An online search function that enables MSN users to search the listings database is now up and running.

The search function is part of a co-branded Web site and revenue-sharing agreement between Microsoft Corp. and Homestore, which operates for the National Association of Realtors.

The deal halted years of cat-and-mouse competition between the two corporations when it was signed in January 2004.

Microsoft was once the fearsome “lion coming over the hill” that was supposed to devour the real estate business while Realtors squabbled over a bone. The software giant’s original HomeAdvisor Web site was a standalone head-to-head competitor with HomeAdvisor was merged into the MSN portal in October 2002. and MSN will share incremental revenue from sales of display advertising on the co-branded Web site. Brokers and salespeople who want to capture the MSN traffic pay a separate fee to advertise on the MSN version of

The deal is exclusive with respect to listings data, which means no other listings information can appear on MSN House & Home or elsewhere on the MSN portal. The agreement also prevents MSN from putting certain types of advertising on its House & Home channel. Specifically, companies that aggregate and display listings online or collect referral fees for leads to real estate brokers and salespeople are prohibited.


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