2010 Real Estate Guide
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real estate
House hunting on the Web

Use this site when: You want up-to-the-minute details and multiple photos of homes for sale in any area. You'll also find comprehensive information about real estate professionals in your area and market trend reports.

Trulia.com

Key information: Allows people to search for key information in one easy-to-use place -- such as the details about the home, true comparables, latest market trends, and data and neighborhood info.

How it's different: Through the Trulia Voice online community, consumers can ask questions about the homebuying and selling process, they can blog about their real estate experiences, and they can find more than 400,000 professionals ranging from real estate professionals to home stagers to plumbers.

Popular services: "Compare It" (compare up to five different properties side by side), "Price Reductions" (filters the search by homes that have been reduced 5 percent, 10 percent or 20 percent), customizable news feeds and alerts (new home listings, open houses) and the iPhone app.

Use this site when: As a seller, you want to track what's happening locally so you can price your home appropriately. It also instantly updates -- via smartphone texts or e-mails -- homebuyers on new listings, price reductions and open houses.

Zillow.com

Key information: Has data on more than 93 million homes, with "Zestimates" on 70 million and features information on all homes, not just those for sale, in 160 metro areas and 7,600-plus neighborhoods. Tracks key metrics such as homes in negative equity, home value changes, foreclosure resales and homes sold for a loss. Arms consumers with hyperlocal real estate data so they can better make decisions whether renting, buying, selling or refinancing.

How it's different: Offers public-record information on all homes, not just homes for sale, enabling users to find the value of their home as well as average prices in targeted neighborhoods.

Popular services: "Zestimates" (home valuation estimates), hyperlocal real estate data search, Zillow advice (an interactive Q&A with homeowners and real estate professionals), "Zillow Mortgage Marketplace" and iPhone app, which pinpoints where the user is on a map and allows users to research home information in real time.

Use this site when: You want to know what your home is worth. It also features information that facilitates mortgage loan shopping and allows users to track and chart home price fluctuations.

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