Find Your New Home on the Go With Redfin

There are no shortage of websites and mobile applications designed to help house hunters find available properties. Thanks to the growth of MLS (multiple listing services), consumers can now do a lot of the leg work on their own to narrow down housing options to those that are in preferred neighborhoods and meet their criteria for price range, size, and so on. Of course, most people still need realtors to hammer out the details of a sale, but anyone in search of a home can do a lot more on their own these days than in generations past. The only real problem is selecting the program that will give you the best chance of finding the house of your dreams. And while Zillow and Trulia are certainly popular options, you might also want to consider Redfin. It’s free to download for your iPhone or iPad and it offers some interesting features that you might not find with competitors.

For starters, it does a lot of the same things that other MLS apps do, although it is only available in certain cities at this point (mostly major metropolitan areas). For example, you might enter a zip code to search property listings in a certain area, at which point you could access a map populated with homes for sale. But you could also enter a specific address to find listing information. All you have to do is select the point on the map you’re interested in and you’ll gain access to a variety of data associated with the listing, from common specs like the size of the lot, the square footage of structures, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the price. But you’ll also get extras that are not common to most MLS listings, such as property tax information (the taxable value of the land and structures as well as the amount of the most recent tax paid on the property).

In addition to these features, you can narrow your search to houses for sale, open homes, or those that have sold (or you can remove any of these listings from your search area). While the first two are sort of obvious, you may be scratching your head over the third option. Why would you want to see houses that have sold when you’re looking for a home to buy? For one thing, it could help you to see what kind of prices you can expect to pay when you buy in a certain neighborhood. But the app also has an interesting feature whereby it tells you when homes are “under agreement”. This means that they are technically under contract but the sale has not gone through yet (in other words, they’re in escrow). As you may have guessed, the benefit here is that you still have a chance to buy your dream home even if it’s technically off the market, provided the current “sale” falls through. And Redfin can keep you updated on the status of your faves thanks to alerts.

Plus, the easy “tour” functionality lets you schedule tours at any properties you’re interested in and add them to your tour schedule with just a couple of taps to your touchscreen. Sites like Zillow, Trulia, Movoto, and more can offer you similar functionality, and you may find them more or less appealing in certain ways. But Redfin can become your mobile companion for house hunting and offer you a few unique tools and features along the way. Plus, the download is free, so there’s really no reason not to add it to your arsenal of apps, especially if you’re in search of a home.

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