I hope you’re taking advantage of the services provided by your real estate agent to help you find the perfect home. While they’re the only ones who have access to the Multiple Listing Service, it’s important to contact them to get the most up-to-date information on what homes are available, under contract, have a reduced price, etc. However, if you’re house hunting in the wee hours of the night or driving around looking at homes, CNN Money offers five great online tools with up-to-date real estate information. As they say, the times they are a-changin’!
1. The iPhone has just released a new application for all potential homeowners. Provided by Zillow.com, this tool allows you to get information on homes you drive by in terms of price, bedroom count, bathroom count, square footage, and more. Because it has a GPS attached, the program will follow you as you drive giving you updated homes on the market, and even the ones that aren’t for sale. The application is free, but currently only available to iPhone users.
2. Investors looking for bargains on properties should look into the site InvestorLoft’s Prop Scout, which gives a lot more information than just location and price. The search tool will allow you to find homes that have large gaps between their estimated value and their asking price. You can also search for homes and rank them by cash flow from highest to lowest. This tool currently has home information in 20 states and should have all 50 by early next year.
3. Trulia.com just released a new feature allowing you to search for homes by price reduction. It will also tell you how many times a home has lowered its price, by how much, the percentage of the reduction and when it happened. This could be great incentive to watch a specific home you’re interested in and contact your real estate agent when you’re ready to take a look, if you think the seller is willing to negotiate with you.
4. My brokerage, Coldwell Banker, recently teamed up with YouTube to display videos of homes along with agents giving information on the amenities and schools that a certain neighborhood has to offer. You’ll also be able to see (and more are on the way on a daily basis) listing videos that take you through an entire house online.
5. If you’re debating about selling your property in the near future, you may want to take a look at Cyberhomes. For a price of $9.95, viewers will be able to see changes in the market for a particular home with price change forecasts extending out to 24 months. It also lists the number of foreclosures per zip code. While this can be important information, your Realtor should be able to pull stats from their local MLS for no charge to you. This is great information when determining what price to offer on a house and where you should list yours at.
If you have other questions about price changes, market changes, or anything else real estate related, please feel free to visit me online.