Considering that I am in Real Estate I only figured it would be appropriate to share the knowledge that I’ve acquired over the past 4 years. I am in real estate in New York City, so a lot of the tools I use are very specified to New York, however these are the select greats from my vast collection of bookmarks of the real estate tools that are national (United States) and some International.
No Matter what you are looking for in Real Estate, these are the search tools to find them. I would also appreciate it if you had any other free helpful sites or web applications to please let me know in the comments. Enjoy…
Major Real Estate Sites
Trulia is by far my favorite pick for a real estate search, not only is it fully stocked with properties, it is also stocked on features that include: Google Map Layout (Satellite/Hybrid Option); Well done Search Results Layout; Property Preview Option in Search Results; Easily sort-able and customizable; Free Membership with abilities for saving, alerts, information; Large Web Community; Comparables on Screen and Similar Properties; Real Estate Guides; Community Information and Statistics; Trulia also provides an API.
Zillow is still in Beta (for some reason) and is less attractive than Trulia. However, if offers a lot of similar features including a Community and extensive Real Estate Guides. There are also way too many advertisements which divert your attention from the heart of the matter. Some of their positive features are well developed comparables, Neighborhood pages and what they like to call Zestimates or estimates based on comparable and other relevant information to provide an estimated price. Zillow also provides an API for properties and Zestimates. More on Zillow.
Yahoo’s real estate site is almost a mashup of several services, including Zillow’s Zestimates and features from Realtor.com, however, they definitely do not have the vast database of properties comparatively (probably because they charge to list properties). Surprisingly, Yahoo has done a unique job of integrating everything related to real estate including school research, mortgages, credit scores, foreclosure information and a recently updated neighborhood section.
(4) New York Times
I personally hate the New York Times Real Estate section, but New Yorker’s consider it the Bible of real estate properties. I was surprised to see many sales and rentals available in most of the United States. Obviously, the New York Times is a large part of the real estate article database, however, I think their features and options are relatively standard for the real estate industry.
A simplistic map based real estate search engine for not only Sales and Rentals, but also includes commercial real estate. Propsmart not only integrates their properties with Google Maps but they also provide Google Earth feeds for major cities. The only additional feature to note is the ability to rate your properties.
Recently launched real estate portal ingeniously linked several databases and used several APIs to create your own personal real estate dashboard. Highly customizable and drag and drop functionality. It seems there are still some bugs in the system and definitely some additional tweaking needed to the layout, but for now Terabitz is worth trying. It includes sales, rentals, foreclosures, craigslist feeds, for sale by owner listings and more. In addition, it includes functional drag and drop modules for local amenities, statistics and information in addition to a rich financial section.
Hotpads offers only Rentals. Simplistic mashup of rental properties. The best part of HotPads is the simple adjustments of your criteria on the map. The worst part is once you find the rental, it gets confusing. Although, to my big surprise, the comparable listings presented in a really well-organized manner. They should take a lesson from that page.
Mass Marketplace Sites with Real Estate Listings
Craigslist, which is now thoroughly international, is by far the best place to get a deal and unfortunately the best place to get swindled. So browse carefully. The features are minimal; however, it is the best place to get a deal since it is for the most part directly from owners since it is a cheap/free place to advertise real estate properties. It is dangerous because it is cheap/free and it is popular, so people like to take advantage. NEVER go alone to any property.
(9) Housing Maps (Craigslist Mashup) – Housing Maps recently added filters for their search, which definitely makes searching a whole lot easier. There are sales and rental options all laid out on a Google Map. Only major cities.
(10)““ Another Google Maps Craigslist mashup, however compared to Housing Maps, there are only points on a map with no real search features other than the main categories. Rather slow loading times as well.
(11) Google Base
Google Base is unfortunately a Craigslist with a Google Map and very little functionality. However, the database is very large since it is free to list and thankfully, the search functions are decent. Also offers RSS feeds for searches. The worst aspect is definitely the keyword search function, since the details are minimal who knows what to search for”¦ Google Base is still in beta and Google has paid very little attention to it in the past year, so hopefully we can expect changes in the near future.
Oodle has grown a lot in the past few years. Their real estate database has also been heavily advertised throughout their sister/brother sites. Their database is large not only because it’s free, but they have several other databases feeding in as well as an API.
(13) Listpic (Oodle Mashup) – Listpic used to be a Craigslist mashup, but there was such a drain on Craigslist’s system that they had to cut them off since really the main focus of Listpic is the photos. So they switched to Oodle. The features are similar to Craigslist/Oodle but is slightly pleasant to look at since the main headings contain photos which are adjustable in size.
The smaller Oodle as I like to call it, is pretty pathetic. I especially love the “˜some results provided by eBay’ on the bottom of the results. It seems that they are most proud of their statistics and database, which is pretty impressive”¦ “Access over 100 million listings in 1,417,876 cities and 141 countries and 9,863,736 listings from 1,159 edge-direct feeds and 3,319 listings from 143 Classified Boards”
The Backpage is a rather simple version of Craigslist from the Village Voice. The only feature on here that Craigslist does not have is the ability to view the results with full text and information. Pretty clever if you ask me.
Simple search capabilities and a pleasant layout and detailed, well organized results makes Vast a notable competitor. Their database is also rather large and includes all major US cities and additionally London.
Supposedly the failed attempt from eBay to replicate the massively popular Craigslist phenomenon, although it still has a major presence is many international countries. It’s considered failure because it never quite took off in the United States, however, there are a few listings for several major US cities and even larger outside of the United States.
Real Estate Feed Searches:
(19) Realty Feed Search ““ Search the “feed directory of residential properties, commercial properties and informational topics”. Basically it doesn’t search through feeds but FOR feeds, which can come in handy if you want to keep on top of certain Real Estate Topics”¦
(20) Realty Feeds ““ Same as above, but thousands time better. The look and feel and functionality of Realty Feeds is very well done, as well as being International.
Other Notable Real Estate Tools:
(21) vFlyer ““ “vFlyer is a classified ad creation, management and submission platform that enables online sellers to quickly and easily create attractive classified ads or “˜virtual flyers’ that can be posted on dozens of leading online marketplaces in a few simple clicks.” There are also many more options including 5 free active flyers for the free version. There are also premium options.
(22) Walkscore ““ “Walk Score shows you a map of what’s nearby and calculates a Walk Score for any property. Buying a house in a walkable neighborhood is good for your health and good for the environment.”