The contendersI made this list of contenders by simply typing "MLS real estate" and noting the top hits that appeared to offer more than just local coverage.
StartI looked for real estate in the town of Everett, Washington.
ZiprealtyZiprealty immediately tells me, without a search, that there are 1276 listings. (See here) That site allows me to specify Single Family, Condo, Land or Multi-Family and allows selecting multiple cities at once if so desired. For example you could look for Everett, and it's neighbor Marysville, all in a single search instead of two seperate searches. I chose only Multi-Family and price from 0 to $500,000, the result came up fairly quickly, but you have to register now in order to go any further on this site, or view the thumbnails of the properties.
MLSNext I went to MLS.com which provides a national map on its home page where you click on a state to proceed. But oops... when I click on Washington, it just directs me to HomeGain.
House-real-estateNext I went to house-real-estate.com. The map on the home looks suspiciously the same as MLS.com and yes, surprise, after clicking through a few screens to narrow the search to one area, I get directed again to HomeGain.
HomeGainOkay so evidently HomeGain is where it's at. But, after another selection or two — I get directed to Ziprealty. So the apparent diversity of MLS sites is deceiving. It seems that all or most of the "national" sites are merely redirect engines, and in the case of Everett at any rate, it seems all roads point to Ziprealty.
MiddleOn Ziprealty you can, once you are registered and logged in, save your search results, and set these up to email you any updates. I like this feature tremendously, and I had forgotten until I made this Knol, that I had previously registered with Ziprealty. Once I logged back in, there was my old search, so I could just click on it, to see the complete list of hits based on my criteria.
Today however, I wanted to make a narrower search just for Condos. From the saved search page (here) it is not really apparent how you add a new search to an existing search area. After sending the webmaster a note on that, I poked around and found that if you simply *do* another search, you are then given the option of saving it and naming it whatever you want. So I saved a new search as EverettCondos. It would be nice if there was a way to deep-link from my web page directly to this results page, but I can't see how.
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