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eBay to launch new real estate tools

The online auction company says it will eliminate the HomesDirect brand, incorporate the listings into its real estate division and add new features to that segment.

eBay said Tuesday it would eliminate the HomesDirect brand, incorporating the listings into its real estate division, and add new features to that segment.

HomesDirect was acquired by eBay last August, a year after eBay launched its own real estate operation. HomesDirect had specialized in foreclosed property from the Veterans Administration and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The company said the switch would allow the HomesDirect listings to be more directly integrated into eBay's real estate listings.

eBay is also launching a new offer management system for REO (real-estate-owned) properties, allowing real-time online offer negotiations, performance tracking and reporting, and other services. REO properties are typically sold by governments or banks; eBay claims to be the largest online market for such properties, running more than 10,000 auctions a month.