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Tips and Tricks: Digital Home Search Tools

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As we covered in a previous post, there are multiple internet based home search tools out there – whether you are using one or all of them, be sure to know these tips so you use your screen time wisely.

tabletKnow your priorities – Is it a specific neighborhood, school district, commute to work or walking distance to a coffee shop? Whatever your priority, spend a lot of time determining what it is and then use it to narrow your search. This will ensure you don’t waste time virtually or physically looking for homes that ultimately won’t fit your requirements.

Save a search – Seems obvious, but a lot of people skip this step because it takes a few extra minutes to create an account on the home search site. Once you do this, you can create email alerts to send you any homes that come on the market that match your search criteria. You don’t have to wait for your agent to reach out and show them to you and you don’t have to neurotically check the Trulia/Zillow app to be sure you aren’t missing something! You can even have your search sent to an additional person (mom, spouse, roommate, etc) with Trulia, so you can both be in the know on the latest listings.  WORD TO THE WISE: If you do decide to sign into these sites, expect to get phone calls and emails from realtors and mortgage brokers. As long as you are ok with fielding these, it’s worth it.

Get the App – Sitting in the back seat of your agent’s car tooling around neighborhoods looking at homes – sound familiar? The app is a perfect way to look up the details of a home you are currently touring, see neighboring homes that are for sale or to check school districts, etc. Most sites have apps compatible with both iOS and Android, so you are sure to find a home search App appealing to you.

Look at comps – Trulia/Zillow/Realtor.com all have a feature to search on recently sold homes. These searches will show you homes that sold up to 9 months ago and at what price. This is critical information when determining how to place an offer on a home. Use it!

Armed with the right search tool for you and these quick tips, you are sure to be a savvy home search expert. Happy House Hunting!