New Real Estate Listings Website Reveals Hidden Price Histories

There are more than enough bugs to go around in the NuHabitat beta that officially went live yesterday, but the brand-new real-estate listings website does have one killer feature with the potential to shake up Houston’s real-estate landscape. To registered users, NuHabitat coughs up a set of details that until now were available only to real estate agents: date-by-date, blow-by-blow pricing histories for listed properties — even if the MLS numbers have changed. With these little kittens wandering out of the bag, there aren’t a whole lot of top-secret MLS data fields left to the exclusive domain of real-estate agents.


The screen shot of NuHabitat’s Price Tracker feature posted above, for example, lets drop a few details from the sad history of strip-center king Jerry J. Moore‘s former auto-and Francophile palace in Sherwood Forest — details that until now were available to agents but not to the general public (unless, of course, you read about them on Swamplot). Such as: the $3.75 million the current owners bought it for in April of 2010 from Moore’s estate (it had been listed for $6.5 for a little more than a month, on its way down from $7.4). You also get to see the price the new owners plopped the same property back on the market for a year later ($8.9 million, after gutting its legendary interiors) and its 2 subsequent price drops (to $6.595 million last August and $5.65 million this past January). That’s particularly useful information if you’re in the market for an interior-free mansion.

HAR’s own public website does indicate vaguely when prices have dropped on a property, but not how many times it’s happened. It lists the date of the most recent cut — as long as it’s in the last 3 months. Exact sales prices? Listing histories under other MLS numbers? Sorry, ask your Realtor. Sawbuck Realty’s website reveals dates and amounts of significant pricing events, but also gets tripped up by MLS number changes. The Price Tracker on NuHabitat, a Houston startup, may not look as pretty or succinct as the more limited info on other websites, but the straight data dump can be extremely helpful to a potential buyer (or real-estate stalker) hoping to come up to speed on a property’s until-now-mostly-secret pricing past.

16 Comment

  • Didn’t already do this? Although this does look like it has more details!

  • Lol… looks like you mentioned it already… my fault for jumping to comment before reading through past the jump!

  • It is about time. This crap about having to “Have” a realtor to get this info is just that … CRAP.

  • Since TX is a non-disclosure state, and that information is proprietary, I have a feeling that they might get sued. Of course there is one caviat to this – the price that someone paid when they bought a property means nothing when they decide to sell. A property is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

  • I think this tool is wonderful for home buyers, now they can actually do research that us agents do. However there are still some very important reports available only to agent. What my clients see so useful is a map/grid type of report. I can take a certain section of a neighborhood and include criteria like … sqft 2000-2500, bedrooms 3-4, counter = granite, built between 2000-2005, one story homes only, lot size 5000-7000, located on a cul de sac, and the house faces WEST…. Realtors have AMAZING TOOLS AVAILABLE TO THEM.. the only problem is some realtors DO NOT know how to use them. Hence our slogan is “Leave Realty to The Pros” …hahahahhaha… Well hope this info helps, if you have any questions please let me know.. IM HERE TO HELP.

  • “Proprietary” to whom? What keeps me from disclosing it. Have I ever signed a nondisclosure? I don’t think so. So, if I can get a hold of the info, I am free to let the whole world know.

  • What does OfficeSell mean in the above. There’s been a house in my neighborhood that seems to have had 5 sales fall through, but officesell shows up occasionally.

  • I wondering if OfficeSell means someone in the office changed the listing status/price. In HAR we have that option.

  • As an agent (though admittedly mostly to help with my own transactions), I think it’s wonderful that more and more of this ‘insider only’ info is made public. Realtors should be paid based on the value add they bring to a transaction rather than an artificial requirement based on having some info hidden.

  • Read the Terms of Use!!!! From what I read, by signing up, you are making them your realtor. At least that is what it looks like to me????

  • If this is true, they are brilliant!

  • Not a broker myself, but the brokerage agreement does not contain any exclusivity or other onerous conditions. I think it is probably CYA on their part since their agreements with the data providers probably restrict them from disclosing the info to non-clients.

    It’s a legitimte way to drum up business. I would be more concerned with the language which allows them to market your info.

  • NuHabitat is really slick, and the results match my own (very tedious) tracking system for my neighborhood. Moreover, the site works well with a Mac; Sawbuck does not.

  • 77027: I claim no expertise in Houston Real Estate other than what I’ve picked up here and snooping on the usual site over the past few years. So what’s the caveat with Lee Hudman?

  • See #6 in terms of service. You are not entering into an agency (broker/client)agreement or relationshop by registering for an account on this site. So, Charles if you sign up you are not making them your Realtor. In agency, “customer” is not the same as “client”.