Buying an Apartment the '90s Way Searching for a Home on the Information Highway

The electronic age has reached the New York real estate market, bringing new ways of buying and selling

apartments. Instead of spending weekends and evenings visiting real estate brokers and traipsing through neighborhoods looking for the right apartment, buyers can scan a variety of new on-line services that offer real estate listings that can be accessed from their home or office simply by using a computer and modem.

With colorful graphics and an easy-to-use interface, these services allow buyers to locate and examine apartments they're interested in, without ever leaving the comfort of their own homes. Photographs, floor plans and prices are just some of the features that can be accessed from on-line listing services such as HIA/Virtual Village, City-Wire's New York State Real Estate Guide and HomeNet. Helping to change the future of the real estate market, these services are sure to become essential aids for busy buyers hunting for homes and the brokers who want to meet their needs.

Fast and Easy

One of the first services in Manhattan to go on-line was HIA/Virtual Village. The brainchild of Roberta Benzilio and Michael Sarfatti, HIA went on-line last January, offering real estate listings as well as a directory of other informational services. Benzilio worked with William B. May, a real estate brokerage firm, for 12 years before moving on to her new business. Sarfatti did work with a firm that developed software for trading commodities and has been using the Internet since 1977.

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