Upping the ante in the competitive world of real-estate Web sites, HouseValues is launching what its creators say is the first nationwide...
Upping the ante in the competitive world of real-estate Web sites, HouseValues is launching what its creators say is the first nationwide site to combine aerial photography with real-estate listings and extensive neighborhood information.
The site, www.HomePages.com, debuts today. It has information covering 92 percent of the nation’s metro areas, said Matt Heinz, senior director of marketing for HouseValues, a 6-year-old Internet real-estate company based in Kirkland.
While many other sites have portions of what HomePages is offering — a particular property’s assessed value or school-district information, for example — Heinz said this site is the first to put the wide variety of such information on a nearly nationwide basis.
“It raises the bar in terms of what’s available to consumers because it narrows the amount of time needed to shop for a home,” Heinz said.
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Site visitors can zoom in on target neighborhoods for bird’s-eye photos so detailed that landscaping is visible in individual yards. Homes for sale are highlighted and information about them provided. Listings data is updated twice daily.
What sets HomePages apart, Heinz said, is its marrying of aerial photography with neighborhood demographics. Click on an icon, for example, and data on the neighborhood school pops up, including student-teacher ratio, average class size and even the name of the principal.
It’s also possible to view for-sale homes in relation to neighborhood amenities — libraries, restaurants, theaters, churches, banks, police and fire stations among them. The site can even tell visitors whether a neighborhood has a particular type of restaurant, Heinz said.
“You can filter for different types — for example, pizza or ice cream,” he said.
Founded by former Windermere agent Mark Powell, HouseValues makes its money by signing up real-estate agents. Some 15,000 across the country and in Canada are members.
Member agents get contact information from potential home sellers who use HouseValues.com to help determine the value of their property. The site gives more prominence to listings from its members than to those from other agents.
Another site owned by the company, JustListed.com, funnels contact information from potential homebuyers to real-estate agents. Both require visitors to register to get information.
Like those two sites, HomePages is free to the public, but it doesn’t require an initial registration. To get the address of a property, however, you do have to register.
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