Since its 2006 launch, Zillow has become a go-to source for all aspects of real estate. Users can search more than 110 million homes in Zillow’s database (including properties both on and off the market), find an agent, calculate mortgages, peruse design galleries, and get a “Zestimate” (price estimate) of any home. Zillow’s search feature is especially detailed, making it easier for homeowners to find their dream dwelling with the click of a mouse. What’s more, the Seattle-based website has two dozen apps, giving users access across multiple platforms.
According to its website, Trulia “goes beyond the typical listings” to inform users about properties and neighborhoods. Like Zillow, it’s a great tool for browsing homes for sale and researching market information and mortgage rates. But Trulia also gathers data on various lifestyle factors in a community, like crime, school districts, market trends, commute estimates, “walk scores” that assess on-foot accessibility, and demographics. This information is indispensable for those relocating to an unfamiliar area. If you’re itching to immerse yourself in real estate on the go, simply download Trulia’s easy-to-navigate app.
Sponsored by the National Association of REALTORS®, Realtor.com has provided professional expertise to homeowners, buyers, and sellers since 1994. In fact, it was one of the first online real estate tools! Aside from hosting a database of listings and housing information, Realtor.com encourages users to connect with over 1 million local real estate agents, all of whom belong to the National Association of REALTORS®. Users can also can track their home valuation, equity, and mortgage.
Are you looking to rent instead of buy? Then head over to Apartments.com, which connects potential renters with apartments across the country. Narrow down the millions of listings with specific criteria; for example, search by neighborhood, price range, apartment type, commute time, pet policies, square footage, amenities, and more. Some listings even have virtual tours! Those who prefer mobile browsing can download the iOS and Android apps for Apartments.com.
If you're in need of a wide range of resources, consult Homes.com, which actually began as a real estate magazine. With more than 4 million listings, Homes.com is a handy tool for those looking to buy or rent property. But users can also search prices on homes recently sold in a community, find real estate professionals, and read informative how-to articles about buying and selling homes.
Not every seller wants to hire a professional real estate agent. If you’re forgoing a broker, ForSaleByOwner.com is the perfect guidebook, as evidenced by its tagline of “All You Need to Know to Sell Like a Pro.” The website helps sellers price, list, market, and show their homes. On the other hand, buyers can leaf through listings, find market information, compare home values, and more. Keep in mind, however, that this service isn’t free; the most popular plan requires a one-time payment of $349.
Residential brokerage company Redfin also runs a well-regarded real estate website. Its home search tool is extensive, giving users the option to search for fixer-uppers or homes with a view. But Redfin’s best feature is its ability to connect buyers and sellers with real estate agents. Scheduling a tour and finding open house information has never been easier. Redfin’s “Last Call” keeps you informed during bidding wars, while “Price Whisperer” gives sellers real-life feedback on their desired listing price.
Are you looking to channel your inner Chip and Joanna Gaines by purchasing a fixer-upper? Then consider getting a seven-day free trial to RealtyTrac, which lists more than 120 million foreclosed and bank-owned homes. You’ll also gain access to auction dates and locations, neighborhood data, property information, and real estate guides. If you decide you like the website, subscriptions cost $49.95 per month. RealtyTrac is the perfect place to find a bargain!
Relocating to a new neighborhood can be tough, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. NeighborhoodScout comes to the rescue, providing detailed real estate data on communities across the country, allowing you to compare different areas with ease. Use the website to learn about housing prices, neighborhood characteristics and demographics, school districts, crime rates, trends, and more. Subscriptions range from $39.99 to $199.99 per month.
Related: 20 Places with (Almost) Zero Crime
On the Web
The buying and selling process will probably always feel a bit tedious, but thanks to these great websites some of the steps have become a lot easier!
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!