(Source: Smart Money

TECHNOLOGY HAS DRASTICALLY changed the way homes are bought and sold. In the old days, prospective home buyers relied on all-knowing real estate agents to guide them through the knotty house-hunting process, alerting them to open houses, telling them about local schools and helping them figure out if they could afford certain neighborhoods.

Now all that information is at consumers’ fingertips. Home buyers with just a little tech savvy can go online with Zillow.com or Trulia.com to scout out houses from their PCs or even their mobile phones. Indeed, most prospective buyers do their initial shopping online: Nearly nine out of 10 recent buyers use the web in their home search, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). And on the sales side, more real estate agents are utilizing social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and their own blogs to market properties, the NAR says.

As a result, more and more digital services are popping up, promising to help consumers find their dream homes. While Trulia.com and Zillow.com have three million to four million unique visitors a month, according to Compete.com, there are places on the web with just a few hundred thousand users that house hunters would nevertheless do well to check out.

Check out the full article, including four sites that stuck out to SmartMoney here. June 2, 2009.

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