Redfin vs Zillow vs Trulia

Redfin, Zillow, and Trulia reviewed.

Buying a home is a competitve and stressful task. In addition to simply finding the dream home in your price range, you need to consider other aspects. For starters, it is important to check know the loal neighborhood, assigned schools levels, and current home condition. The three largest websites that list homes for sale in my opinion are Redfin, Zillow, and Trulia.

My opinions below are based on my experience living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've purchased homes in both the South Bay and Peninsula. I'm higly biased towards internet-based solutions. At the very basic all three websites offer real estate listings for sale. Each website offers different search and result interfaces, filter options, and each continue to  Therefore, everyone is likely to have a different favorite. I recommend you try each of the big three real estate websites: Redfin, Zillow, and Trulia.

Zillow
When I was first ready to buy my first home, the first place I turned to was the internet, not a real estate office. After some basic online research on advice for buying a home, I learned it is important to learn the real estate market and determine my affordable price range. The first website I came across was Zillow. It offered real estate listings right on a map with the most basic filter options including address and price range. The Zillow feature that makes it stand out above the rest is their search includes Foreclosure listings. Unfortunately, having followed and experiencing the complexities involved in foreclosures, the foreclosure listings on Zillow are not always accurate. All in all, Zillow is my second favorite real estate website, and I use Zillow for special searches like real estate estimates.

Redfin
Of the three, Redfin is my all time favorite. It therefore also received a majority of my usage. Between Zillow and Redfin, the search and result interface on Redfin is much friendlier to use. The search option are well categorized with every key real estate filter option (house type, price range, room count, etc). But, what ultimately sealed my loyalty with Redfin was the ability to save my search filters. Even better, the saved searches can match new real estate listings and have them auto emailed. These automated emails are ultimately what makes Redfin my favorite real estate website. The only small downside is because the website is so feature rich, it does take extra time for Redfin to initially load.

Trulia
The main reason I have Trulia listed is it's existence on the NYSE (TRLA). Figuring many people have invested in this website I've never heard of, I decided to give Trulia a try, despite the fact I was already very happy using Redfin. After my first search on Trulia, I immediately realized both Redfin and Zillow were more mature products than Trulia. It had some nice search features and map overlays, but the change did not sway me enough to move from Redfin.

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2 Comments
 
Sep 22, 2014 11:16 PM
Zillow can save your searches with your filters and you can net notification alerts for these searches.
Jun 26, 2014 12:00 PM
With interest rates on the rise another factor to consider when looking for a new home is whether there is an assumable mortgage on the property which you can take over from the seller. In a situation where the mortgage is assumable and has a lower rate than current market rates you could see significant savings every month. There is a new listing site out there, http://www.zumption.com, which specializes in listings with assumable mortgages and real estate agents familiar with assumption. Seems like its a good place to check out while rates are on the rise