Using Your Phone to Find a Home

Posted by Laine Smith on 3/27/15 12:21 PM

Topics: Home Buying

Over the past decade, homebuyers have become increasingly digital in their search for prospective properties. In fact, 9 out of 10 homebuyers use the web as one of their primary research sources, according to a study performed by the National Association of Realtors and Google. So in a world increasingly dependent on mobile technology, which mobile apps are best for potential homebuyers? Here are a few options to help make your home search a little easier on the go.


The App We Suggest

Home Scouting® MLS Mobile

At Compass, we suggest the Home Scouting® MLS Mobile app to our homebuyers. Home Scouting® provides 100 percent of MLS (multiple listing service) listings, including foreclosures and short sales, all in real time. Studies show other national MLS portals only contain 79 to 81 percent of those listings, and up to 36 percent of the listings on national portals are actually no longer available.

Home Scouting® provides a personalized experience for homebuyers working with a specific real estate agent and loan officer, allowing you to easily contact both through the app. More features of Home Scouting® include:

  • Surrounding community & school district information
  • Social media links to share favorites with family and friends
  • Ability to request a showing with your preferred real estate agent
  • Ability to get a pre-approval from your loan officer
  • A private, password-protected and ad-free shopping experience
  • Sold property data
  • Estimate monthly mortgage payments
  • Updates on favorited homes when the price drops or new photos are added

Another great feature of Home Scouting® is the automatic enrollment in monthly Sold Home Alerts, which lets user know when homes in their area have sold and gives an idea of their own home’s value.

Ask one of our loan officers how to get your free Home Scouting® MLS mobile app and start shopping with a reputable real estate search tool today!

MLS Apps Real Estate, Trulia Real Estate & Homes, Zillow Real Estate & Rentals

These apps help you search the local MLS to find properties for sale. These MLS apps provide various features, such as:

  • Property details
  • Pictures
  • Ability to track favorite houses
  • Nearby school information
  • Sharing capabilities for social media
  • Sold property data
  • Ability to draw your own custom search area
  • Instant alerts when a listing becomes available in your search area, a favorite drops in price, or a home sells in relation to your home search
  • Find open houses nearby
  • Information about amenities in proximity
  • GPS to navigate you to a favorited listing
  • Calculate a mortgage payment on a prospective home


Not all MLS apps are created equal.'s app updates 90% of the listings every 15 minutes, while others are slower to update sold homes and new listings. Different apps include different features, including how quickly their listings are updated.


This interactive app allows users to find homes for sale, open houses, recent sales, and home values for every home in the United States. It was voted "Best Mobile Tool" by REALTOR® Magazine. With this app, users have access to the same real-time MLS listings used by real estate agents and can connect through it to their own agent or any local real estate professional.

Mobile Mortgage Calculators

Download a mortgage calculator app from your Android or iPhone app store to estimate affordability and payment criteria on prospective homes. Apps like Zillow Mortgage Calculator allow users to:

  • Estimate how much house they can afford
  • Estimate monthly mortgage payment, including principal, interest, taxes and mortgage insurance
  • Compare mortgage rates from hundreds of lenders

For the best and most-informed homebuying experience, we suggest homebuyers consult regularly with their loan officer and real estate agent throughout their home search. For more information on homebuying and home financing, download our Mortgage 101 Handbook, a great resource for first-time homebuyers.

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