mot (symmys) wrote,

Real Estate Sites

One of the things K & I do periodically is look at houses -- one of these days we'll have to buy one. I'm relatively convinced that using a realtor is stupid. They cost about 6% of the cost of a house, which means that to be cost effective, they have to save you at least that % on a sale. I'm plenty nervous about how well I "know the market", but 6% translates to ~$15-25k -- I think after looking at houses for a long time I could spot a good price within that window. i.e. I think a realtor is a waste of money.

I'm not the only person to think this, which leads me to wonder: where are the good "for sale by owner" websites? I've started looking for them, but most of what I find is terrible web design. I've found pages where ads covered up pictures (because the pictures weren't automatically resized to fit in the webpage), pages that showed me homes nowhere near the zipcode I searched, and a number of pages that asked sellers to pay large amounts for listings (~$300), which resulted in paltry numbers of listings.

Craigslist is among the best sites to look for real estate, capitalizing on its general popularity, but it's not a real estate site so it doesn't have any of the extras to compete with better real estate sites that provide nice maps, multiple photos, etc.

So, my question is, has anyone found a for-sale-by-owner site that is adequately web 2.0 to compete with the better real estate companies? If not, what accounts for the gap?
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