Google Now Lets You Search Real Estate Listings

You can now use the search engine to find homes for sale, rent, or even those in foreclosure. To try it yourself, just type in “Portland real estate” or “Home for sale in Chicago” into Google. You’ll see something like this:

Google Real Estate Screenshot

Which then leads to you the results:

Google Real Estate Screenshot

From the Google Blog announcement:

When you want more information on a particular home, you can click straight through to the source of the listing?no detail pages or sign-up forms get in the way. And when Google gets the same listing from multiple sources, we show links to all the data providers and websites, ranked according to many factors including, but not limited to, the quality and comprehensiveness of the data…. We don’t sell houses, deal with agents’ compensation, or charge for leads. Our business is helping people find the information they’re looking for?when you have it, we send them directly to you.

I just tried it, and I while it’s not revolutionary, I did find a few houses that weren’t on the MLS and on some smaller For Sale By Owner websites that would be otherwise hard to find. I also like being able to see the locations on Google Maps. I wonder if this will help push the MLS to be more open, which would be helpful for potential homebuyers.

Comments

  1. Yahoo has been doing this for years. It’s funny how when Google finally does something that others have been doing for a long time the Google fans get excited and think it is a revolutionary idea.

    No thanks Google, I’ll stick to Yahoo.

  2. At this point Google or Yahoo or are just brands, and Google has done a better job marketing by not really marketing all that much. Google is phenomenal at generating free coverage without even trying.

  3. Heather says:

    Yahoo’s real estate search worked better for me. Google’s search had many glitches in Safari (though not Firefox), and Yahoo limits searches by area code, which I prefer. To wit: Yahoo found a number of forclosures in the condo complex I currently rent form, which is interesting/scary (Google found none). I’d like to keep an eye on this because as a non-apartment renter, my (significant) security deposit is on the line if my unit is forclosed on, and knowing about the notices of default gives me a lot of lead time (150 days before completion of forclosure in my city) before I would have to move. Paranoid, yes, but a month of rent is a big number for most people!

  4. I think the big thing is that if anyone on some $10 listing service can get their houses on Google, where the majority of people do their searches, that might change some of the dynamics of real estate listings.

  5. What’s interesting is Google Base, the service behind it. RE is just one more type of information it handles, it can do any type of classifieds, almost on its own without a dedicated team having to think about what’s listed and how its displayed. It’s just not widely understood yet.

    Heather: you can view forclosures, it’s a checkbox in the listing type dropdown. In the location field, fill in your street address and select in location. See if that works.

    I like Base and think it has huge potential. What’s slightly annoying is that it sometimes links to sites that make you sign up and pay one way or another. Maybe not for long though.

  6. Just tried it out and its not very good.

    I’ve been religiously checking out the Honolulu properties, and google only lists some of the properties currently on the market; some of the properties they list are already sold. Also, I was unable to sort the properties by location (Kahala vs Kailua vs Downtown Honolulu), nor by date listed, or how long the property has been for sale. I have no idea how to sort by price or how to narrow my price search… I’m sure that I could have figured it out, but why bother, when there are a million of other user friendly sites with better, more comprehensive up to date information.

    Overall, there are A LOT of better sites in the universe– I’ve using a private realty company website, that lets me select the exact location, price range, views, frontage, if I want a pool, school district, bedrooms/ bath, square footage, and sorts them by price or by days listed, which makes looking for homes a lot more efficient.

  7. I didn’t know that Yahoo did this. So at least now I can consolidate the ten sites I use into the one or two from the big guys.

  8. Ellie, I disagree. The site itself if pretty good and it lists “for sale by owners” that most, if not all, real estate sites don’t cover.

  9. As a realtor I think what Yahoo and Google are trying to accomplish are noteworthy, however, nothing can fully replace the value and detail of the MLS. While I don’t agree completely with the position NAR has taken about opening it up a little, I think services like these whet the appetite of home buyers and deliver a pre-qualified client to a Realtor.

    People frequently believe buying and selling a home is a simple process that anyone can do and while many basic purchases can be done easily, there is a LOT that can go wrong…and when it does you are screwed without a professional Realtor on the hook to help you out. Good luck getting that with ‘Buy Owner’ or ‘Why USA’…

  10. I agree with David. I bought my first house w/o a realtor and it was a terrible experience. From dealing with the owners (who liked to come by my mom’s house whenever they got antsy), to doing all the work dealing with a crappy mortgage broker and an inexperienced lawyer. If I had gone with a realtor, I’m sure it would have been a lot easier. If I had gone with a realtor — I think I would have picked a better house — and not the money pit that I was getting as a “deal” – ha,ha,ha.

  11. From my search i think it lists only real estate in USA. Not for the rest of the world .Any idea when it will start listing from the rest of the world?

  12. it does not work. Google search just lists websites for searching real estate

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