Ever since online home shopping replaced real estate magazines, classified ads and trips to your agent's office, a plethora of Web sites have popped up to meet your needs.Whether you're shopping for a home or trying to price your home to sell, these real estate Web sites offer much the same information -- but presented a little bit differently and compiled from different data sources -- in the way of prices, photos, detailed listings, sale comparisons and more.
Here's a roundup of some of the most-visited real estate online home shopping and home valuation sites:
Cyberhomes.comKey information: A home search and valuation Web site, Cyberhomes.com features home searches, fed by multiple listing services, or MLS, brokerage companies and franchises. It also features home valuations and a huge library of current content with current information for homebuyers, sellers, owners and renters.
How it's different: While some sites focus on just listings or just home valuations, Cyberhomes.com marries property and homeowner data with listing data to give users a complete look at what the home is worth and what's for sale in the area. In addition, the site's library of articles is original content that offers current information on buying, selling, renting and owning a home. Data is offered visually with a heavy use of maps and heat maps rather than tables. The goal is to help the average homeowner easily understand the mountains of data available.
Popular services: Home values (search is on home page), homes for sale search and market forecasts, which help homeowners, buyers and sellers -- for a fee -- find out what's happening in the local real estate market that might drive home values up or down.
Use this site when: You're looking for market trend information to help estimate the value of your home based on comparables, school quality and more.
Homes.comKey information: Features properties for sale, values of homes recently sold (but not the estimated value of your home), and a directory of real estate professionals. Listing data comes directly from public records, multiple listing services, national franchise agreements and from Homes.com's client brokerages and agents.
How it's different: Offers numerous mobile search options with iPhone and BlackBerry apps and a full-featured mobile site (mobile.homes.com), allowing consumers multiple avenues to search more than 4 million homes for sale.
Popular services: Search for homes for sale and rent, mobile search applications.
Use this site when: Searching for sales or rentals, or to search prices on homes recently sold in your neighborhood. Alternatively, download the iPhone and BlackBerry apps so you can search for homes for sale while you're driving around neighborhoods.
Realtor.comKey information: Offers homes for sale, access to home sales prices and detailed real estate professional contact information. Data are compiled from more than 933 multiple listing services across the nation.
How it's different: As the official site of the National Association of Realtors, more than half of the 4 million-plus listings on Realtor.com are updated every 15 minutes, and the rest at least once per day. This means up-to-the minute access to the most accurate property details, price changes, photos and videos.
Popular services: Find a Realtor, find homes, "What's Your Home Worth?" and search assist (which matches buyers with real estate professionals that specialize in specific areas), as well as Realtor.com blogs.