6 Apps That Make You a Smarter, Happier Homebuyer

Buying a home is a true team effort. And while your real estate agent, loan officer, home inspector, attorney, and other core players help you get across the finish line, technology has also made the process more convenient for everyone. But homebuyers can go crazy sifting through all the apps and tech tools promising a faster, smarter, and easier road home. So we’ve narrowed it down to six apps that are sure to help homebuyers on their journey.

1. Zillow or Trulia: The Go-to for Browsing
Zillow and Trulia are two of the most recognized names in home search. Both apps cater to broad audiences, including people casually browsing the market. At the same time, Zillow and Trulia can provide good insights and foundational information if you’re just starting your search.

Zillow’s Zestimate tool is one of the app’s most notable features. Enter an address, and you’ll see a rough property valuation. While not perfect by any means, the Zestimate and the app’s active and recently sold listings can help prospective buyers understand the general price range, home styles, and availability for a particular community.

Trulia – also owned by Zillow Group – focuses more on neighborhood-centric views, with information about crime, schools, and area amenities, while Zillow emphasizes property information, with a massive database of for-sale and rental properties. Both are ideal for kicking off a home search or getting to know potential neighborhoods as you begin exploring.

2. Zenlist: A Game-Changer for Serious Buyers
When homebuyers go from window shopping to starting a search in earnest, Zenlist, which @properties Christie’s International Real Estate piloted in the Chicagoland market, is one of the most powerful apps to have at your disposal. However, you must be working with a licensed real estate agent to gain access. Once you do, you’ll have an extensive range of listings, including everything on the MLS, plus pre-market and private listings – which aren’t shown on Zillow – at your fingertips.

While there’s a lot to love about Zenlist, its instant push notifications top the charts. Download the app, and you’ll get an alert anytime a home matching your criteria hits the market. Beyond that, users can use Zenlist to interact with their agent and vice versa – agents can see buyers’ likes and comments on listings, and respond directly through the app.

3. Mortgage News Daily: A Hub for Rate Information
If you want to keep tabs on the latest rate information, the Mortgage News Daily app is an ideal go-to. Straightforward, objective (i.e. not salesy), and widely used by industry professionals, the app offers quick access to everything from live rates to mortgage calculators to market analysis, news, and more.

4. NextDoor: Your Gateway to the Neighborhood
NextDoor is a hyperlocal social media platform offering a glimpse into your potential future neighborhood. It’s an invaluable tool for homebuyers looking to understand the community they might soon call “home.” From getting recommendations on local restaurants and shops to understanding a neighborhood’s vibe, NextDoor lets you drop in, ask questions, and see what residents are chatting about.

5. Closing Milestones: From Contract to Close
While not a native app, Closing Milestones is a digital portal that anchors @properties Christie’s International Real Estate’s pl@tform tech suite. Designed to guide buyers and sellers through the many important steps from contract to close, Closing Milestones monitors important dates and tasks, including home inspection, attorney review, walk-throughs, closing details, and more. Buyers and sellers can also customize tasks, such as scheduling appointments with contractors, booking a moving company, or even boarding a pet ahead of a move. The portal also stores transaction documents so users can easily access them in one place.

6. MoveAdvisor and Sortly: When it’s Time to Make Moves
The real estate transaction doesn’t stop when you close. Moving apps like Sortly and Moveadvisor can help ensure a smooth transition to your new home.

Sortly helps by creating a detailed inventory of your belongings, complete with a search function and printable QR codes to easily identify contents. Packed up your vinyl collection or hiking gear? Before you forget what’s in the box, enter the information into Sortly, print a QR code on the spot, and attach it.

MoveAdvisor is another popular moving app, offering a structured, week-by-week strategy for getting packed up and out the door, with virtual room-by-room checklists to ensure you’re accounting for everything. Once you’re packed up, use MoveAdvisor’s mover directory to secure a reputable team to get your stuff from point A to point B.

Based on where you are in the homebuying journey, check out these apps to help you better understand the current market and potential areas to call “home.” Working with an @properties Christie’s International Real Estate agent, you’ll also gain access to our digital resources, including Closing Milestones and Zenlist. Get in touch to learn more.

Written by @properties
@properties Christie’s International Real Estate is Chicagoland’s #1 brokerage. Through our affiliation with Christie’s International Real Estate, our network spans nearly 50 countries. No matter your real estate needs, we’ve got you covered.