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Real estate apps get millions of monthly visits thanks to the convenience they create with on-the-go searches and making the real estate process more efficient by providing comprehensive detail and real-time information. The National Association of Realtors reports that 97% of homebuyers begin their searches online, and 76% use a mobile or tablet device.
Real estate apps allow prospective homebuyers, sellers, renters, landlords, and investors to search information filtered by price, location, number of bedrooms, square footage, and more. We analyzed 15 real estate apps based on their user interface, search efficiency, inventory size and accuracy, customer support, and reliability. We've chosen the best real estate apps to cover all your property-hunting needs.
Best Real Estate Apps of 2023
- Best Overall: Zillow
- Best for Auctions: Xome Auctions
- Best for Home Purchase: Redfin
- Best for Home Values: Trulia
- Best for Rentals: Realtor
- Best for Renters: Apartments.com
- Best for Entrepreneurs: LoopNet.com
- Our Top Picks
- Xome Auctions
- See More (4)
Best Overall : Zillow
Zillow’s app wins best overall because of its extensive inventory and scope across the United States. Its efficient features allow users to share a prospective property with their partner or roommate, and renters can even begin the application process for a new home via the app.
Access to over 135 million homes
Unlock Zillow-owned properties through the app
Detailed search and filter criteria
Personal rental profiles
Zestimate algorithm not always accurate
Difficult to identify listing agent
Search filters can be inaccurate
Zillow, founded in 2005 by two former Microsoft executives, is one of the leading apps in the real estate market. In fact, Zillow is the most-visited real estate website in the United States.
It is noted for keeping up to date with fast-paced real estate markets. For example, when a realtor or seller changes a property status from “for sale” to “pending and under contract,” you’ll see that change in the app within 24 hours. Property listings come from one or more of the multiple listing services, as well as from individuals posting their own homes for sale, auctions, foreclosures, and other properties.
Zillow offers the option to list apartments for sale, rent, lease, and prospective homebuyers can virtually tour properties and receive update notifications about selected properties from the app. Zillow is free for buyers and sellers because its primary revenue source comes from advertising and lead generation costs from realtors.
Best for Auctions : Xome Auctions
Xome Auctions is the best app for buying a property through an auction because of its comprehensive online bid listings. Like other apps, property details, photos, and map locations are shown, but Xome Auctions is the best for auctions because it also states whether the property is financeable or if it needs to be paid for in cash.
One of the largest databases of auction properties
Access to pre-auction properties
Push notifications alert you to competitive bids
Contract e-signing within the app
App has a history of bugs
Relatively new without a very large client base yet
The Xome Auctions app is available on both Android and Apple app stores and hosts one of the largest collections of exclusive properties. Xome delivers transparent bidding and fast closing. Users can also use Xome’s pre-auction feature to bid on properties early.
You can search for residential or commercial auctions by location, status, and auction asset type, such as bank-owned, short sale, or newly foreclosed. Sort properties by price, beds, baths, square feet, auctions starting soon, or by auctions ending soon. The app includes a walk, commute, and bike score along with listing and sales history so you can see the historical value of the property over time.
The listings on the app come from multiple listing services as well as from exclusive Xome sources. The app wins best for auctions because of the comprehensive features available to the bidder. Details like financing, property and neighborhood statistics, alerts when someone else bids on a property you are watching, and property price history all keep the bidder well-informed. Xome Auctions further exceeds its competitors with an efficient e-signing capability for contracts.
Best for Home Purchase : Redfin
The app is our choice as best for home purchases because it combines cutting-edge technology with actual Redfin real estate agents and customer service employees that keep the human element in the process. It offers a wide range of customized services that benefit sellers and buyers alike.
Accurate estimation of home values
Calculates mortgage, property tax, and insurance
No feature to sort by last-updated
Limited detail on the home’s surrounding neighborhood
Redfin launched in 2006 and is an actual real estate brokerage firm that created an app to take them to a national scale and revolutionize the buying and selling processes. Users can search for houses, condos, and townhouses for sale, and the app also lists open houses in case you want to tour in person.
For sellers, the platform allows you to list your property for sale, and it charges a listing fee of 1.5% or 1.0% if sellers buy and sell with Redfin, which is lower than standard listing broker fees. It also pays a commission rebate to the buyer if the buyer uses a Redfin agent. That potential dollar figure is shown in the app listing.
Redfin’s app interface is simple and easy to use. You can review some neighborhood details and set up notifications to alert you to every available house that meets your criteria. And you can book a home tour within the app. Redfin earns its revenue through listing fees, commissions, and advertising fees, so the app is free to use.
Best for Home Values : Trulia
We awarded Trulia the best for home values because it provides more information about what goes into a home value than any other app.
Local info on neighborhoods, schools, and shopping
Provides pre-qualified financing and calculators
Touch-screen capabilities in app
Link to the listing agent in each property listing
Recently dropped some data from their listings
Similar to Zillow
Trulia was founded in 2005 and acquired by Zillow Group in 2015. It uses Zillow data to provide home values and other information but presents it differently than Zillow. The app is free for users and earns high reviews.
Trulia allows users to view a property in multiple ways. For instance, you can view it via traditional online photos, but Trulia offers demographic stats, as well, such as nearby shopping, eating establishments, recreational facilities, schools, and commute times to major cities, if applicable. Trulia also offers resident reviews, where users can share information about a town or city, like the ease of parking or a neighborhood's walkability scale at night. There is also a Trulia Rentals app so that renters can use both apps for leads on apartments and houses.
