record that person’s ownership of a limited liability company on an online ledger. The LLC’s only asset is the home.

Amy Heckler, the real estate broker for the property and founder of Heckler Realty Group, said “Propy told her that more than 7,000 people have signed up to potentially bid on the home.”

Leslie Alessandra, the founder of a Tampa area-based blockchain company that is the home’s seller, stated that she “wanted to sell the house as an NFT to demonstrate the technology’s capabilities.” Heckler said Alessandra approached her nearly three months ago inquiring about holding an NFT auction, which Heckler thought at the time was a strange request.

After several meetings with lawyers and representatives from Propy, who is managing the auction, Alessandra and Heckler decided to move forward with the plan. Since then, Heckler has received inquiries from those who want to buy the house, many from those who do not want to use an NFT, and from others who want to sell homes using NFTs.

“I have not even been able to return all the phone calls, and I pride myself on answering my phone and returning phone calls in a very prompt manner,” said Heckler.

The home, located at 6315 11th Ave. S in Gulfport features five bedrooms and three and a half baths.

According to a blog post on Propy’s website, last year, Propy sold TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington’s apartment in Kyiv, Ukraine, for 96 Ether or about $93,000 at the time.

The Florida property auction is just the latest in real-world markets colliding with the emerging NFT world. NFTs have already had a huge impact on the art market, with digital NFT artworks often selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in one case, for $69 million.

According to blockchain analytics company Chainalysis, people spent $44 billion buying and selling NFTs in 2021.

Anyone who is looking to bid on the Florida property must first register by submitting their name and other details so that Propy can verify their identity. Bidders are also required to have MetaMask cryptocurrency wallet that holds over $650,000 in Ether, which would be used in the sale instead of actual dollars, then connect their wallets to Propy. 

Those pushing for the merging of real estate and NFTs have said the combination could speed up transaction processing and reduce closing costs. At the same time, the prices of many cryptocurrencies are volatile and could be subject to high transaction fees.

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