In July 2009, Google announced the ability to find property for sale or rent directly on Google Maps. Due to low usage and other factors, Google decided to discontinue the real estate feature within Google Maps on February 10, 2011.
While Google is researching more effective ways for people to find local real estate information, they offer other options to home-seekers: you can still access other information in Maps such as local businesses, directions, and transit times, as well as aerial and Street View imagery to explore where you might want to move. One might use Google search results to find helpful real estate information and websites.
When you go to Google Maps, type in the city and state in which you are looking for property in and a list will come up on your left. A map of your area will come up to start your search. You can click on the balloon in the area you want to search, and a window will come up. This will give you the option to get directions, search nearby, save to map, and much more. Bing search is another option with a nice neighborhood view option.
When you search specifically for Real Estate Companies in an area, agency reviews can help in your decision of selecting the right agent to work with. You will also be able to tell what type of properties they list and be given contact information to connect with them.
Once you select the company you want to start your search with, select the website link. This will take you to the home page of the agent. One option is to look through the featured listings of the agent. This will give you ideas of properties and price ranges offered.
Another option is to search listings. This will give you the ability to refine your search according to the property type, city, county, price, bedrooms, etc. that you are looking for. You will also be able to sign up for Instant Listing Alerts. This is a service many agents use to keep you updated of any new listings that match your criteria.
Another useful section that many agents offer is Real Estate Stats. This section will give you valuable information comparing cost of living in the area of your search compared to other areas in the United States. In fact, you can find a number of real estate stats on the D.C. metro area, Prince William County, Fairfax County, and Prince Georges County on this blog.