With an increasing number of to-be home buyers turning to the internet to supplement their search, some big players among online real estate have emerged over the years. Online real estate puts some of the control back into the buyer’s hands, enabling them to see much of what the realtor sees. More access to listings means a more complete and comprehensive search. Buyers know that potential houses are not being screened out before they get a chance to review them.
Not only do these websites help buyers, they also prove useful for current home owners. One can use these sites to look up current estimated home value, know when a neighboring home is sold or bought and keep an eye on community home value. Here are the top real estate websites according to ConsumerReports.org.
All these websites provide free searches, allow custom search areas and have apps for both Android and Iphone. Real estate websites provide a valuable service; searching for homes in a matter of minutes without driving all over town. For those on the hunt for a home, seeing pictures and price outright is a huge time and money saver.
Zillow.com is the most used real estate website. It brings nearly 164 million visits per month, states Easyagentpro.com. Here, one can find comprehensive data and analysis on homes in an area, including historical and future value. Zillow.com also lists available agents in the area and includes reviews from past clients. The website is known for its Zestimate feature, which allows current homeowners to see how much their home just might sell for.
An arguably more robust MLS search engine, Trulia.com scores homes based on factors such as walkability, local crime rates and available services such as stores and cafes. Users can customize their search by choosing maximum commute times and proximity to school districts, among several other lifestyle options.
While both Zillow and Trulia have access to about 350 MLS services, Realtor.com allows users to search almost 800 MLSs, according to ConsumerReports.org. The website is set up well and is easy to use, displaying open houses and the ability to easily view property records.
While having the most limited access to MLSs, Redfin.com boasts a robust search engine and the ability to favorite homes even if not currently listed. The website sends alerts when favorited houses hit the market or lower in price. Redfin has its own agents, who often charge lower commission than traditional rates.