The Best Real Estate Apps to Download

These apps help you house hunt, find a rental and calculate mortgage details.

By Devon Thorsby, Editor, Real Estate |Feb. 28, 2020, at 3:46 p.m.

The Best Real Estate Apps to Download

Slideshow

Improving real estate transactions with tech

Young bautiful woman texting surfing the net on the sofa at home

(Getty Images)

Buying or selling a home is an easier process with the help of technology – specifically apps that offer quick communication and lots of information for research. Mobile access to details, documents and professionals doesn’t only help homebuyers and sellers, it also makes just about any real estate-related process faster, benefiting property managers, real estate agents and anyone planning a home renovation. Read on for apps that can make your real estate research and transactions easier, faster and more accurate.

Corrected on March 4, 2020: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the credit reporting agency partnered with Zumper. TransUnion works with Zumper to provide credit information.

Best for finding a rental: Zumper

Best for finding a rental: Zumper

Zumper

(Courtesy of Zumper)

If you’re searching for your next apartment or rental home, Zumper offers a database catering to those looking to lease rather than buy. Zumper is best suited for people in major cities, since the widest variety of available rentals are found there, but users can find ample information on rentals in smaller markets, too, such as Charlotte, North Carolina, and Boise, Idaho. Additional features in major cities include the ability to book tours and make an offer to a landlord through the app.

Best feature: Through a partnership with TransUnion, you can run a credit report and submit it with a rental application directly through the app.

Apple, Android

Best for buying and selling: Zillow

Best for buying and selling: Zillow

Zillow

(Courtesy of Zillow)

Zillow is one of the most recognizable brands for property information and has more than 100 million homes in its database. The company has expanded into instant offers for fast sales, mortgage lending and real estate broker services. The Zillow app is a mainstay for those seeking homes for sale or rent, and if you're a seller, you can use it to update the property description and list of home features as well as add new photos to showcase the property.

Best feature: If you’re looking to both buy and sell, the Your Home tab allows you to store your current property’s details, update information and track its estimated value over time.

Apple, Android

Best for real estate agents: DocuSign

Best for real estate agents: DocuSign

Shot of a businesswoman using technology at work

(Getty Images)

Electronic signatures on key documents are becoming the norm in real estate transactions, and DocuSign is one of the most popular platforms for creating, sending, receiving and organizing documents. The app is aimed at professionals and business owners, so you likely don’t need to download it if you’re a homebuyer, seller or renter who only needs to sign a few documents to seal a deal. However, you may recognize the DocuSign logo when you’re sent a form for an e-signature, which means your real estate agent, attorney or landlord likely has the mobile app.

Best feature: While this isn’t a feature exclusive to the app, DocuSign offers special plans and pricing for those in the real estate industry, including a $20 monthly plan for members of the National Association of Realtors.

Apple, Android

Best for reaching real estate pros: Redfin

Best for reaching real estate pros: Redfin

Redfin

(Courtesy of Redfin)

National brokerage Redfin offers property and listing information for homes throughout the U.S., and it also has agents in more than 90 markets to represent buyers and sellers. Redfin's nontraditional model allows for lower commission fees and the convenience of working with multiple people who can help market your home, host open houses and take you on home tours.

Best feature: You can schedule house tours with a Redfin agent through the app without having to make phone calls or send emails to ask for available times.

Apple, Android

Best for renovating: Houzz

Best for renovating: Houzz

Houzz

(Courtesy of Houzz)

When it comes to interior design and renovation projects in your home, the Houzz app helps you plan, seek advice, find professionals and furnish the space when your project is complete. Save inspiration to your own ideabooks on the app, which make it easy to organize different projects throughout your home.

Best feature: Looking to work with professionals? You'll have access to profiles, information on their expertise, photos of previous work and reviews from former clients. While you can contact professionals directly through the app, their websites are also linked on their profile pages to help you find even more information.

Apple, Android

Best for property managers: Buildium

Best for property managers: Buildium

(Getty Images)

If you're a property manager or landlord, access to property information, vendor payments and tenant details helps you stay organized and on top of tasks. You have to subscribe to Buildium to use its services and mobile platform, but there is a free trial option if you’re interested in trying it out first.

Best feature: Buildium covers everything from tenant background checks to online rental payment and payments for contractors. Everything is accessible on the app, so you can reference details as needed.

Apple, Android

Best for learning the lingo: Real Estate Dictionary

Best for learning the lingo: Real Estate Dictionary

(Courtesy of Farlex Inc.)

The real estate industry is full of jargon that you may not understand if you’re not an insider. By keeping the Real Estate Dictionary app by Farlex on your phone, it’s easier to have in-depth conversations with real estate agents, home inspectors and contractors.

Best feature: Real Estate Dictionary’s platform is set up so you can search real estate-related terms. When you type in a word, related words and phrases come up to help you narrow down the right term.

Apple, Android

Best for neighborhood information: Trulia

Best for neighborhood information: Trulia

Trulia

(Courtesy of Trulia)

Most users of the Trulia app are looking for their next home and are interested in property details. Trulia's individual property profiles provide photos, listing information and home features, as well as statistics and local opinions about the neighborhood – for example, whether it’s dog-friendly or if neighbors tend to decorate for the holidays.

Best feature: Neighborhood data on the app includes reviews from local Trulia users who live there, plus how many other homes in the immediate area are for sale, crime and local school statistics and more.

Apple, Android

Best for calculating a mortgage: Mortgage by Zillow

Best for calculating a mortgage: Mortgage by Zillow

Zillow Mortgage

(Courtesy of Zillow)

This app offers calculators for monthly payments, the total cost of a home based on your budget and refinancing options. It also provides information on current mortgage interest rates across multiple lenders. The ability to both calculate information for your own mortgage and shop around for the best mortgage option makes it superior to other apps of its kind.

