Many people head online to search homes for sale and perform research on the specific neighborhood they’d like to live in. But a lot of people aren’t aware of all of the best websites out there to find homes for sale in the area they’re looking for.
If that sounds like you, read on! I’ve put together this helpful guide that you can use to determine which online tool is best for you and use it to find the best possible home.
Online Tools You Can Use to Find Homes for Sale in Your Area
If you’re online often, you’ve probably used Craigslist at some point. It isn’t just for people looking to buy a new home – you can use the website to buy musical instruments, apply for jobs, participate in discussion forums, and more!
But, if you’re looking to find a new house on Craigslist, you’ll want to first navigate to the classifieds for the city you want to live. Then, click on “real estate for sale” under the “housing” section.
Once you’re there, you can search homes for sale based on price, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, housing type, open house date, and more! This makes it pretty easy to narrow your search and find exactly what you’re looking for.
Once you’ve found a home you’re interested in, look for instructions in the post on how to contact the seller. If you don’t see any, you can usually reach out to the seller by email – just click on “reply” at the top left of your screen when you’re looking at the house you want.
One word of warning: when you search homes for sale on Craigslist, look out for scams!
The listing you’re looking at may be a scam if:
- There are no photos attached to the listing.
- The price sounds too good to be true for the amenities the home has to offer.
- There is no address or mention of exactly where the home is located.
If you notice any other suspicious signs or have a bad gut feeling about a Craigslist listing, you may want to pass on the house. Scams are incredibly common there, and you’re better safe than sorry!
Zillow is a great tool for anyone looking to buy, rent, or sell a home. When you first arrive at the website, you can immediately tell it’s user-friendly – all you have to do is type in the city where you’d like to buy a new house!
Once you do that, a map will pop up showing the homes available in the area, and you can zoom in and out until you find an area that you like (they’re conveniently organized by price!). Then, you can click on the home you’re interested in to find out more about it, like:
- Square footage
- Number of bedrooms/bathrooms
- Estimated mortgage
- House features
- Information about the neighborhood
Plus, many listings include lots of photos of the advertised home, so you can take a peek at the interior and exterior without having to travel to the area!
Head over to the Trulia website, and you’ll notice it looks a lot like Zillow – well-designed, simple, and easy to use. Like Zillow, all you need to do is type in the city where you want to purchase a home, and it starts working.
One major difference between Zillow and Trulia is what happens next – Trulia lists out homes in the specified area as opposed to immediately showing them on a map like Zillow.
Other than that, the two sites are fairly similar – you can often find out a lot about a house and view several pictures of it with a single click! You can also use the map tool to calculate commute time and see the surrounding area to get an idea of where you’d be living if you decided to purchase the home.
Overall, both Trulia and Zillow are preferable to Craigslist simply because they provide much more information and are typically more trustworthy as well.
Okay – so a local real estate agent isn’t exactly an “online tool.” But you might use Google to look up a local agent’s website before contacting them, so… close enough!
One great thing about working with a real estate agent is that they can eliminate your need to use online tools to look for a home, making your home-buying process much more convenient and less time-consuming. Here are a few more reasons you may want to consider working with an agent when you’re buying a home:
- Negotiation – Your real estate agent may be able to sweeten the deal you get when you buy a new home.
- Less hassle – With a real estate agent, you don’t have to handle a lot of the confusing home-buying tasks. They take care of everything for you!
- Expertise – Not only does a local real estate agent know what the market is like in their area – they can also counsel you all the way through the process of buying a home.
On top of that, real estate agents know that the emotions associated with buying a home can cause you to make a regrettable decision, so they guide you by providing their objective opinion about the house you’re looking to purchase.
If you’re going to look for a house online yourself, Zillow and Trulia are great options. You may be able to find some deals on Craigslist too, but you’ll have to watch out for scammers there.
For even more convenience and confidence in your home-buying decision, partner with a local real estate agent.
And remember – if you’re trying to find homes for sale in Killeen, Austin, Ft. Hood, Harker Heights, Temple, or the surrounding areas, I can help.
Get in touch with me, Dagmar Rogers, by calling or texting 254-258-0777 today. I’d love to chat about what you’re looking for in your next Texas home!