It’s time for Realtors to start submitting to Google Base. If you haven’t checked the system out yet, now is the time. Google can launch just about any business they want right now. Dating, real estate, etc…
update: Danny Sullivan, of the Search Engine Watch, commented over at the Internet Stock Blog that this is really just Google Base integrated with Maps to produce a vertical search across real estate. He also blogged about this in more detail, and also gave this link which goes right to the real estate search in Google Base.
Shimon Sandler discovered that Google was testing a new real estate service when entering certain related search queries. An additional option allowed searching for house with parameters like location, price, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. From there you can show the results via Google Maps with the listings on the left, with photos of the property if available. Since Shimon posted, it appears the beta is not available anymore, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Google is testing this on a few select data servers.
I know far too well how frustrating shopping for a house online can be. Services like realtor.com always lag behind the market, and you’ll find different pictures and info from the realtor sites, not to mention FSBO sites. Any competition in this space is very welcome, so that hopefully one day I can go to one site and see everything for sale and recently sold in the area, including all realtors and FSBO homes.