NMLS# 3151

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Mobile Apps to Help Your Home Search


In the new digital age where search options are plentiful, so too are the variety of phone apps to help with a home search. Below is a summary of the top trending and more popular apps and how they are best used. Your Realtor can help answer any questions you may have, and can direct you to a qualified and trustworthy Lender as well.

Listed in alphabetical order:

Initially launched by the U.S. Census Bureau, dwellr was created to make statistical information more easily accessible. The app provides such data as population, demographics, climate, median income, median age, etc. Based on a set of data input by the user, the app displays the top 25 cities that best match the search preferences. The app is often used to learn about specific geographic areas and to research possible relocation destinations. From a real estate perspective, the app can be very helpful in researching accurate data before someone proceeds with a major move or permanent relocation. Once you narrow the search to a more specific location or two, you can dig deeper into additional data and search for homes in that area.

Similar to the “like” functionality of Facebook or the “swipe” functionality of popular dating sites, the Doorsteps Swipe app displays images of homes that are currently available. The display results are based on specific data input for the initial search. If you like a home, you swipe right. If you do not like a home, you swipe left. The app adds an element of fun to your home search. With enough time spent looking at homes, you are likely to start seeing trends in the features and types of homes that you are drawn to. Be sure to share any insights with your real estate Agent as it will help your Agent to find better homes that meet your interests and needs.

Nowadays, it is common for people to list their homes on Facebook, or to have their Listing Agent post their home on Facebook for them. There a entire Facebook pages dedicated to local home listings and searches. Many real estate teams will create pages to promote their listings. If searching for a home in the local market, Facebook can be an additional resource to find home listings. Similar to the advisement about using KSL, with Facebook, there will likely be outdated postings of homes that are no longer available. Your Agent can further research any possible listing to gather more information and determine if the home is still available and if it is accurately represented in the Facebook post.

Giving access to millions of homes for sale across the country, Homes.com integrates interactive maps, high-res property photos, and accurate home values, among other helpful and current market information.

Providing real-time updates and details on current listings, Homesnap allows users to “snap” a mobile photo and the app will search and provide information about the property from the MLS (multiple listing service) and any additional public records. The app has also enabled a messaging feature between the buyer or seller and the Agent, as well as sending messages to a significant other to share in search findings.

As a local home listing site, KSL.com provides a lot of local listings as most locals post their sale items, including homes, on both Facebook and KSL. The KSL search options may be a great option to gather some additional home options for consideration. Work directly with your Agent to further vet any KSL listings as there may be old listings still active on the site and available for search. Similarly, use caution when looking at listings on Facebook as the same issues may arise. Your Agent can gather additional information about possible listings.

As the official website of the National Association of Realtors, Realtor.com helps buyers and sellers alike to post and find for reliable and useful data in the housing market. For buyers, in addition to allowing search by geography, Realtor.com also has a feature that enables search by school district via the website or the mobile app. The mobile app and desktop options track user information, keeping recent searches and account activity in sync across either interface.

This Seattle-based company provides real estate home search and brokerage services, ase well as access to live Agents. The app’s “hot homes” feature highlights homes that closely align with the searcher’s top interests. The app can predict how quickly the home might receive offers based on current market conditions. Be careful with the amount of weight you place behind the market predictions as they are not guaranteed and are based on a best-guess from market trends. Your Agent can be an excellent resource of data and current market trends. Be sure to discuss timing and expectations for offers once you get to that stage of the process.

As one of the most downloaded real estate apps, Trulia includes photo categories that are not offered on other apps or sites, such as fixer uppers or updated kitchens. This helps when searching for specific features or characteristics in a home. The layout of the app makes searches easy and highly visual for all users.

Thousands of Utah real estate buyers use the RANLife UtahFirstHomes.com site to search for the perfect home. We have all Real Estate Listings from all agents, providing you with access to maps, photos, virtual tours, new listing notices, price changes, and more. Our search results return all homes on the market regardless of who the listing agent is - you'll see them all.
Formerly known as Solutionstar, the newer app Xome creates a one-stop shopping experience in the real estate market. From selecting an Agent to finding a home and securing financing through a trusted Lender all the way to completing the purchase, Xome is shaking up the industry by providing several of the common real estate needs in one platform. The uniqueness of the app allows buyers or sellers and Agents to connect and communicate throughout the process.

With over 100 million homes in its database, Zillow offers a robust mobile app and website for searching local area listings. The app includes an interactive map with current home value estimates. Presently, Zillow holds ground as the most downloaded real estate app for both Apple and Android device users. A word of caution with the data reliability reported by Zillow:  there can be some inaccuracies in the “zestimate” (home value estimate) that is reported. Zillow combats the inaccuracy issue by reporting estimated value ranges for properties. The closer or smaller the range of values, the more reliable the estimate is as it represents that Zillow has more data available on that particular property.

In summary, there are many sites and apps available for real estate searches, and more entering the market each day. There is more data available now than ever before, and all of it practically instantaneous and at our fingertips. At times, the information can be conflicting and, at other times, confusing. It is always wise to turn to your Agent for guidance and to answer any questions.

At RANLife, our Agents are qualified and always put you first. Our Lenders are equally credentialed and focused on your needs. We are dedicated to helping you achieve your real estate goals. Call us today to get started.
Real Estate: (801) 478-4545
Lending: (800) 461-4152

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