The REALTORS® Home Buyers and Sellers National Association of 2021 has indicated that 51% of buyers find the place that they buy on the Internet. Only 28 percent found the house they purchased through their real estate company and 7 percent from the yard sign to put this into view.
Real estate websites attract a large number of visitors each month because they provide value to both buyers and sellers. Buyers can view hundreds of homes from the comfort of their couch in just a few hours. Home sellers benefit as well; their home’s features and photos are viewed by hundreds of buyers looking for a new home. We evaluated 18 real estate sites based on the ease and performance of their search functions, the support features they provide, and their prices. Buying and selling a home can be difficult enough without having to worry about which website to use. We’ve chosen the best real estate websites for your needs to get you started on your journey.
What is Real Estate Website?
Buyers benefit from the convenience of real estate websites, while sellers benefit from increased visibility. Buyers can look at hundreds of photographs, videos, and features of a home before scheduling a live tour. Sellers who list their properties on these sites benefit in the same way: hundreds or thousands of potential buyers can examine their home online without having to visit it in person. Another important function of real estate websites is to act as a marketing channel for the professional service providers involved in the transaction. To generate leads, realtors, mortgage professionals, banks, and inspectors can place ads on the website.
How do Real Estate Websites Collect Information?
Real estate websites populate their database of homes in a variety of methods. In some circumstances, the input is done by hand. A broker or property manager updates a home’s profile, or a seller uploads photos. Other modifications are made digitally using each company’s unique algorithm. The programme gathers data from city and town tax databases, as well as regional multiple listing systems, to mention a few sources.
Realtor.com listings are the closest to the gold standard, the MLS, which is updated on a regular basis by realtors, as they are affiliated with the National Association of Realtors and linked to over 580 regional Multiple Listing Services. As a result, Realtor.com is our choice for the most accurate real estate website.
Realtor.com was founded in 1996 and is now run by Move, Inc., a subsidiary of News Corporation (NWS). In the Google Play store, the app has approximately 265,000 reviews with an average rating of 4.5 stars. Around 280,000 reviews in the Apple Store averaged 4.7 stars. The app allows you to search for homes, view pictures and video tours, compare neighbourhood criteria such as noise levels, and receive real-time updates on all of its listings. Draw a shape on the app map with your fingertip to see only the properties within that geographic shape. Users can also use the app to contact realtors and run financial calculators. Buyers and renters can use the app and website for free.
Zillow, founded in 2006 by two former Microsoft executives, provides the most comprehensive suite of tools for buyers, sellers, landlords, renters, agents, and other real estate professionals. In our review, Zillow’s power and flexibility make it the best overall real estate website. Zillow’s app is one of the most popular on both the Android and Apple platforms. It has over 10 million downloads on Google Play and a rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 from over 500,000 users. The app has received an overall rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 stars from 5.5 million users in the Apple Store.
The main Zillow app allows you to search for homes and apartments, list yours for sale or rent, tour the home using pictures and videos when available, connect with agents and lenders, save your searches, and receive push notifications when your search criteria change. Zillow obtains listings from both the MLS (multiple listing service) and non-MLS sources. For sale by owner, non-MLS foreclosures, and auctions are examples of non-MLS sources. In short, Zillow is free for buyers and sellers and makes money by charging advertising fees to real estate agents, lenders, and other home service providers. It is a source of leads for advertisers.
There are a number of real estate websites dedicated to foreclosures, but Foreclosure.com offers the best combination of search criteria, sorting, quantity of listings, and, perhaps most importantly, education in this complicated process. For these reasons and more, Foreclosure.com is the best foreclosure website we’ve found. Foreclosure.com was founded in 1999 by a group of real estate professionals and software developers who wanted to create a one-stop shop for people looking to buy foreclosed properties. Their data is updated on a daily basis using information from tax rolls, government agencies, and notices of lender legal actions.
There are less than 50 user reviews for the Apple app, with an average rating of 1.5 stars out of five. With nearly 400 ratings averaging 2.6 stars in the Google Play store, it does slightly better. The app is free to use, but its full functionality is only available to those who have paid the website’s monthly subscription fee. If you think buying a home that isn’t in foreclosure is difficult, consider this: buying a foreclosure has its own set of rules that scare many people away. Because Foreclosure.com understands how difficult it is to find a home at a discount, they have focused a lot of their attention on tutorial videos, articles, and checklists on the website to help people navigate the process. The downloadable documents and links to state-specific laws assist buyers in making informed decisions.
Once you’ve mastered the process, you’ll be able to search and sort for homes in various stages of foreclosure. You can look for specific property situations like sheriff sales and tax liens, for example. The ability to search for homes that are listed as “Rent-to-Own” is another unique feature. Subscribers pay the $39.80 monthly fee because they see the opportunity to buy a home that could save them tens of thousands of dollars, far more than the cost of the subscription.
Trulia, which was founded in 2005, has created a website and mobile app that excel at transparency. Because home buyers and renters do so much of their research on their mobile devices, Trulia’s app is our choice for best mobile app because it is powerful, simple, and easy to use. On the Android platform, Trulia’s app has over 208,000 reviews with an average rating of 4.5 stars. More than 1 million users voted in the Apple Store, giving it an average rating of 4.8 stars. While the main Trulia website allows you to search for both homes for sale and rental apartments, Trulia has separated these niches into two mobile apps, Trulia Real Estate: Find Homes and Trulia Renters, to better serve renters.
