Industry NewsTechnology

Real estate shopping goes sky-high

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David Eraker began searching for Seattle homes online in 2002 after he sold his condo. He tried comparing houses by price, plot outlines and other public information, but quickly grew frustrated with the tedious process of using four or five Web browsers and creating Excel charts. So began Eraker's determination to help solve some of what he calls "consumer pain points," a journey that has resulted in The site, unveiled last month, enables viewers to search the MLS for houses in the Seattle region by pinpointing a specific area on an aerial map of the Seattle metro area. Once they call up a listing, viewers can find out the last sales prices of the house, its yearly estimated taxes, and they can find a real estate agent who focuses on that area. "We wanted to build a tool that we ourselves would really want to use in buying or selling a house or finding a real estate agent," said Michael Dougherty, Redfin's co-founder and chief operating officer. Aerial imagery from planes...