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6 Best Real Estate and Home Buying Apps for May 2021: Find Your Best Fit

These days, the home buying process has moved from newspaper classifieds to mobile apps, making it easier than ever to shop real estate listings. The best real estate apps put thousands of listings right in your hand. But it's not just home buying -- some of our favorite apps can help you buy, sell, and even rent property. We've put together a list of the top real estate apps for May 2021 to help you find your way home.

The Ascent’s best real estate and home buying apps:

  • Zillow: Best home buying app overall

  • Trulia: Best app for rentals

  • Best app for finding a real estate agent

  • LoopNet: Best app for commercial properties

  • Redfin: Best app for finding a real estate agent and selling your home

  • Homesnap: Best app for real-time data on contracts and sales

1. Zillow

Zillow has long had a popular website for home buyers, and the Zillow app keeps up the quality. This full-service app offers both a user-friendly interface and a wide array of tools for every step of the home-buying (or selling) process. Users can search and filter real estate listings -- including a detailed map view -- as well as view photos and 3D home tours.

You can save, share, and get updates on listings. Plus, you can use Zillow's proprietary Zestimate tool to see if a listing price is fair. The app also has tons of mortgage tools, including payment calculators and pre-approval options. You can even use the Zillow app to find and contact a local realtor. Zillow's Premier Agents are vetted for customer service, and agent listings come with user reviews to help you make the right choice. This feature-rich approach makes it a go-to pick for seasoned real estate buyers and first-time homebuyers alike.

  • iOS app rating: 4.8/5 stars

  • Android app rating: 4.4/5 stars

  • Cost: Free

2. Trulia

Whether you're in the market to buy or rent, the Trulia app has you covered. You can sort real estate listings and available rentals with tons of filters, from number of rooms to dozens of amenities. Listings can include photos and videos, as well as price histories and property details.

Plus, you can use Trulia's highly customizable map view to see area overlays for useful local data like crime, traffic, shopping, and even natural disasters. This can show you which neighborhoods to focus on -- and which to avoid. Renters can contact the leasing agent right from the app. Buyers can use the built-in mortgage calculator to estimate costs. And you can request more info for a promising property or even schedule an in-person or video tour.

  • iOS app rating: 4.8/5 stars

  • Android app rating: 4.5/5 stars

  • Cost: Free


The app is another popular place to find your next house or apartment. It also shines as a great way to find a local real estate agent. In fact, it's backed by the National Association of Realtors, the largest professional real estate agent association. You can contact local agents by phone, email, text, or even video chat.

While it's a great place to find a real estate agent,'s mobile app is no slouch in the listings department. Search and filter all the important criteria, from price to property type to keyword. The map view has several overlay options, including schools, crime, and noise data to help you find the right area. You can even mortgage shop right from the app.

  • iOS app rating: 4.7/5 stars

  • Android app rating: 4.5/5 stars

  • Cost: Free

4. LoopNet

Although most of the picks on our list focus on residential properties, LoopNet's app is a good go-to for commercial real estate. You can find commercial properties for sale or for lease, search commercial property auctions, and find local businesses for sale.

Listings can be searched with the standard filters like area, price, square footage, and lot. You can also search for submarket, cap rate percentage (an estimate of how much an investor might earn on a property), tenancy, and specific keywords. Property types include everything from office and industrial to specialty and shopping, letting you view only properties that fit what you need.

  • iOS app rating: 4.8/5 stars

  • Android app rating: 4.6/5 stars

  • Cost: Free

5. RedFin

RedFin is ideal for folks who want only the latest listings, as the mobile real estate app updates its listings every five minutes. You can personalize your search with all the usual filters, like price, rooms, square footage, and keywords. Compare prices with recently sold homes, and check out the market insights to learn more about homes in the area.

With the RedFin app, you can favorite potential picks or "X out" properties that just don't work. (You mark them as ones you're not interested in.) You can also use the RedFin app to find a local real estate agent if one is in your area. For eligible listings, you can contact a real estate agent, set up home tours, and even read comments from RedFin agents. One standout feature is the 1% listing fee when selling your home through a RedFin agent.

  • iOS app rating: 4.8/5 stars

  • Android app rating: 4.6/5 stars

  • Cost: Free

6. Homesnap

The Homesnap app is a comprehensive tool for finding residential properties for sale (no rentals, though). Search with numerous filters, such as price, beds, square footage, homeowners association fees, and even school zones. The map doesn't have overlay features like some of our other best real estate apps, but it does let you see local schools and estimate commute times.

Homesnap has a number of helpful tools for finding a local real estate agent, including a database searchable by agent name or address. When you connect with an agent through the app, you can share homes, request tours, and trade messages. You can also unlock advanced, real-time data on contracts and sales.

  • iOS app rating: 4.8/5 stars

  • Android app rating: 4.3/5 stars

  • Cost: Free

What are real estate apps?

Real estate apps are apps for your mobile device (like your phone or tablet) that let you search real estate listings. Some of the best real estate apps also let you search rentals and contact local real estate agents. Other apps are more specialized, only offering specific types of listings. Types of real estate apps Real estate apps can range from bare-bones to full-service, including both residential (where people live) and commercial (where people work). The best real estate apps combine multiple features. For example, some of our picks for best real estate apps will show you both real estate for sale and for rent. Here's a look at some common types of real estate apps:

  • Residential home buying

  • Residential renting

  • Residential real estate agent directories

  • Real estate education and resources

  • Commercial property purchasing

  • Commercial property leasing

  • Business and franchise listings

How real estate apps determine home value

Some of the best real estate apps offer customized or proprietary home value listings to help you gauge the fairness of the listing price. Each app has its own method for estimating home value based on a range of factors, including:

  • Recent comparable sales

  • Property location

  • Number of rooms or bathrooms

  • Square footage

  • Amenities

  • General market trends

These apps don't make their algorithms public, so we don't know every factor that goes into how they assess value. The amount and age of the available property data will also impact the accuracy of an app's home value estimates. One important distinction to make is that the home value estimates in real estate apps aren't actually home appraisals. It's more of an approximation of what the value is based on the app's own calculations. You'll likely want a proper appraisal before you purchase any property.

How much do real estate apps cost?

It's usually free to download and use a real estate app to browse listings. The best real estate apps on our list have no cost to download or use. However, you may be charged a fee if you use a real estate app to list your home for sale or to work with a real estate agent.

What to expect from real estate apps

What you get from any specific real estate app varies, but many of the best apps have the same basic features for home buying:

  • Searchable listings

  • Zoomable map view

  • City and neighborhood filters

  • Property type, size, rooms, and bathrooms filters

  • Property photos or videos

  • Public property data

  • Listing agent contact information

The top apps offer more than the basics, such as features for finding rentals, or searchable real estate agent directories. Many apps also provide mortgage calculators, today's mortgage rates, and local lenders.

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