Real estate web sites have made the move to Web 2.0 technology and interactivity in the last year.
Here are the best of the lot.
Real Estate for Sale
It’s a buyer’s market right now, so it is not surprising to see so many quality Web 2.0 real estate tools being erected around the web.
Zillow.com is a powerful real estate buyer’s and seller’s tool because it makes sales history discovery, assessments, and property tax easily accessible to anyone. The key to using Zillow.com is to work with a realtor who can provide you with the street addresses of the houses you would like to see.
Google maps are used quite well on Zillow.com, and show a street view as well as a “real” picture of the house. Although Zillow.com allows everyone who has signed up to modify listings, there does not seem to be much input from users overall.
Real Estate ABC
Real Estate ABC, like Zillow.com, also provide home valuations, for “60 million houses,” according to their site. The valuations are different than Zillow.com and it is difficult to say which ones are the most accurate.
Real Estate ABC is a multi-function site for searching real estate listings, comparing real estate agents, and ranking real estate agent’s web sites.
Real Estate ABC also provides a selection of articles on home buying and selling, mortgages, taxes, credit and more.
Propsmart is a real estate search community. Propsmart is the Web 2.0 answer to Realtor.com
Web 2.0 technology is at work here, as Propsmart.com integreates Google maps, much like Zillow.com. Propsmart is also very much about the user, with a member sign in, forums, and blogs. Members can also add, comment on and rate listings.
Propsmart is not there yet, for house hunters who want to perform a thorough search. Although Propsmart.com has almost 1 million homes listed, they are still not as complete as Realtor.com, with its 3 million listings. A search for a specific MLS that was listed in the last week yielded no results on Propsmart.
Real Estate Agents
Homethinking is a consumer shopping guide not to real estate, but to real estate agents. Any home seller should at least check Homethinking.com before selecting a real estate agent to sell their home.
Homthinking.com is an interesting concept, but its data set is incomplete. Lack of coverage of a real estate agent’s sales history on Homethinking.com should not deter home sellers away from that agent.
Trulia Real Estate Search
Trulia.com has the right idea with its detailed and graphic neighborhood descriptions and “average home prices” by neighborhood.
Also find school information, community details, and most recently listed houses that are up for sale all on one page. Trulia.com is however, limited to covering California, New York, and some major metropolitan areas in other states, including Florida.
Hotpads.com is a fun site to use. With a clickable map, select everything you are seeking. Start with a location, and click on the buildings to get details and photos about the listings, with the map remaining stable in the background.
The most appealing aspect of Hotpads, besides its cool interface, is that everyone can post rental information, not just corporate real estate companies.
HousingMaps.com combines craigslist and Google maps to create real estate rentals and sales. HousingMaps.com is suited for city apartment dwellers looking for a new place to live.