Crazy Like a Fox

Brown Harris Stevens

Whether the seller of a Southampton house gets paid in Bitcoin as he’s asking, or in cash, which he’ll take — he’s certainly stirred up a lot of attention for his listing on Big Fresh Pond. The four-bedroom house asking $799,000 has been on the market since October, but the other day when owner Philip Preuss told his agent, Amadeus Ehrhardt of Brown Harris Stevens in Sag Harbor, to amend the listing to accept the online currency, the media had a field day with outlets from the Stamford Advocate to the Wall Street Journal weighing in on the high-tech sales ploy.

Mr. Preuss, an equities salesman, said that he’s followed the Bitcoin market closely and is confident the younger generation will find the offer intriguing. As Bitcoin is an international currency, he’s also hoping it will attract foreign buyers.

It is most likely the only house ever to be offered for bitcoin in the Hamptons. In fact, Mr. Amadeus said that he’s only aware of two other similar houses on the market anywhere, one in Las Vegas, the other in Canada.

According to Forbes, the value of a Bitcoin has seesawed from $13 last year to $1,240 at the beginning of the month. On Tuesday it was trading at $715. Mr. Preuss said he will accept payment in whatever the average exchange rate is on the day of the closing. Mr. Preuss is not alone. Richard Branson announced last month that Virgin Galactic would accept Bitcoin as payment for space travel.

Mr. Ehrhardt will be holding an open house this weekend, but said that so far, no potential buyers have called based on all the ink that’s spilled about the house. On the other hand, he’s gotten a slew of calls from the press. “All I want to do is get back to work and sell houses,” he said.