Google gets deeper into Real Estate but Offers Inaccurate Results

filed under: Buyers, Real Estate 2.0 posted on November 22nd, 2009

Google has added property search of current real estate listings to Google Maps. You can go to Google Maps and search a community, even add in your criteria in terms of beds/baths/etc. and the map will highlight current listings and display detailed listing information on the left hand column–Google provides a video overview below.

I thought I would check it out for accuracy. I ran a search for Healdsburg and found a property listed for $639,000. which was news to me as I have clients looking for something like that–I follow all the key markets in Sonoma County regularly on the search for new inventory and sold results.

So I clicked through to the property info and it turns out the listing was on Piper Lane in Sonoma! Somehow Google pulled the listing info, stripped the town of its Sonoma address (about an hour away) and added Healdsburg to the property address! That’s one way to get new inventory! (not) Very misleading.

It also picked up a listing in town on North Street which had four lots of about 25 acres each. Not possible–that would swallow the whole town of Healdsburg. When I clicked through the property links I found an empty page on a local broker’s site. And these are only the first two errors that I saw. It appears that data is pulled from a variety of sources, including print magazines and other listing aggregators such as ListHub. All I can say is don’t go to the bank on what you find because it can be very erroneous. Obviously the search itself is not ready for prime time but also the data being searched is unreliable. Garbage in Garbage out. Until there are agreements with regional MLS’s (don’t hold your breath) take the real estate information offered on Google Maps with a grain of salt.

posted by Pam Buda // 2 Comments »