I know from talking to people that searches can be confusing at times. But once you know few things, you can take control:
"Advanced Search" really is the most useful. It allows you to "zero in" on properties you're looking for by specifying several criteria (ie., pool, waterfont, golf course, garage (for condos), even foreclosure/short sales and many others).
Please note: within "Advanced Search," it's great to be able to search by "Development" or "Subdivision" if you know that you are interested in a specific community. However, these searches still have their problems because of the way Realtors enter information into the MLS database. Realtor Associations are looking at ways to make data input more uniform but for now, you may want to contact me after running your initial searches to have me check for listings that may not have popped up. We Realtors have more (and more updated) search criteria at our fingertips than do internet users on consumer sites.
"Map Search" makes me a little crazy. I'm not sure how useful it is; I think all that one needs is covered by the Advanced Search. But it is a feature offered by many search engines, including this one. Explore as you see fit and send me your feedback.
"Short Sales/ForeClosures" this criterion is already offered in the "Advanced Search," but you can always compare results...
Please do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions!