In the market for a new home? If so, you’ll need to go virtual house shopping. We know that starting your home search is overwhelming. That’s why we’ve rounded up what we think are the 4 best websites to buy a home.
Disclaimer: The information included in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal, financial, or DIY advice. We highly suggest consulting a professional before attempting any DIY home improvements or repairs.
4 Best Websites to Buy a House
If you’re already on your computer or laptop with the Internet browser open, you can easily search for the best website to buy a house. But, we think you’re better off using our curated guide. After all, I am a formerly-licensed real estate agent.
So I know which sites are worth using and which ones are garbage. My top picks include:
Real estate websites make house hunting a much easier process than it used to be in the past. As a home buyer, you can search through a real estate website and look at hundreds of homes from the comfort of your living room. You can even compare prices, schools, amenities and features, neighborhoods, and local hangouts.
Essentially, a real estate website would only simplify the house-hunting process for you. Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the best websites to help you search for your future home. We have detailed the pros and cons of each.
According to Investopedia, Zillow is the best overall real estate website available on the Internet. This website was first founded in 2006 and has since serviced buyers, sellers, real estate agents, house hunters, landlords, and renters.
This powerful website has the biggest database of more than 135 million real estate properties. It incorporates multiple criteria settings and offers resources for pre-qualified financing.
Furthermore, you can read through a multitude of guides teaching you how to buy and/or sell a home right on the Zillow website. Best of all, Zillow offers multiple mobile apps so that you can find the perfect home for you, even when you’re on the go.
The Zestimate feature on the Zillow website is an algorithm that can only work as well as the information that is input into its system. If you aren’t looking to speak with a real estate agent at this time, you may get suckered into it by filling out a form on the site.
Since realtors and lenders purchase leads on Zillow, you’ll need to avoid filling out any forms online until you are entirely ready to buy your next home.
The listing agent is the only one on the website that has any real knowledge of the property listing. Other agents whose names appear on the property record may not know much about the house.
The National Association of Realtors is affiliated with Realtor.com, which is also associated with more than 580 Multiple Listing Services (MLS). Realtors regularly update the listings on this website – as much as every 15 minutes. This is why many consider Realtor.com to have the greatest listing accuracy.
The database on Realtor.com also includes 99 percent of all MLS-listed real estate properties. You’ll find that you can search all listed houses in a school district on the Realtor.com website.
You can also access financial calculator buyers and pre-qualified financing. Lastly, the real estate website has an impressive “find a realtor” feature.
There are only a few disadvantages when it comes to using Realtor.com to find your perfect home. Unfortunately, this website lacks the feature allowing you to find “for sale by owner” listings. In addition, this site does not offer home sellers the ability to list their houses or apartments for sale.
If Zillow or Realtor.com are not the right sites for you, then it’s time to check out Trulia. The website and mobile app Trulia started in 2005 and, ever since, has shown transparency in terms of real estate sales. Trulia is considered the best real estate mobile app due to its simplicity, robustness, and user-friendliness.
Other advantages of Trulia include:
- Impressive “local info” on the website and mobile app
- A customized alert system based on your benchmarks
- Resources of pre-qualified financing
- Financial calculators available in the mobile app
- Feature letting you draw a loop on the map to find your perfect real estate region
- Tutorial guides to help you improve your experience on the mobile app
Trulia has a few disadvantages as well. For example, you’ll need to register and make an account to save your search criteria. Signing in is necessary to look up and keep your info on Trulia.
Also, home sellers cannot list their real estate property for sale on this site. Despite these disadvantages, Trulia does have the best real estate mobile app available on the market.
If you’d like to get a good deal on a new home and you’re interested in houses undergoing a foreclosure, then you’ll want to check out Foreclosure.com. This website has plenty of options for search criteria, the number of listings, sorting processes, and education.
As such, if you’re looking for a house going through a foreclosure, you’ll find Foreclosure.com is the best real estate website for this. This website also has plenty of tutorials, videos, and educational articles to help you understand how to buy a foreclosed home.
This website includes more than 750,000 listings showing foreclosures, tax lien properties, pre-foreclosures, and bankruptcy properties. When you search for a listing, you can choose certain criteria such as rent-to-own, shadow inventory, and city-owned properties. This real estate website also offers features to conduct a title search on any property.
Along with the benefits of Foreclosure.com, there are several disadvantages. For instance, its seven-day free trial period mandates that you enter your credit card information when signing up. The monthly fee is also a high price of $39.80.
The Foreclosure.com mobile app does not get updated frequently, so many users rate this app as inadequate. When looking for the best website to buy a house, there are also some other things to consider, which we detail below.
Things to Consider
The most important things to consider when looking to buy a house are the financial aspects of this process, such as your credit history, payment history, credit score, and the amount you’re willing to spend on a house, including a down payment.
Things to Do
- Check your credit history and credit score
- Pay off accounts and debt before buying a new home
- Make all payments on time
- Keep track of auto loans, credit cards, and student loans to ensure all payments go through on time and your credit history is strong
- Check out public programs that can help you pay for a home, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) homes and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans
- Save your money and speak to your bank about ways to save more toward a new home
- Organize documents including pay stubs, recent tax filings, retirement account information, and bank statements
Things Not to Do
- Do not open too many new credit card accounts in a short period if you are buying a home, as this will hurt your credit score
- Do not make any late payments during the process of buying a new house
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best website to buy a house?
Zillow is considered the best overall website to buy a house. If you’re looking for the best website with “For Sale By Owner” listings, the FSBO.com website is the best option. If you want to buy a foreclosed home, check out Foreclosure.com. Also, Trulia has the best mobile app, and Realtor.com is the most accurate.
What is the most accurate site for home values?
Redfin is the most accurate website for home estimates and values, as it has a low margin or error for real estate costs and updates data regularly every day.
What is the most popular real estate website?
In the United States, Zillow has the most monthly website visits and is known as a dominant rental and real estate website.
What’s the Best Website to Buy a House?
When searching for the best website to buy a house, you should now be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of the different leading real estate websites. You’ll also need to track your finances before buying a new home.
If you want to use the best overall website, you can’t go wrong with Zillow, as it is the most popular real estate site in the United States.