Are you ready to start looking for your next home?  With so many real estate websites out there, trying to decide which one to use can be overwhelming.  So what’s the best one for you?  It depends!  These websites are usually free and are a great place to start your research, but remember to be suspicious of anything that seems too good to be true.  We’ll go over some of the benefits and drawbacks of using these popular websites so you can be as knowledgeable as possible when starting your home search.

A benefit of these websites is that they are updated frequently, like every 15 to 30 minutes.  Therefore, they are a great way to have instant access to new listings.  They all have apps available as well, so you may be able to access the websites through your phone, depending on which smartphone you have.

Another benefit to real estate websites is the ability to filter your search by what you want in a home.  You can specify price, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, lot size, year built, home type, and more.  Some of the websites let you search homes by whether they are for sale or rent, for sale by owner, foreclosures, new construction, etc.  These websites also give valuable information about local schools, walkability scores, and even names of agents in the area.

Now for the downsides.  While most of the popular websites cover the majority of the United States, not all of them do.  For instance, Redfin does not cover many states, including West Virginia, Wyoming, Alaska, and several others.  A local real estate agent in those areas has access to those MLSs though, and can certainly help you find homes for sale.

Another negative is that these websites are not one hundred percent reliable.  They may give an estimate of a home based on comparable homes nearby.  However, this estimate doesn’t always take things like home renovations that the website may be unaware of, into account.

It’s important to realize that no one website contains a comprehensive review of all available homes on the market.  But that is where your real estate agent comes into play!  If you’re looking to buy a home in the Potomac, North Potomac, Bethesda, Rockville, Kensington, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, and Washington, DC area, contact us at The Fitzpatrick Group.  We’ll do our best to ensure you find the perfect home to fit your needs!