New on Google Maps: Cruising the Real Estate Listings Nearby

A few new features now make it much easier to search for real estate listings directly from Google Maps. Although you can’t limit searches as neatly as you can with the map functions of some other real-estate sites — and the listings don’t come straight from MLS — Google doesn’t make you register for anything, and this map search isn’t so likely to crash your browser. The listings are integrated into the standard Google Maps interface, and links to the listings themselves are easily accessible.

You can start searching Houston listings simply by searching for “Houston real estate” on Google Maps. Click on the first result (“Real estate on Google Maps”) to see more listings, which appear as tiny dots on the map. Click on any of the dots to find more information about a particular property.

What’s most interesting about the new real estate features is how neatly they allow househunting to fit in with more everyday map activities. Real-estate obsessives, take note: Searching for listings no longer has to be such a deliberate act. Looking up directions to a friend’s house? You can scour listings along the route with just a few extra clicks. Wondering about the real estate action near one of the demos in Swamplot’s Daily Demolition Report? You no longer have to navigate to a separate site to do that.

Here’s how to try it:


Try clicking on one of the condemned properties in today’s report. When you get to the Google Map for that location, click on the “Show search options” link next to the Search Maps button. Then choose “Real estate” from the drop-down menu that appears, and click the Search Maps button. All the little red dots on the map show you what’s for sale. The first 10 get letters and a listing to the left of the map, but there are plenty more dots to click on.

This short video, produced by Google Australia, highlights a few more features:

8 Comment

  • uhoh! There goes the neighborhood guessing game!

  • Interesting feature, but it definitely has limitations. For example, Google Maps shows only 1 unit for sale in my condo complex, but HAR lists 4. I don’t think that HAR is tied directly to the MLS either?

  • It is showing dated listings for my area of town (Bellaire)

  • I don’t think that HAR is tied directly to the MLS either?
    _______________ is the public portal for the Houston MLS.

  • @ diggity is the public portal for the Houston MLS.
    So, what does that mean? How is the public portal different from (or the same as) the MLS that realtors access? I honestly don’t know.

  • Correct me if I’m wrong anyone, but doesn’t necessarily need to show all listings in the MLS although it is the public portal. I’m thinking some homeowners can choose not to have their home listed on if they want the clientele restricted.

    Any realtors care to explain?

  • All homes listed in the MLS are displayed on unless the seller instructs their listing broker to not display the listing on the Internet. That option is rarely exercised. Sellers may also request that a listing not be entered into the MLS to enhance the privacy of a transaction, that is also very rare.

    HAR does have a license and distribution agreement with Google that exports all listings cleared for public display to Google Base on a daily basis. Brokers may opt out of this feed, but that also is a rare occurrence.

    Google, Zillow, Trulia etc… also accept data feeds and listing from other sources that can result in stale or misleading information being included in these public portals.

    HAR staff and automated processes monitor the MLS listing data to identify and correct any out-of-date or erroneous listing information.

  • Thanks for the info sam…infosam.