Today, home selling can be done from the comfort of your living, thanks to the many listing and real estate marketplace sites available. And they are most certainly worth using when you consider that a large proportion of buyers begin their home search online and almost all millennials – who are now the largest segment of the home buying market – shop for homes online. There are so many, though, all clamoring for attention and claiming to be the best, that it’s tough to know which ones you should really consider using. So, for your consideration, we offer these 5 websites every home seller in Santa Cruz needs to know.
This is a real estate site that includes an intuitive map-based search function, as well as providing an impressive amount of property information. And like the big players Trulia and Zillow, Homesnap’s browsing is a breeze to navigate. Homesnap’s feature that sets above the competition in this respect is the mobile app. Using this app, buyers can take a real-time photo of a for-sale house with their phone and then get all the pertinent listing information. With this app, they can even get property values for unlisted homes. Further, it is available for use on both Android and iPhone.
One of the larger online real estate companies (and one that should be in the marketing toolbox for any home seller in Santa Cruz), Redfin strives to provide a new way for people to buy houses. One of the chief benefits is its map-based function. With this function, buyers can search for houses by city or zip code, and it will serve up all the necessary property data, such as home value and appreciation, year of construction, size, and more. It also allows for a kind of side-by-side comparison for home shoppers.
For buyers who are interested, Redfin also has agents available with user ratings. And their commission/compensation is based on those user ratings. They also rebate a portion of the commission to purchasers as a further buying incentive.
Redfin does have limitations though. For instance, exact addresses are not disclosed for some cities, and in order for the home value to be displayed, it has to be approved by the listing agent.
Owned by News Corp., Realtor.com provides basic current property information for buyers but doesn’t have the robust features that some of the sites have. It is, however, connected with the MLS and so has many of the current listings, enough to make it worth your time as a home seller in Santa Cruz. A couple of advantages of Realtor.com, though, are its texting option and a pricing feature that enables buyers to see how certain home features, say, an enclosed patio, affect the price.
Now we come to the really big players in real estate sites. The first of these is Trulia, which, according to the website, “goes beyond the typical listings.” It is a great way for buyers to browse homes and get the market and property information they need. What Trulia does that the previously listed sites don’t do is gather and provide information about lifestyle factors. Buyers can find out about the neighborhood, schools, crime rates, walkability, commute times, and so on. And all of these things are important to Millennial home buyers.
Trulia aims to connect buyers and sellers and real estate professionals. It was, however, acquired by Zillow in 2015, which makes the Zillow Group the largest online real estate company in the country and one that a home seller in Santa Cruz should definitely consider.
Zillow, then, is a must-use for a home seller in Santa Cruz. Launched in 2006, it has become the ultimate online source for all things real estate where users can search over 110 million properties (both on and off market) in the database. You can do any number of things through Zillow – get a price estimate (called a “Zestimate”), find an agent, cruise design galleries, calculate a mortgage, and more. Zillow also offers a couple of dozen apps for cross-platform access.
Do be aware, though, that Zillow is basically a real estate search engine more than a transactional platform, though it does, as we mentioned, have more than a million homes listed across the country. While buyers can get comparable prices and a value estimate, Zillow is primarily considered a media company, one that makes its money from ad placements.
But Don’t Forget Your Local Agent
As convenient as these sites are (and often highly effective too), nothing beats the expertise and experience of your local real estate agent. For your agent isn’t just someone trying to sell your house for a fee. She is also your partner and ally. A good agent can assist you in lots more ways than just finding buyers and filling out the papers. For every home seller in Santa Cruz, then, an agent can be a valuable asset. Discover more. Contact us today! 831-588-2334