Apps are everywhere! Clients used to visit a company’s website for information, to make a purchase or to find a customer service number. But the savviest now simply download the company’s app. Technology is truly amazing… While apps might serve the same purpose of the website, an app is configured for the best possible user experience (UX). And businesses are now offering special deals in their apps that one might not get by visiting their url. Real estate apps for home buyers and sellers also achieve the same purpose of providing real-time information. Now, you may not find a 2-for-1 deal on homes… But still, there are some apps well worth downloading for both sellers and buyers. It might make a search (and sale) for that perfect home a little easier.
Apps for Sellers
Sellers, unlike buyers, face an all-important decision early during the process of selling a home. They must decide how much to put their house on the market for. Price it too high, and it may take months to make a sale—if ever. Price it too low, and you may risk losing thousands of dollars. Finding that sweet spot is the key, and homeowners must make this critical decision early in the process. Pricing your own home is a very personal decision, which involves many factors. And many homeowners may overestimate the inherent value of their home. After all, it is your home—putting personal biases aside, this is where an experienced agent can help in that process. But there are a few apps that will help homeowners get a sense of the housing market and advertise their home to a good audience of prospective buyers. The two most popular real estate apps for evaluating potential sale price are Zillow and Redfin (although Realtor.com may have something to say about that). One of the best features of both Zillow and Redfin is the estimates they provide on current home values. Sellers usually favor Zillow’s “zestimate,” which tends to value homes slightly higher than Redfin. They both use complex algorithms to determine values, including recent home sales in the neighborhood and market trending data. These apps also allow sellers to update information about their homes. For example, maybe a kitchen renovation was recently completed, or a new roof was installed. However, these estimates should be considered with caution… as both apps state clearly that the estimates they provide are starting points, not actual values. After determining a potential value of your home, the second most important factor is marketing. There are several apps that allow homeowners to place their homes on the market, list dates of open houses, and allow for price adjustments. For example, Realtor.com and Trulia are popular apps that sellers can advertise their homes on with the help of a Realtor. For sellers considering making some updates before going live, consider Houzz. This app helps homeowners remodel their home virtually… just upload a photo. Houzz has millions of photos that will help you see what a remodeled bathroom, fresh paint or new kitchen appliances will do for you. So, before you make that renovation, you can get an image of what the finished product might look like. 360 Panorama is another app for home sellers. This app, which costs $1.99, allows a user to take 360 degree photos of their home, which offers a virtual-tour effect for buyers.
Apps for Buyers
Buyers face a different challenge because they, unlike sellers, may have several important criteria on what and where they wish to call home. Clearly, many different factors come into play when purchasing a home. The standard mantra of “location, location, location” may not always satisfy the most discerning buyer. Maybe you are searching for a specific school district, low commuter travel time, a fenced yard, acres of land or perhaps simply an open concept with kitchen island. The preferences among buyers are as varied as the imagination. But, before we purchase that dream house, let’s not forget about the price point. One of the first real estate apps for buyers might be the mortgage calculator app. This app allows buyers to get a sense of the amount they can afford, and the amount a potential mortgage, taxes and insurance might cost. These simple calculations can be done before obtaining the all-important bank approval letter. Once you are armed with the knowledge of how much you can afford, the hard part begins of finding a home that meets your creative criteria. Again, Zillow and Redfin are a great starting point. Both the apps allow buyers to search for properties according to price, neighborhoods, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, lot size… and the list goes on. They both even allow for specific word searches if you want to find a Victorian house with south facing windows on a lake. Trulia is also a good app if you want to get specific neighborhood information during your search. This might include demographics, schools, crime statistics… and even insights from local residents. More and more people are using the Homesnap app, which allows prospective buyers the opportunity to take a photo of a home and instantly get information relating to that property. It may also provide contact information of agents or sellers and allows prospective buyers to get information instantly. There’s even a customizable “Pro” version for agents.