Consumers visiting the official website of the National Association of Realtors will now be able to search listings from thousands of new-home communities as realtor.com begins to roll out some of the “historic” changes the trade group authorized in a special July meeting.

Both online and mobile users will be able to search 44,000 new-home plans sourced from homebuilder marketing company Builders Digital Experience in the new “New Homes & Communities” section of realtor.com. BDX is a joint venture between realtor.com operator Move Inc. and homebuilder consortium Builder Homesite Inc. BDX operates new-home listing sites NewHomeSource.com and NewHomes.Move.com.

New-home plans will also show up on the main search results page on realtor.com alongside existing homes for sale. Realtor.com will also run advertisements that emphasize the importance of Realtors in new-home sales and feature a series of educational articles that underscore the importance of Realtor representation, Move said.

“Consumers have always depended on realtor.com for the best listing accuracy, and we are very proud to roll out new features that will increase the breadth and depth of realtor.com’s listing content,” said Errol Samuelson, Move’s chief strategy officer, in a statement.

“By providing consumers with all their real estate options in one place — new homes, resale homes and rentals — realtor.com is able to garner the attention of new consumers, as well as enhance its reputation as the online and mobile destination for all things real estate.”

In a statement, BDX CEO Tim Costello said 20 percent of homebuyers go into a home search with a preference for a new home.

The recent amendments made to the realtor.com operating agreement between NAR and Move allow realtor.com to display listings from non-Realtor sources, including rentals, new homes and new-home communities.

The amendments ignited concerns about dilution of the Realtor brand on the site. Move committed to providing consumers with tools to differentiate Realtors and non-Realtors on realtor.com and has begun that process by marking the listings of brokers and agents who are members of NAR with the association’s logo. Realtors do not have to pay for the branding, though they must claim their profile and add their NRDS ID.

What do you think of the changes? Let us know in the comments below.

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