Here at Curbed we are asked frequently which search engine we recommend the most. There are so many out there and they each are a little different from each other, so we can't tell you which one would be better for you. But what we can tell you is one cool thing each site does. So here, in alphabetical order, are the sites we have used enough times to know what they can do (but we're leaving out the individual sites for each real estate company because that would be far too many). If you have any others, please send them to our tipline.
· Estately—the school search function lets you type in the name of a school and it will only return properties that are in those boundaries.
· Homesdatabase—This site is linked directly to local Multiple Listing Service and has the most up-to-date price information.
· Hometryst—Has some of the best picture presentation out there.
· Hotpads—This entirely map-based site lists both rental and for sale properties.
· Realtor.com—Their iPad app has a neat draw function where you use your finger to draw the area on the map where you want to live and it returns only homes in that circle.
· Redfin—If you use one of their agents (and abide by the fine print) part of the commission gets returned to you.
· Sawbuck—Their new iPhone app will tell you all the info about a house just by taking a picture of it and uploading it to the app.
· Trulia—This site has crime data for many of the neighborhoods in its database
· Zillow— This site offers an estimate for the price of each home, which is always a hot topic for debate. They also publish how accurate this 'Zestimate' is when the final sale price comes in and for the DC area they are usually around 7%.