Trulia builds its home value estimates from more factors than any other app, such as city and county assessments, local comparative sales of similar homes, and price history trends. Generally, their estimates are within 20% of the sales price.
Best for Rentals : Realtor
Realtors can update their listings daily for free, making it a winner for the best for rentals, because by updating their listings, landlords benefit from finding qualified prospective tenants faster.
Users can hide a listing from their search results
Shows when listing was last updated
Property listings include neighborhood noise level assessments
Limited search criteria
Realtor.com was founded in 1996 and is owned by Move, Inc., a branch of News Corporation (NWS), and it is associated with the National Association of Realtors. The Realtor app is the best for rental unit owners because it showed when the rental listing was last updated, which is helpful when users are looking for up-to-date information. It provides surrounding area information on schools and noise—another primary interest.
Realtor's app is free for everyone and mainly earns revenue through advertising. The app caters to the rental market, and landlords can list their properties and accept applications without paying fees. Like similar apps, users can search listings using filters, and properties are viewed through pictures and video tours, making it easy for a rental property owner to highlight their home's best features.
Best for Renters : Apartments.com
Apartments.com is a renter's favorite place, thanks to the more than one million listed rentals on the site combined with amazing imagery to show prospective tenants what the property offers. Prospective tenants can apply directly through the app.
Features apartments, houses, townhouses, and condos
Filters include wheelchair access
Sorting and update may not be reliable
Apartments.com, founded in 1992, has been owned by the CoStar Group (CSGP) since 2014. CoStar researches the best commercial real estate companies in the United States. It has helped Apartments.com by providing them with an extensive research crew providing attractive listings through its professional photography and videography.
The app's revenue comes mainly from advertising fees and application fees that cost up to $29 for every 10 applications in a 30-day period. Apartments.com has a large inventory of properties for rent, including apartments, houses, condos, and townhomes; the convenient "apply now" feature is only $29 for 10 applications. Its extensive search and sort capabilities go beyond some of its competitors.
Best for Entrepreneurs : LoopNet.com
LoopNet.com is the best real estate app for entrepreneurs because it only lists commercial properties. This saves investors time and frustration because they do not have to sort and filter through homes and individual apartments for sale and rent.
Robust filter criteria to search properties
Strong alert system for updates to properties
Contact the listing broker with one click
Reported bugs with the filter function and the saved property function
No residential properties listed
LoopNet was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The platform is owned by the CoStar Group, which owns several other information and marketplace websites. LoopNet is solely for commercial property investors.
The app allows you to search by location and whether you want a property to buy or lease. You can filter by price, size, year built, and capitalization rate. There are 12 property types to search, such as retail, healthcare, office, restaurant, and multifamily apartment buildings.
LoopNet's app efficiently connects app users to commercial listing brokers so investors and listing brokers can swiftly exchange information and schedule tours from within the app. Since timing can be a critical factor when closing on an investment property, the app's notifications, convenient communication, and streamlined listing inventory are essential assets. The platform earns its revenue through commissions, listing fees, and advertising fees.
Real estate mobile apps provide maximum efficiency for those looking to buy, sell, rent, or invest in real estate. The best overall real estate app is Zillow due to the sheer size of its listings, plus the app has searchable filters that make it easy to use.
Guide to Choosing a Real Estate App
Real estate apps are designed to make it easy for buyers, sellers, realtors, landlords, and investors to find each other. They consist of vast databases with hundreds of thousands and, in some cases, millions of properties listed in them. Because of this, real estate apps can help users search for their ideal home or property from anywhere in the world.
When choosing a real estate app, you should figure out your housing or property needs. For example, an investor would want to use a different real estate app than a college student seeking an off-campus apartment. A landlord might focus on using estate apps that cater specifically to renters versus a large-scale homebuying site, where rentals play a more minor role, and a house-hunting family might want to check out real estate apps that offer a deep dive into community details, like schools and recreational opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Real Estate Apps Determine Home Value?
A real estate app's estimate of a home's value is usually based on available online data, like comparable sales in the neighborhood, tax records, square footage, location, and lot sizes.
Are Real Estate Apps Accurate?
Most real estate apps present accurate information on homes, but not always. It is usually best to contact a broker about a property after you find it online.
What Is the Best App for Finding Property?
The best app for finding property depends on the type you want to purchase or rent. There are real estate apps that cater to renters, buyers, commercial investors, and even holiday homes.
Which Site Is Best for Selling Property?
Redfin is our top pick for sellers because when you list your property for sale on Redfin, it only charges a listing fee of 1.5% or 1.0%, depending if you sell or buy and sell through the brokerage. This amount is lower than standard broker fees, and you will receive a commission rebate if you use a Redfin agent.
Is Zillow or Realtor Better?
Zillow and Realtor are two of the largest online real estate platforms. Realtor does an excellent job of connecting buyers and sellers with agents, and Zillow offers listings not only from agents and brokers but also lists for sale by owner properties.
To select the best seven apps, we reviewed 15 different real estate apps. We analyzed their features, read their customer reviews, and tested the search criteria they offer. Particular emphasis was given to app reviews, bug fixes, search and filter criteria, intuitive functions, and the amount of neighborhood research. We compared these apps to see the quality provided, then checked each app's user interface, details, and notification features.
Lastly, we looked into the source of the listings. We checked if the sources were exclusive or borrowed and whether the information was credible. Our main goal was to check for any discrepancies in the sources. After extensive research, the apps mentioned above were chosen as the best options for buying, renting, selling, or investing in real estate property.
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Apartments.com. "About the Apartments.com Home Rental Sites Network."
Apartments.com. "How to Apply to Rentals Through Apartments.com."