Best feature: It’s a simple detail, but the app menu displays the current average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage interest rate, with a line graph showing how it’s changed over the course of a few months.

Apple, Android

Best for planning your home: magicplan

Best for planning your home: magicplan

Deutschland,Baden-Wurttemberg,Mannheim,umziehen,lifestyle

(Getty Images)

Whether you’re trying to figure out how to arrange furniture in a room or looking to design an addition to your home, the floor plan design capabilities on magicplan offer a user-friendly experience with a heightened level of detail. You can include the location of electrical outlets, different styles of windows, appliances and furniture to make a rendering and realistic plan for your space. Contractors can also use the app to estimate pricing based on completed floor plan designs.

Best feature: Once you’ve created your floor plan, you can export it as a PDF and even get an online 3D model for use outside the app.

Apple, Android

The best real estate apps to download in 2020 include:

The best real estate apps to download in 2020 include:

Mature men at his cottage resting on porch with his dog. Sitting down drinking coffee and using smart phone. Wearing casual clothing.

(Getty Images)

  • Best for finding a rental: Zumper.
  • Best for buying and selling: Zillow.
  • Best for real estate agents: Docusign.
  • Best for reaching real estate pros: Redfin.
  • Best for renovating: Houzz.
  • Best for property managers: Buildium.
  • Best for learning the lingo: Real Estate Dictionary.
  • Best for neighborhood information: Trulia.
  • Best for calculating a mortgage: Mortgage by Zillow.
  • Best for planning your home: magicplan.

Read More

Devon Thorsby is the Real Estate editor at U.S. News & World Report, where she writes consumer-focused articles about the homebuying and selling process, home improvement, tenant rights and the state of the housing market.

She has appeared in media interviews across the U.S. including National Public Radio, WTOP (Washington, D.C.) and KOH (Reno, Nevada) and various print publications, as well as having served on panels discussing real estate development, city planning policy and homebuilding.

Previously, she served as a researcher of commercial real estate transactions and information, and is currently a member of the National Association of Real Estate Editors. Thorsby studied Political Science at the University of Michigan, where she also served as a news reporter and editor for the student newspaper The Michigan Daily. Follow her on Twitter or write to her at dthorsby@usnews.com.

Recommended Articles

How to Write an Offer Letter to a Seller

Tania Isacoff Friedland | Sept. 17, 2020

Connect with home sellers to make them feel good about letting you purchase their home.

The Guide to Understanding Home Value

Devon Thorsby | Sept. 15, 2020

Here's a look at the process of calculating the value of your home and what it means for your home's sale price.

What to Know About Moving to Chicago

Devon Thorsby | Sept. 10, 2020

Chicago can be a great place to live if you can handle the cold winter and cost of living and embrace public transit.

How to Set Up Your Utilities

Devon Thorsby | Sept. 9, 2020

Here's what you need to know about which utility company services your new address, how to set up an account and why you may need to pay a deposit.

What to Know About the Halt on Evictions

Devon Thorsby | Sept. 3, 2020

The CDC has announced a halt on evictions through the end of 2020, but certain criteria keep some renters vulnerable to eviction. And the rent is still due.

How to Declutter Your Home

Devon Thorsby | Sept. 3, 2020

Follow this step-by-step guide to make your home more manageable and organized.

Deed vs. Title: What to Know

Devon Thorsby | Sept. 1, 2020

Learn how the deed and title play into homeownership, and the details you need to know before closing on a home.

Is Fee Simple or Leasehold Better?

Devon Thorsby | Sept. 1, 2020

Learn the different ways you can hold property with fee simple ownership or a leasehold.

How to Factor in a Home's Outdoor Space

Tania Isacoff Friedland | Aug. 27, 2020

While outdoor space has always been considered an appealing feature to homebuyers, there's newfound value in having a private outdoor oasis.

Should You Build a Mother-in-Law Suite?

Devon Thorsby | Aug. 25, 2020

These additional living spaces could give you the guest space or rental income you're looking for.

25 Small Space Decor Ideas for Your Home

Devon Thorsby | Aug. 21, 2020

These tips can make a small room feel bigger and help you master organization with minimal storage.

5 Things to Ignore on a Home Tour

Allison Chiaramonte | Aug. 20, 2020

Don't rule out a potential home for the wrong reasons. Focus on the details that count.

Why Tenants Are Not Safe From Eviction

Devon Thorsby | Aug. 19, 2020

People struggling to pay rent should still be worried about eviction should local eviction moratoriums end.

How to Vet a Neighborhood Before Moving

Devon Thorsby | Aug. 17, 2020

Before signing a lease or buying a house, visit frequently, check neighborhood safety and learn more about the area.

What Is a Duplex?

Devon Thorsby | Aug. 11, 2020

Learn the basics about duplex properties, and how they can be a first step for people looking to invest in real estate.

Should You Live in a Single-Family Home?

Steven Gottlieb | Aug. 11, 2020

Depending on your own priorities, finances and bandwidth, one style of living might be better for you.

Denver Housing Market Forecast

Andrew Fortune | Aug. 6, 2020

Here's what you need to know about the Denver housing market now, and what to expect in the future.

How to Make and Accept an Bid on a Home

Devon Thorsby | Aug. 6, 2020

Here's what you need to know to go under contract and move toward a successful home purchase or sale.

Considerations Before Buying a Vacation Home

Geoff Williams | Aug. 5, 2020

You'll want to think about money, rental challenges and market.

How to Build a Fire Pit in Your Backyard

Devon Thorsby | Aug. 4, 2020

Follow these 10 simple steps to transform your backyard into a rustic retreat.