Looking for listings online? Every time a real estate agent adds a listing to the multiple listing service (MLS) it gets published to thousands of websites for consumers. The same information appears everywhere, it’s just a matter of choosing which app/website you prefer and pairing that technology with your favorite real estate agent to help you through the buying process. My philosophy is to work with each client on the platform they prefer most.
Every real estate website has the same basic listing information. They compete for users by trying to offer better features than other websites/apps. Almost all websites/apps are free to use for consumers. They typically make money when they connect you with an agent. Agents listed on Zillow are typically paying over $3000/m to be advertised in a zip code and connect with new buyers who request a showing through the service. Redfin also wants you to use their discount agents so they will give you a feature to schedule a showing with their agents. We believe hiring an agent should be based on their abilities and experience – not a random connection fueled by advertising dollars.
You should use the best agent and the best technology to find your next home. You can just as easily share the listing you like on Zillow with your preferred real estate agent and schedule a time with them to meet you at the property. They will be someone you trust and can help you beyond just showing a home to make sure you have an exceptional home buying experience.
There are thousands of real estate websites that advertise listings including www.LivingRoomDenver.com. However, because we are a small, locally owned company we have not been able to invest millions of dollars into our website to add features in the same way that Zillow.com has over the last 15 years. Below we’ve shared three of the most user-friendly websites/apps where consumers can find listings online.
Zillow holds the biggest market share of any real estate website capturing 29.2% of the market and also owns the second most visited website Trulia.com. They get approximately 59 million unique visitors per month! Zillow launched in 2006 was a game-changer for the industry. For the first time, consumers without an agent could sit at home and browse houses all around the city (and in other cities and states).
1. Google maps/street view linked in the third and fourth images in the photo scroll. Street view can put you in front of a home in seconds to evaluate if you like the “feel” of an area.
2. See how many times the property has been viewed and how many people have saved it. This helps you evaluate the popularity of a listing.
3. Tag what they like about properties. For example “price” or “kitchen”. The app/website uses your votes to push you listings it thinks you will like based on past votes. It makes it simple to view list of homes you favorite during your search.
4. Reviews – Zillow is a good place to check reviews about your agent. See my reviews here.
5. Zillow walkthrough + 3D tours for tours from your couch.
6. See listing history,
7. Easy to send links to your agent and friends.
8. Most extensive rental listings for privately held homes
1. Open Houses not accurate
2. Slow to update new listings and under contract,
3. Agents advertising
4. Always double check your Zestimate with a professional real estate agent. Zillow does not have the ability to analyze the finish level of your interior which can account for major price adjustments.
Unlike Zillow and Realtor.com, Redfin is an actual brokerage who pays its agents a base salary and makes money when users buy or sell homes with its real estate agents. They offer a 1% listing fee if you also buy a home with them. At Living Room Real Estate, our listing commission is always negotiable and if you are listing and also buying a house we can be very competitive with Redfin plus offer personalized service with a dedicated agent on your side.
Features about Redfin we like:
1. It updates the quickest from the MLS. Way faster than Zillow!
2. Shows the exact bathroom count. MLS shows 2 baths when there are actually only 1.5 which is a huge difference.
3. Shows properties that are getting more traffic as a “hot home” which helps me know that those listings will get multiple offers.
4. Has an icon on the first pic in the listing to let me know if there is a 3D walkthrough available.
5. Allows you to X out listings you don’t like.
6. Has a feed that shows me new listings and price changes since the last time I opened the app.
7. Really good open house functionality, not as relevant right now.
8. It has a great mortgage calculator and a commute calculator feature.
What I don’t like:
1. Once a listing is sold the photos go away.
2. Redfin agents are discount service providers who do higher volume. They may not give you the dedicated one on one attention that we provide to buyers through the home buying process.
HomeSnap is likely your agent’s favorite app because they offer rich features for your agent to do business. You might have a better experience sharing listing from HomeSnap with your agent because from their phone they can access extremely valuable information that one other app offers professionals.
Pros for Buyers:
1. Stand in front of any home and snap a photo. The app will recognize your location and give you all the information about the home available even if it is not for sale.
2. Communicate directly with your agent in this app. Make sure your notifications are on so you can see messages.
Pros for Agents:
1. Each listing has private information that is only shared with other real estate professionals that do not show up on Zillow for example. Your agent can see private remarks which typically have information about when offers are due and showing instructions.
2. An agent can quickly research the listing agent with easy access to their contact info, office info, past deals analysis. Your buyer’s agent can evaluate their level of experience of the listing agent which will help you in negations.
3. From their phone, agents can quickly create a comparative market analysis report for any home with a simple workflow and email it to you as PDF documents.
4. We can schedule a showing with the seller directly through this app – not an option on any other platform.
5. Agents can use Homesnap Pro is see important data about an entire neighborhood including Likelihood to List, Distressed, Ownership Type, Home Equity, and Loan Balance.
1. This app is built for agents and caters to their needs. It is not widely used by consumers and is not super user friendly.