Realtor.com has joined the widget craze and launched a search tool that enables consumers to have specific homes of interest automatically selected from the Realtor.com database and displayed on their desktops.

Widgets — a funky name for technology applications that are easily integrated into a Web site to perform specific tasks — are making a splash in online real estate. (See Inman News story, “Widgets hit the real estate wires.”) Several real estate widgets have debuted in recent months, including property display widgets from vFlyer and one from RealtyBaron that displays an agent’s ranking from the company’s rank service.

The Realtor.com Search Gadget was created for the new Windows Vista operating system. Consumers can personalize their searches with specifics on location, price, number of bedrooms, and more. Search results are sent directly to the consumer’s desktop within the Windows Vista sidebar.

“Imagine that you are watching a slide show of homes on your personal computer. Each home has all the amenities you want. Then you see it — the right home in the right location. You click on the photo. You are linked to Realtor.com and now one step closer to owning your next home,” said Errol Samuelson, president of Realtor.com. “This is the power of the new Realtor.com Search Gadget.”

The new search tool will continually search through the extensive Realtor.com database. As new properties become available fitting the desired parameters, the tool will display new listings to the desktop. Results can be viewed in a home slide show, which will automatically scroll through pictures of the homes that meet the criteria.

More details about the new tool are at http://labs.move.com.

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