How Pricing Alerts Work

Real Estate Pricing Alerts

Find out about houses with automated alerts.
Find out about houses with automated alerts.
© Photographer: Rayan | Agency: Dreamstime

Compared to stock pricing alerts, getting the best possible deal on a home using real estate pricing alerts is a lot simpler. Web sites like offer an electronic form to send you real estate notifications when houses meeting your criteria are listed. Your alert criteria are based on:

  • Property type: single-family, condo or townhome
  • Preferred zip code
  • Desired price range
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms

After signing up, you'll get detailed e-mails as homes matching your criteria appear on the market. You can request alerts by e-mail only, or get a phone call when the right properties come available. Many of these services are regional, and have a limited range of coverage. Others cover several states. covers the Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. areas.

Individual real estate agents have their own e-mail alerts, and these often come with perks that offer subscribers extra help in the housing market. Abbey Realty in Lacey, Wash., advertises real estate notification including homes that haven't been officially placed on the market. Reaching a buyer before they're swamped with offers may work in your favor, especially if the buyer will negotiate with you based on the right buying or selling conditions.

How Do I Set Up An E-Mail Real Estate Alert?

Many real estate agents provide electronic forms on their Web site; you fill out the standard form fields with your name and e-mail address, and create a password. Some forms have the e-mail alert section built in, others require you to log in and go to the subscriber-only areas of the site to set up your real estate pricing alert. Either way, you'll need to answer these questions:

  • Do you need a single-family home? Condo? Duplex?
  • How many bedrooms?
  • How many bathrooms?
  • How much square footage?
  • What is your price range?
  • Do you have a real estate agent?
  • Do you have pre-arranged financing?

This information will help narrow your e-mail alerts to the most relevant sales and will keep you from having to wade through listings that don't meet your needs.