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Redfin: find, buy & sell homes online

Redfin is a real estate listing service with an integrated blog, which gathers neighborhood information, maps, photos and other information on a particular for-sale property all into a nice neat package. They bill themselves as "the industry's first online real estate brokerage," and brings the whole web 2.0 package to MLS listings. And unlike customer-hostile realtors and newspapers who hide MLS listings behind layers of logins, security measures and other barriers to a halfway decent customer experience, Redfin puts the listings themselves right there in front of you, to browse and bookmark and share as you see fit.

A recent listing in their San Francisco Bay Area section shows a small, attractive, and - as usual - ridiculously overpriced bungalow in one of my favorite Berkeley neighborhoods. Unlike other real estate tools, though, Redfin is much more upfront and honest about pricing, forgoing hype for honesty; they point out that $602 per square foot is just short of criminal, and present alternatives like this more expensive overall but only $396 per square foot home with a beautiful view just up the hill.