I received this email, last week.
Would you be willing to blog about our new consumer site, MapRealty.com. It is a site that allows buyers and sellers to search property records, homes for sale, and recent home sales.
However, our “differentator” is we allow consumers to navigate the Google Map API down to parcel level mapping, and we combined tax assessor and Registry of Deeds information. The site is in beta for Boston only.
The more information you have about a specific property, the better (obviously).
With a site such as MapRealty.com, you can learn properties’ exact locations, assessed value information, as well as information about past sales at that address and in that specific neighborhood. (And, I think, they will be adding school information, based on the search results page.)
The best part of a site such as this is that it provides visitors with the information in an easy-to-use format. The City of Boston’s assessor site is pretty simple, but the Registry of Deeds site, on the other hand, is difficult to navigate and painful to use.
MapRealty.com is in beta, as the emailer mentioned – it looks as though the site has a ways to go, still, before it’s fully functional. For example, I’m not sure why they are calling results “sites of interest” … doesn’t seem very “user-friendly”, yet. (And, oy!, enough with the “new windows” popping up, every time I click on a link!)
One of the jobs your buyer’s agent will do for you is a “Comparative Market Analysis” (CMA). If (and when) you find a home you’d like to make an offer on, your agent will do a search of recently sold properties fitting the same criteria – location, size, amenities, etc., to give you an idea of what your property is “worth” (which of course, does not mean it’s what you think it is worth …). This information is very helpful (for one thing, it can let you know where the seller’s opinion of value came from, and whether or not it has any basis in reality …).
With MapRealty, you could do this work, yourself. You can search on recent sales, make yourself up a spreadsheet, then compare the property you like with what other properties have sold for (as well as compare it with other properties currently on the market).
Please take a moment to check out the site. Search around a little bit, then send a note to them with your thoughts.