With the peak homebuying season upon us, you can begin your browsing using . . . your browser.

The Internet has a number of home listings, complete with price, amenities and, usually, a photo.Buyers have two main stops on the Web: Realtor.com, the official site of the National Association of Realtors, and Homeadvisor.com, Microsoft's Web site.

If you visit just one, make it Realtor.com. It claims 1.2 million listings -- about 95 percent of the market. Microsoft's site has been gaining listings, but with only about 500,000, it remains well behind the Realtor-sponsored site.

Realtor.com's revamped site now rivals Homeadvisor for features and advice. In addition to home searches, there are maps and a "Personal Planner," where you can file listings that catch your eye. You can also request daily or weekly e-mail updates of listings that meet your search criteria.

Owners.com is a must-visit if you're trying to sell a home without an agent -- or if you are interested in buying directly from an owner. (Neither Realtor.com nor Homeadvisor.com, includes for-sale-by-owner homes.)

Sellers may post a brief listing with one picture free. An $89 listing includes a custom sign for your yard. A $139 "premier" listing includes five online pictures, extra signs and other selling aids. The recently revamped site (which used to be known as the Abele Owner's Network) has links to major on-line mortgage lenders E-Loan, HomeShark, Countrywide and LoanWorks.

Interested in finding out your home's value? The main function of HomeShark.com is to point you toward an online mortgage. But you can take advantage of its home-valuation feature to get an approximate sales price for your home -- handy to know before you appeal your property taxes, ask the lender to drop your private mortgage insurance or apply for a home-equity loan.