Finding the perfect website to list your home for sale or to use in searching for your dream home can be challenging. In part, this is because there are so many to choose from. What complicates things further is that it's difficult to differentiate one from another. Here are six of the top ranked home sale websites, and what each one offers. The information used to create this list was compiled from a range of highly respected sources, including eBiz/MBA, US News, and Bankrate.
There are several reasons sites like eBiz/MBA rank Zillow among the top sites for home sales listings, including the fact the site has over 36 million unique visitors each month.
Among the most popular features users like is Zillow's Zestimate service. Prospective sellers and sellers can use this service to gain an idea of what homes in a particular area are selling for. Zillow includes listings by private sellers, as well as those on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Zillow also allows users to get loan quotes without having to divulge their personal information.
Although Zestimate is a useful tool, users should know the prices shown are only estimates and may not accurately reflect actual selling prices.
Trulia has over 23 million unique visitors each month. Buyers can use Trulia to search for important information, including vital details about homes they are interested in, honest comparisons, neighborhood information, and the latest market trends, all in one convenient location.
Trulia also offers a unique online community where consumers will find over 400,000 professionals ranging from real estate experts to plumbers to home stagers, ready to answer their questions.
Trulia allows buyers to use the Compare It feature that lets them create a comparison list of five properties side-by-side and the Price Reductions feature that shows homes with prices that have been reduced by 5, 10, or 20 percent.
One thing buyers should know is that the listings shown on Trulia may be out of date, making it hard to know if a particular property is still for sale. This lack of up-to-date listings can lead to significant frustration when you are shopping for a home.
Redfin is a brokerage service as opposed to just a website where homes are listed. The site is currently sitting in the number five position in the eBiz/MBA rankings, with over 6 million monthly visitors.
Redfin works with Realtors located around the country and averages more than 10,000 customers buying or selling their homes each year. Redfin offers buyers a service called Last Call that alerts buyers interested in a particular home when an offer has been made. This gives them a chance to place a bid on the property before it closes.
While Redfin continues to offer a commission rebate to buyers, in recent years the company has cut the amount of the rebate and increased its cost of services. This is something you need to keep in mind when trying to keep out-of-pocket expenses to a minimum.
Realtor.com is the official website of the National Association of Realtors and has one of the largest listings of homes for sale in the country. The website averages 18 million visitors monthly and is ranked at number four by eBiz/MBA.
Because Realtor.com's listings are considered the most up-to-date on the web, buyers can use this website to find out if homes found on other websites are still for sale. Buyers and sellers can use this site to find a local Realtor, as well as information about current mortgage rates. To help ensure the site offers buyers the most current information, more than half of the over 4 million listings on Realtor.com are updated every 15 minutes.
Many buyers and sellers feel the Realtor.com website is not very user-friendly, and that they require you to submit personal information to access certain areas of the site. They also charge an extra fee for enhanced listings that show more details about the home you are trying to sell.
Homes.com is ranked number six at eBiz/MBA with over 5 million visitors each month.
Both buyers and sellers can use Homes.com to view listings of homes in their area to see what they have sold for. This data comes from a variety of sources, including public records, national franchise agreements, the MLS, and a team of Homes.com's own agents and client brokerages.
Homes.com is one of the few sites that has a mobile app that works with Blackberry smartphones. Most other real estate sites only have apps that work with iOS and Android.
Commission rates are not made available until you make an offer on a home, and they may vary significantly based on local agents, cities, towns, and states, leaving you to wonder how much commission will be paid when your home closes.
Homefinder.com has more than 3 million monthly visitors and offers one of the easiest to use websites and mobile apps. On average, Homefinder.com has over 4 million homes listed.
The website allows you to search for homes for sale in your local area or based on your current location, making it much easier to find the perfect property. You can also use the website to find open houses located nearby. Through its connections to dozens of newspapers and numerous other forms of media, Homefinder.com has one of the largest databases of homes for sale in the country.
One thing to note is that once you enter your personal information on this free-to-use site, it may be provided to other companies, resulting in unwanted solicitations.
FSBO.com has been providing both buyers and sellers one of the most economical ways to buy and sell homes since 1997. The site has over 500,000 visitors each month.
The site's easy-to-use toolbox allows sellers to list their homes across the web on a wide number of real estate websites. It also lets buyers and sellers access the MLS for even more options. All of this is offered for far less than the cost of using a traditional real estate agency. According to Quicken Loans, homes listed on FSBO.com sell for an average of 15% less than when sold through a realtor. In addition to listing properties for sale, FSBO.com offers a complete library of forms and documents for sellers in every state.
What to Do From Here
Most online home sales sites offer buyers and sellers a similar range of features. Each has their advantages ranging from the most up-to-date listings to huge libraries of information designed to help. To get the most from shopping for a home or listing one for sale online, you should use at least three or more of these sites since the more sites you're using, the more likely you are to reach your desired outcome.