Industry News

Progress, not perfection with real estate on the Web

Opinion: A decade of homes on the Web

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Editor's note: Ten years ago, the first home listings were put on the Internet. In this special Inman News series, our editorial team explores the implications of this decade of online experimenting, investing and haggling. Ten years have passed since real estate debuted on the Internet. Much has been gained and much has been improved during this decade in cyberspace, but just as much has been lost or has yet to be accomplished. The Internet provides vast quantities of information and accelerates communication, but it also provokes controversy, creates anxiety, violates privacy and deadens interpersonal relationships. The most radical change from the perspective of real estate has been the display of for-sale homes information on Web sites. That has been beneficial for home buyers and sellers in the abstract, but too much of the information is still inaccurate, incomplete or outdated. And the unseemly in-fighting among brokers over the display of listings data on Web sites has resulted...