Ready to embark on a house-hunting journey? Skip the headache of dead-end home searches by using only the best house-buying websites.
Whether you’re searching for your primary home — or a vacation home — each home-buying site has special features, like commuter calculators and walkability scores, that can help you buy your dream home. Let’s explore the pros and cons of:
1. ZillowBest for getting to know a neighborhoodWith its user-friendly interface and robust search features, Zillow makes it effortless for home buyers to explore a vast, up-to-date inventory of available properties. Its interactive maps, comprehensive property listings and detailed neighborhood information empower users to make informed decisions about prospective homes. Zillow also offers valuable tools like mortgage and affordability calculators, making it one of the best websites for buying houses.
|User-friendly interface||Zestimate can be inaccurate |
|In-app calculators||Limited information on off-market properties|
2. TruliaBest for searching on a mapWhat sets Trulia apart is its commitment to delivering comprehensive and up-to-date property listings, making it a top choice for prospective home buyers. Trulia's interactive map functionality and detailed property information enable users to easily explore homes in their preferred neighborhoods. The platform provides valuable insights into local real estate market trends, offering users a better understanding of price fluctuations while using websites for buying a house.
|Extensive property listings ||Potential for outdated listings|
|Valuable neighborhood insights||Distracting sponsored listings|
3. Realtor.comBest for connecting with a RealtorRealtor.com maintains its reputation as a reliable real estate experience. This house-buying website has a direct connection to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which guarantees that users receive timely updates on new listings and property status changes. The platform's user-friendly mobile app keeps users connected to the latest real estate developments, making it an invaluable tool for house hunters on the go.
|Direct access to MLS listings||Regional variability of listings|
|Realtor listings on their website||May need to share personal information|
4. RedfinBest for accessing home dataRedfin offers a robust search platform, complete with detailed property listings, neighborhood insights and agent reviews. Redfin's unique feature, the Redfin Estimate, provides an estimate of a property's value, enhancing transparency in pricing. The platform also employs a team of agents who prioritize customer satisfaction. Buyers must work directly with a Redfin agent or partner to purchase a home.
|Take advantage of salaried real estate agents||Limited support for complex transactions|
|Shares transparent home data||Potential conflict of agents’ interest|
5. Homes.comBest for co-shoppersHomes.com provides an extensive database of property listings, ensuring that users have a wide range of options to explore — whether they're in search of a cozy single-family home or a modern condo. Homes.com's intuitive search tools, detailed property descriptions and neighborhood information make it straightforward for users to shop for homes.
|In-app collaboration tools||Potentially incomplete listings|
|Free mortgage tools||Less information about rural areas|
6. Homefinder.comBest for those searching for rent-to-ownHomefinder.com is known for its dedication to simplifying the home-buying process and for listing rent-to-own properties. Detailed descriptions, high-quality images and neighborhood information provide valuable insights for users looking to make informed choices about potential homes. Homefinder.com also equips buyers with essential tools like affordability calculators to aid financial planning.
|Rent-to-own information ||Less extensive listings compared to competitors |
|Helpful articles on their blog ||Interface could be more user-friendly|
7. EstatelyBest for commutersWith an extensive and regularly updated property listing database, Estately ensures that house hunters have access to a wide range of homes, condos and apartments across urban and rural regions. Estately also offers unique features like commute time calculators, which help users assess the practicality of a location for their daily routines.
|Commute time calculators||Limited low-budget availability|
|Real-time updates||Limited international listings|
8. RE/MAXBest for those looking for in-person agentsRE/MAX is not a traditional house-buying website, but a global real estate brokerage network renowned for its expertise in connecting buyers with properties. RE/MAX agents are known for their local market knowledge and commitment to ensuring that buyers receive personalized guidance.
|Physical offices you can visit||Higher commission fees|
|Access to exclusive listings||Variable agent quality|
9. RealtyTracBest for home buyers on a tight budgetRealtyTrac has a comprehensive database of foreclosure and distressed property listings, making it a valuable resource for buyers seeking investment opportunities or budget-friendly homes. The platform provides insights into foreclosure trends, property details and auction dates, enabling users to identify potentially lucrative deals.
|Specializes in foreclosures||Not great for general home searches|
|Great for home buyers on a budget||Subscription paywall|
10. FSBO.comBest for those who want to speak to homeowners directlyFSBO.com, which stands for "For Sale By Owner," serves as a unique and valuable house-buying website by connecting buyers directly with homeowners who are selling their properties without the assistance of a real estate agent. This platform allows buyers to access a wide range of homes listed by homeowners, often resulting in cost savings due to reduced commissions.
|Contact homeowners directly||More due diligence is needed|
|Potentially more cost-effective||Potential negotiation challenges|
11. Foreclosure.comBest for those searching for foreclosuresForeclosure.com specializes in providing information on distressed properties, offering opportunities for savvy buyers and investors. This platform is particularly valuable for those seeking properties in foreclosure, pre-foreclosure or auction stages, as it offers a comprehensive database of such listings.
|Access to distressed properties ||Not great for comprehensive searches|
|Customized alerts||Possible subscription fees|
12. Auction.comBest for those who want to bidAuction.com is the best website to buy a house through an online auction. This platform stands out by offering users access to a wide range of properties up for auction, including residential homes, commercial properties and land parcels.
|Access to low-cost properties||Potentially low housing quality|
|Convenient online bidding||Bidding can be competitive |
13. PacasoBest for luxury second homesPacaso specializes in luxury real estate, catering to those seeking shared ownership in second homes or vacation properties. Pacaso allows multiple buyers to co-own a property, providing them with a hassle-free and cost-effective way to invest in a second home. The platform's user-friendly website and app make it easy for potential buyers to explore available properties, understand co-ownership financials and schedule tours.
Pacaso has revolutionized the way people experience second home ownership, opening the door to luxurious properties in sought-after destinations. Our commitment to creating a shared ownership experience that is seamless, equitable and enjoyable makes Pacaso a standout choice for those looking to invest in a fully managed luxury vacation home.
|Access to exclusive luxury listings||No primary home listings|
Best house buying websites FAQ
Which is the best website to find a home to buy?
The answer depends on what kind of house you are looking for. If you are looking for a foreclosed property, for example, Foreclosure.com is a great place to search.
Is Redfin more reliable than Zillow?
Both Redfin and Zillow are reputable websites for buying a house, but their reliability can vary depending on your specific needs and preferences.
Can I buy a house online without a Realtor?
Yes, you can buy a home online without a Realtor. Although a real estate agent can be helpful, especially when buying a house sight unseen, they are not necessary for the process.
Do I have to pay to use house-buying websites?
No, you don’t always have to pay to use a house buying website. Many house-buying websites — like Zillow, Redfin and Pacaso — are free to browse through their inventory.