Home Buyer RE Search Resources - Yahoo! Real Estate revamps site - try them all out

For a new home buyer starting to do the online research required to check what's available at what price, so many Web 2.0 MLS search and mapping resources have emerged over the past year. At first glance, four well publicized examples Movoto, Yahoo RE, Trulia and Redfin appear similar enough that I sometimes forget which one I'm on. A search check on properties within a specific area like a zip code will reveal that each will pull different results. For example 94118, SFH 2+ BR 2+bath, no price range (done today) - the results are 5,14,17 listings on Trulia, Yahoo and Redfin... Movoto doesn't search by zip but provides a San Francisco map that the user can scroll or zoom into listed houses.

Zillow seems to be establishing the home valuation and mapping standard with distribution of its free API (so other websites can display Zillow data) and integration of its data into Yahoo Real Estate just reinforces the brand name, and also causes the Yahoo RE client to zip over to Zillow for more valuation analysis.

The landscape for these Web 2.0 resources will continue to grow more crowded with new entrants, both original and real estate sites borrowing APIs, and they will soon need to differentiate themselves now that the "Field of Dreams" strategy has worn thin.

Joel Burslem at Future of Real Estate Marketing has a more detailed analysis of Yahoo RE and why its new features threaten to differentiate its brand name over the others.

Also, here's a wiki of real estate search tools provided by RainCityGuide.

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