If you’re considering purchasing a new home then you and I both know you’ve been on Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, and probably one or two Realtor’s webpages using their IDX search to find your new home. There are quite a few apps that exist and I wanted to take a moment to discuss the pros and cons of each since you and I both know you’ll be using them to start your search.
Zillow is probably the number one most used app for finding a new home. Why do people love Zillow? It not only shows you what’s for sale but it also shows you the Zillow estimated property value of the homes around the ones that are for sale. It’s a quick way to evaluate if a home is priced higher than the other homes in the neighborhood. The downside is the estimated property value is usually off and by five to fifteen thousand dollars. The average consumer does not know this and therefore believes most homes for sale are overpriced.
Trulia is the second most popular application for finding a new home. The map system is nice and clean and you can view the homes in either a list format or using the map feature. They have a new platform that mimics how Zillow runs so it’s definitely on par with Zillow. The downside is how their agent system is setup. If you choose to have an agent contact you you’ll receive phone calls from multiple agents instead of just one.
Realtor.com is widely used because it’s the search app that’s owned and run by the National Association of Realtors. This is a very solid website for doing your homework on what homes are for sale and what prices are going for in certain neighborhoods. The downside is the site isn’t as sharp as Zillow or Trulia which means it doesn’t look as good or doesn’t feel as good to use.
Redfin happens to be one of my favorite apps when it comes to finding a home; even when working with a Realtor. Redfin only shows you the homes that are actually for sale and under contract. This does two things: One, it will show you what’s actually for sale in a neighborhood so you have an idea immediately what the prices in a neighborhood are actually going for. Two, if you sign up to their site you’ll get real time listings sent directly to you.
I should note that the only application I actually use in the field is Redfin. I only use it to have an idea of what homes are selling for in a neighborhood at that moment. The best search engine for homes in any market is the Multi List Service, MLS, which feeds the information to the rest of these sites. You’ll only have access to this search engine if you use a Realtor that knows what they are doing.
These applications are great to start your home search but as soon as you find a Realtor to work with stop using them. They will take away from your agent’s ability do their job and find you the perfect home as fast as possible. If you’re currently using any of these apps to find your home give me a call and let me show you what working with a Realtor really means for you.
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