Home Buyers, Rev Your Search Engines

May your browser tabs be plentiful.

If only the hardest thing about buying a home was finding one you liked.

Forget bidding wars and crowded open houses, because there’s something new for house hunters to worry about. A new report from real estate data firm NeighborhoodX shows that finding a home isn’t as easy as a quick Zillow search. Rather, a home search requires a meticulous scanning of several different real estate portals.

Analysts looked at the total number of listings in Boston among Redfin, Trulia, and Zillow. Then, it totaled up the number of listings on each site.

If all the sites are pulling data from the same listing service, they should have around the same number of results, right? Not so, according NeighborhoodX cofounder Constantine Valhouli, who noticed a significant difference in the number of listings among all of the real estate search sites. Zillow came out on top with the most properties in Boston—1,605—while Redfin turned up the least—1,017.

To see a larger graph, click here.

To see a larger graph, click here.

“As a buyer, this makes you realize that you’re likely not seeing all the listed properties on the market if you just check a single portal,” said Valhouli in a statement. “The different search results means that you need to do the same search multiple times, to see listings that may be on one portal, but not another.”

The startling differences mean that a well-rounded house hunt requires numerous searches of multiple portals. May your browser tabs be plentiful.


Madeline Bilis Associate Editor at Boston Magazine @madelinebilis
mbilis@bostonmagazine.com