The Best Real Estate Websites For Investors And Buyers
We’re not going to tell you where to go to find a real estate investment loan or good building contractor; you can find recommendations in those areas almost anywhere. Instead, we’re going to focus on the the best real estate websites that make it easier to perform due diligence when researching properties and simplify the process of finding, vetting and managing tenants. Here are the 14 best real estate websites in 2019 for all aspects of finding and managing real estate.
1. Best Real Estate Website – Realtor.com
Realtor.com comes in our list of the best real estate websites because they provides a variety of valuable information. For example, it provides a quick snapshot of local markets like the median sale price ad average price per square foot so you can estimate what a house is worth on the market in good condition. It can show you the properties that just hit the market and the ones that have sat for months, nearly guaranteeing the sellers will take any reasonable offer.
If you identify good prospects, the site can connect you with their real estate agent so you can arrange a tour. While this site isn’t the best one for listing a rental property, it should be on the list of sites where you add your newly available rental to maximize the number of possible tenants who see it.
2. Best Real Estate Website – Zillow.com
Zillow.com is one of the biggest and best real estate websites for people buying and selling homes, but it can connect renters and landlords, as well. If you have a property you want to rent out, it should be listed on Zillow. Furthermore, you should be checking the rental rates charged for comparable properties in the area so you don’t charge too much and have the property sit vacant.
If you want to find properties in a given area, the Zillow “make me move” feature is invaluable. You can find properties that aren’t officially on the market and make an offer.
3. Best Real Estate Website – Trulia.com
Trulia and Zillow should be seen as complimentary. Zillow provides some data that Trulia doesn’t such as the size of the lot and the year a home was built. Trulia.com fills in the gaps by telling you when the price of a home was reduced, helping you find potential bargains.
It also provides a transit score for each property, a value that allows to you identify properties people who don’t want to own a car will pay a premium for. The ranking of properties by their popularity should be seen as market research. Know which property types or areas are seen as desirable, but don’t get into a bidding war on “hot” properties.
4. Best Real Estate Website – BiggerPockets.com
BiggerPockets.com is one of the best general informational sites aimed at landlords and real estate investors. The social networking side is akin to social investing; it connects buyers, sellers and people just learning about the topic. You can ask questions of experienced landlords about any number of topics.
There are free articles, podcasts and blogs. You have to pay to be able to access a number of reports and gain the ability to connect with other property investors. Yet you can find free articles on subjects like handling unsolicited offers, tips for a successful house flip, and the tax planning you need to engage in before selling an investment property.
5. Best Real Estate Website – Rentcafe.com
Rentcafe.com is a website prospective tenants will visit to understand what the market rates for rent in given areas. You’ll learn what your prospective tenants expect to pay in various communities, which neighborhoods have a reputation for affordability, and their expectations regarding lease terms.
For example, this site informs them what they should expect to pay for utilities or how much more they’d pay for a lease that includes utilities.
6. Best Real Estate Website – Nolo.com
Nolo.com is a legal resource that every landlord should be referencing if they don’t have a lawyer to consult. This website can provide information you can’t do without such as the terms you must abide by in a lease written for a specific state, how you must handle deposits, and the rules you must follow if someone is late with the rent.
For example, the website shares the legal disclosures landlords must provide every tenant, when you search for the regulations that apply to landlords in a particular jurisdiction. You can quickly check to see when and for what reasons a tenant can withhold the rent and when they can deduct repairs from the rent.
7. Best Real Estate Website – eRentpayment.com
The website eRentpayment.com provides a number of services that landlords can appreciate. One service the website provides is tenant screening. You can ask them to fill out online applications instead of dealing with paperwork. Through the eRentpayment.com portal, they can submit to credit checks and background checks. Many landlords will appreciate the eviction report that tells you whether they’ve been evicted in the past few years.
Another service it provides is online payment processing. You can use the site to receive rental payments from each tenant, and it will send them automatic reminders if they are approaching the due date. You can customize late fees so that the late fees are charged at a unique level by property.
The site charges only a few dollars per monthly rent payment to collect the payment and send it to you as well as generate the receipts for everyone involved that rent was, indeed, paid.
Many tenants will appreciate the fact that the site tracks rental payments to credit reporting agencies, allowing them to improve their credit by paying you on time. The site even allows your tenants to submit maintenance requests, whether you handle the issues themselves or route them to the appropriate contractor.
8. Best Real Estate Website – Mysmartmove.com
Mysmartmove.com is a site solely for background checks and credit checks of potential tenants. The basic package does a credit check against Transunion’s database and pulls a National Criminal Background Report. The “Plus” package adds an eviction report. The “Premium” level includes a full credit report and estimates their income.
When you ask a prospective tenant to submit data for the report, you’re sending the link from Mysmartmove to them. They fill out the necessary details and you receive the reports. They can be required to pay for the screenings in order to have the report submitted to you. This eliminates the need to process application fees, and you won’t be handling their sensitive information.
