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November 28, 2016

The Best Apps for House Hunting

By Special Guest
Craig Bretzlaff, Sales Associate, Bretzlaff Group, Corcoran Group

Mobile technology has fundamentally changed the way we shop for real estate. House hunters should know that when a property gets put up for sale, the first update that occurs is in the immediate network, or MLS listing. The second update to follow occurs online, as the realtor updates top websites and applications with the news that a new property is up for sale. By being subscribed to these notifications, house hunters can immediately know when a new home is up for sale in their area.

Since buyers, real estate agents, brokers, and market analysts constantly have their eye on the market you have to act fast in order to lock in the latest listings. Let’s check out the four most useful tools for house hunting that can help you gain an edge over the competition.

Redfin is arguably one of the best real estate applications on the market. Data is updated in real time, every 15 to 30 minutes, allowing buyers to be notified when new homes get posted in their area. The desktop site and mobile app also aid buyers and sellers in selecting real estate agents in their area. Redfin gives more accurate information than Zillow and Trulia - two of the largest real estate applications on the market. What makes RedFin a cut above the rest when compared to these competitors is what you don’t see. RedFin updates their listings more frequently than Zillow and Trulia, showing you only homes that are listed on the market, saving you time from having to look at properties that have already been sold.

A relic of the pre-internet area, Realtor is a comprehensive source for buyers and sellers. The online platform functions as an online resource that posts helpful content while also linking homeowners to realtors and real estate agents. Realtor.com allows users to search houses based on selective criteria like school districts, neighborhoods, demographics, commute times, etc. A pioneer in the real estate space, Realtor.com lead the charge when the housing industry was transitioning from paper to digital. Other applications may be newer, shinier, and more modern, but none can compete with Realtor’s rolodex. And at the end of the day, it is strong connections that sell a home.

Developed by the U.S. Census Bureau, Dwellr provides a wealth of statistics on any neighborhood. I recommend my clients use it as a supplementary app to RedFin and Realtor as they consider living in a new geographical region, different than the one they are used to. Dwellr has made big data - which is collected at every Census - actionable, readable, and useful. Find data tables that list more information than you could ever want on any neighborhood in the United States, including education, commute times, demographics, and average home values.

I liken Trulia to the “Instagram of Real Estate.” This app is extremely easy to use and gives users an aesthetic desktop experience in mobile form. Rather than displaying a map first thing upon search, the app first displays photos based on the criteria you specified. The photos that pop up are based on the specifics of your search such as ‘open concept’ or ‘pool.’ The same way you’re able to search by hashtag on Instagram on Twitter, so too can you search by those same filters on Trulia. Modern, chic, and very useful, Trulia provides a twist on the house hunting app formula, that usually has one looking at a pin on a map.

These apps are very important and can supplement the work your real estate agent is doing on his or her time. If you want to be in more control of the buying process, or are just curious about real estate, these four applications are a great place to begin house hunting.

About the Author: Craig Bretzlaff is a luxury real estate specialist who has been recognized as a top producer in the Palm Beaches, Florida. With his deep expertise in residential real estate and luxury home building, Craig prides himself on sharing his knowledge and experiences with his clientele so that they can make informed investment decisions. Find him on Bretzlaff Group.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

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