Trulia, which was purchased by Zillow for $2.5 billion in 2015, has the backing of the world’s largest real estate website. Typically, listing information is updated within 24 hours. No matter how good the app is, the accuracy of the data is only as good as what goes into it. The app’s multiple map views for each property are among the features that users appreciate the most. For example, you can see the property plotted on a map that shows local crime, shopping and dining options, schools, and commute times.
Trulia is the go-to site for people who want to learn about their potential neighbourhood as a whole, rather than just the house and what’s inside. There are even neighbourhood reviews written by people who live in the area where you’re looking, telling you what they like and dislike about it. Users can download the app for free.
Since 1997, FSBO.com has been saving home sellers commissions. It is our best website for “For Sale By Owner” sellers who want to “DIY” their home sale. FSBO.com offers a package that includes the option to list on the MLS as well as syndicated real estate websites such as Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor, to name a few. While selling your home without using a listing agent can save you up to 6% in commission fees, there are fees associated with selling your home on FSBO.com. There are two selling plans available. For $99.95, you get a 6-month listing on FSBO.com, a video upload, and unlimited photos.
The $399.95 MLS package includes a listing on the MLS as well as syndication on several of the best real estate websites, including Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. Other options are available depending on your state of residence. When you look for and hire a professional—say, a photographer—you will pay those expenses directly to the contractor. However, if you are not a trained real estate agent, the website provides plenty of information to help you through the selling process. With attorneys and title agents at your disposal, as well as legal forms to download, you’re well-prepared for the job.
Apartments.com is the top choice for renters who want to learn not only about their apartment options but also about the surrounding community and how to improve their rental experience. It’s also our best for renting pick in our review. Apartments.com was founded in 1992 and was bought out by CoStar Group (CSGP) in 2014. CoStar Group is widely regarded as one of the best commercial real estate research firms in the United States. Apartments.com benefits from the large research team at CoStar. 500,000 of CoStar’s one million listings have been visited, photographed, and validated by in-house CoStar researchers.
The app has over five million downloads and over 38,000 reviews on Google Play, with an average user rating of 4.6 stars. It is ranked #13 in the Lifestyle category in the Apple Store and has received an average rating of 4.8 stars from over 100,000 users. Apartments.com and its app are both free to use when looking for a place to live. The site makes money by charging renters $29.00 (plus tax) to apply for up to ten rentals within 30 days via the mobile app.
Pictures, 3D tours, floor plans, availability dates, current rent specials, and additional expenses such as a parking or pet fee, if applicable, may be included in property listings. Renter reviews, lease length options, and information on nearby shops, restaurants, gyms, banks, groceries, and coffee shops are also available. The site’s Walk Score and Bike Score help users understand neighbourhood transportation, and a neighbourhood noise level rating helps round out a user’s overall impression of a neighbourhood.
LoopNet, one of the most comprehensive commercial real estate search engines, connects purchasers with commercial properties for sale and lease. The search function allows you to narrow down your results by property type, such as office, industrial, or retail. The website database contains approximately 25 million property records, according to the company’s website. Why should you use LoopNet? The site includes over 800,000 commercial listings and allows sellers to advertise their posts through a variety of listing exposure choices, including Diamond, Platinum, Gold, and Premium. LoopNet users can search for properties according on their property type, such as office, industrial, or retail. Prospective purchasers can select a radius or freehand draw their desired location on the map to be more geographically exact.
8. Homes for Heroes
Do you consider yourself a hero? If you serve or have served in the military, or as a firefighter, EMS worker, police officer, healthcare professional, or teacher, you can buy, sell, or refinance your property while earning incentives and other savings. Homes for Heroes was rated the best for heroes in our evaluation and is the real estate website for you if you serve your community.
Homes for Heroes is a unique real estate website design. Instead of providing a database of available homes to explore, your first step with this organisation is to fill out their online form so that one of their specialists may work with you on your specific goals. There is no mobile app available. Homes for Heroes saves you money if you fit into one of the career (hero) categories they serve by utilising its huge nationwide network of realtors, lenders, and business services that have agreed to serve you with excellence and at a reduced charge.
Homes for Heroes was founded in 2002, shortly after 9/11, and launched its national brand in 2009. It has since assisted over 46,000 heroes in saving over $80 million in real estate deals totaling more than $11 billion. Their network consists of 4,100 real estate and mortgage specialists that are dedicated to serve this important segment of our society. As a result, Homes for Heroes, Inc. has donated $947,000 to heroes in need through its 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation, the Homes for Heroes Foundation. The savings mount up. According to the company, most people save at least $2,400, which is referred to as a Hero Reward. There is no enrollment fee; the hero pays that price every day just by doing their job.
ForRent is a rental property listings website that allows users to search for properties based on basic home attributes and community attractions. User ratings, property features, and pricing incentives are displayed in the results. Why should you use ForRent? In addition to typical rental listings, the site features sections for off-campus student housing, elderly housing, and business housing. Within each category, the search engine operates based on the interests of the respective group: students at ForRentUniversity.com can filter by safety and privacy factors, seniors at AFTER55.com can search by independent and assisted living homes, and professionals at CorporateHousing.com can search for short-term rentals based on arrival and departure dates.
RealtyTrac is a search engine for real estate particularly for foreclosures and banks and provides access to area details, real estate trend reports and house auctions. RealtyTrac, why should you use: RealtyTrac calls upon consumers who want to buy a deal or investment – the site includes full summary reports for each result with more than 120 million entries. The website features colourful charts and graphs to break down lifestyle facts including crime, schools and the rate of unemployment.