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Real estate apps have varying features depending on their purpose and complexity. In general, however, they are for residential and commercial real estate. Certain apps boast helpful tools like home value estimates and mortgage calculators, while others provide home decor and design inspiration.
Real estate apps are designed to be used on the go and to help you with a specific task such as finding your dream home, designing your kitchen, or locating your next office space. Most real estate apps are free and easy to use. Continue reading to find out more about the best real estate apps, their functions and features, and see which one will be most helpful for you.
Best Overall: Zillow
Why We Chose It: Zillow brings real estate data, knowledge, and inspiration to users. It connects potential renters, buyers, and sellers with real estate professionals and offers home value estimates.
All of the functions including home browsing and home valuations in one place
Ability to connect with local real estate professionals and see their reviews and latest sales
Save and share your favorite homes with friends and family members
Zestimates aren’t always accurate in terms of home value
Only tailored toward residential properties
Zillow was founded in 2004 in Seattle, Washington, launched in 2006, and is now one of the most well-known real estate apps in the world. It is free to download and use and boasts myriad functions for both real estate professionals and consumers. You can get a home value estimate called a Zestimate or a rental estimate and you can use the app to find recommended real estate agents in your area.
Zillow can also be used to find your next home for rent or purchase. You can search in a number of ways, including locating homes near you now, finding homes in a specific area, or narrowing down your search to one neighborhood. You can easily save your searches and share them with friends and family. Zillow has data for more than 110 million homes in the U.S.
Best for Commercial Real Estate: LoopNet
Why We Chose It: LoopNet is the country’s largest marketplace of commercial listings. It features spaces for rent, as well as businesses and commercial real estate for sale on an easy-to-use platform.
Commercial real estate and business listings
Advanced search functions let you filter listings
Real estate investing tips and resources
Detailed listing descriptions usually accompanied by photos
Listings aren’t always vetted so may not be authentic or still available
Costs can be high for real estate brokers
LoopNet was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It’s the most heavily trafficked online commercial real estate marketplace. It’s a subsidiary of CoStar Group and features business for sale and commercial listings for rent and for sale nationwide. You can also use the app to search for a commercial real estate broker to help with the deal. LoopNet is free for users, but there are fees associated with listing your property as an owner and other fees if you’re a real estate broker.
LoopNet has a helpful advanced search function that allows you to narrow down your search by property and investment type, location, building size, price range, and tenancies. You can use LoopNet to find an office space, purchase a multi-family property, or sell one of your commercial buildings. There is also a place for commercial real estate news and advice with information on buying and selling real estate.
Best for Home Design: Houzz
Why We Chose It: Houzz is a one-stop shop for design inspiration, design professional referrals, and shopping for home decor and fixtures. It has a huge database and is free to use.
You can search by photos, pros, and products
Millions of design photos
Lists of vendors with ratings
So many options that the site can feel overwhelming
It’s not free for professionals to advertise their services
Houzz was founded in 2009 as a side project by a couple who was remodeling their home and looking at magazines for design inspiration. They built Houzz as a place where people could find design inspiration, browse and save photos, find products, and connect with real estate professionals including architects and contractors. It’s designed to streamline the renovation process.
Houzz has more than 20 million photos and is used by 40 million people across the world including homeowners, designers, design enthusiasts, and home improvement professionals. Houzz is free to use and is ideal for home improvement inspiration on the go. It gives you design ideas whether you’re building, remodeling, or decorating your home. There’s also a section for stories and advice including some entertaining design dilemmas. In addition, you can shop by categories such as bathroom vanities and outdoor lighting. This real estate app is free to use for consumers but home professionals need to pay to advertise their services and appear on the site and the app.
Best for Real Estate Auctions: Xome
Why We Chose It: Xome pulls information straight from listing services data in order to provide up-to-date property information. It features real estate that is up for sale as well as for auction, including foreclosures.
Auction information exclusive to Xome and from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service)
Auction calendars with REOs and foreclosures
Mortgage and refinance calculator tools
Some negative customer reviews including complaints about customer service and fees
Not a lot of commercial property listings
Xome was founded in 2012 and has its headquarters in Lewisville, Texas, and offices in various parts of the United States and India. It’s a real estate platform for home buyers and sellers who want to save money on their transaction and complete it all in one place. Xome combines a proprietary real estate exchange with national real estate services, offering services for home buyers and sellers and referrals for real estate agents, brokers, and mortgage professionals.
Xome is known for its auctions and provides updated auction calendars with different types of properties, including REOs, foreclosures, short sales, and luxury homes. You can create an account for free and have access to exclusive real estate auctions that you won’t find anywhere else. You can even find a property and bid on it through the app as well as make pre-auction offers, review property descriptions, and photos. Xome offers investors the chance to bid on properties before they hit the market, so you may be able to score a deal.
Real estate apps can help you do everything from purchasing a fixer-upper at an auction to hiring a contractor to sell your business. They can be used on the go, save you time and money, and even give you real estate advice. The real estate apps we reviewed are all reputable and free to use but may charge you to advertise your listing or services. Costs are incurred if you purchase a product or a property from the app.
Overall, we recommend Zillow as our best real estate app because of its versatility. You can find out your home’s approximate value there, search for a dream home, or find a highly rated real estate agent in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Real Estate App?
A real estate app is a downloadable application used on your smartphone or tablet. It offers the convenience of finding out real estate information from anywhere at any time. Different apps have different functions, tools, and features. You may be able to search for an investment property, calculate your mortgage payment, or find information on renovating your bathroom. Real estate apps are designed to increase your productivity and efficiency.
How Much Do Real Estate Apps Cost?
Real estate apps are typically free to use and free to create an account, but you may incur fees if you list a property for sale on some apps. Real estate professionals are often charged for promoting their listings as well. It’s a good idea to contact the company if you have any fee-related questions. However, if you’re not listing a property and want to look at design photos, use a calculator, look at nearby schools, or check out auction listings, those features are usually free.
Who Should Use a Real Estate App?
Different apps are helpful for different people. Real estate apps are good for:
- Homebuyers to find local inventory
- Home sellers to find out home value
- Potential buyers to find out what amenities are in neighborhoods you’re looking in
- Renters to find available apartments
- Landlords to promote vacant units
- Homeowners who want to get design inspiration for an upcoming project
- Investors who want to purchase a property at auction
How We Chose the Best Real Estate Apps
There are hundreds of real estate apps on the market and we researched more than 10 before deciding on our list to comfortably recommend high-quality products and services. These top contenders are based on company reputation, app functions and tools, standout features, and ease of use. We also considered the cost of the app, what it specializes in, and how it can help you with your real estate needs.