Complaints about the site are that up to a third of applicants don’t complete the background checks, but these may be the prospective tenants who don’t want you to know that they have had prior arrests or evictions. The only caveat here is that not every state feeds arrest reports to their system.
You should require a background check of every adult in the household to get an honest assessment of the family, since one partner may have a clean credit and criminal record but the other has been arrested and/or evicted.
9. Best Real Estate Website – The Local Tax Appraisal District Website
The United States has fifty states and literally thousands of local taxing jurisdictions. The local tax appraisal website provides a wealth of information to prospective landlords and property buyers. For example, data mining tools mine these sites to find people who own more than one home.
Letters get sent to their primary residence with offers to buy the other properties they own. While some of these offer letters go to landlords who don’t plan on selling, it can drum up leads in the form of people who didn’t plan on leasing their old residence but had to do something to pay the bills. This periodically results in turnkey properties that already have tenants in them being offered for sale.
These websites yield other information, as well. Are there tax liens against the property? Are there mechanics liens or a mortgage against the property? This can give you an idea of what legal mess needs to be untangled before you make an offer. What does the county or city say it is worth?
A property can certainly be worth less than this estimate because it is in dire need of repair, but the tax district’s appraised value gives you an idea of what the authorities will use as the basis for your property tax bill unless you make a good case it is worth far less.
10. Best Real Estate Website – MLS.com
MLS.com is a free MLS search to find real estate MLS listings for sale by Realtors® and other realty professionals that are members of your local MLS Multiple Listing Service. MLS.com also features real estate news, common real estate questions and answers, real estate classes, mortgage information and a mortgage calculator. Find homes for sale, new homes and resale homes, new construction, acreage, lots, land, commercial property and investment property.
11. Best Real Estate Website – Noradarealestate.com
Norada Real Estate Investments is a premier real estate investment firm providing investors with quality new and refurbished investment properties in growth markets throughout the United States. Founded in late 2003, they were the second nationwide provider of turnkey real estate – with properties as far south as Florida to as far north as Michigan.
Norada Real Estate Investments helps take the guesswork out of real estate investing. By researching top real estate growth markets and structuring complete turnkey real estate investments, they help you succeed by minimizing risk and maximizing profitability.
Noradarealestate.com offers investors fully refurbished as well as new construction residential properties ranging from single-family homes on up to fourplex multi-units. Their properties make sense the day you buy them. There is nothing that needs to happen in order for the property to be a good wealth-building investment. You can contact one of their Investment Counselors to ask any questions, or to discuss your investment goals.
12. Best Real Estate Website – Homes.com
Homes.com is also one of the best real estate websites where you can find all that you need to know about every phase in the home buying, selling, renting, and financing process. They’ve also compiled everything you need to know about how to rent a home – things to consider when renting a home like choosing which amenities are important, what’s your rental budget and how to calculate the costs of homeownership, understanding your rental agreement, and how to do a rental property walk-through.
With their finance section, they’ve created some money-saving tips and advice to make the process a little easier while helping new homeowners and those looking to refinance get familiar with their financial capabilities. You’ll also find useful information regarding how to understand your credit and what type of credit score you need to buy a home in addition to how to improve it. You can also find details about the components of a mortgage including the types of mortgage rates, how to understand mortgage down payments and the steps to getting pre-approved by a lender.
13. Best Real Estate Website – Auction.com
Auction.com is the nation’s leading online real estate marketplace offering over 30,000 discounted residential bank-owned and foreclosure home deals. It is also one of the best real estate websites which can help you reach your real estate investment goals by offering the largest selection of residential bank-owned and foreclosure homes.
Auction.com’s marketplace has streamlined the distressed property transaction for buyers and sellers.
With the help of technology and data science, they have created an unrivaled transaction platform that has resulted in $39 billion in sales, 4.4 million registered buyers on Auction.com, 329,000 properties sold to date, 30,000 properties available for sale, 1,000+ employees serving the needs of buyers and sellers, and more than 15,000 auctions per year in all 50 states.
The buyers can bid and purchase properties using their superior technology platform. Buyers can receive convenient access to property information, exclusive inventory, personalized property matches, onsite and online education, and customer support throughout the entire process.
The sellers receive the nation’s largest and most reputable auction programs, an unrivaled marketing reach, and data intelligence and insights to move assets quickly.
14. Best Real Estate Website – Curbed.com
Since 2004, Curbed.com has been an integral part of the local news landscape online. They are uniquely primed to surface relevant local issues to a broad, national audience. Unlike a glossy shelter magazine, they see homes, streets, neighborhoods, and cities as inextricably related.
Curbed.com covers 14 American cities, while their flagship site covers every place (and trend, and big idea) in between.
Best Real Estate Websites – Conclusion
No one website provides all of the information a real estate investor needs, not even when they are theoretically competing with each other. Use the information that these 14 best real estate websites provide so that you can perform thorough research on any prospective house or an investment property before you make an offer.