6 Tips to Improve the Effectiveness of Your Online Home Search

Improve the Effectiveness of Your Online Home Search

Hooray! You have finally determined how much house you can afford, have obtained your mortgage pre-qualification letter, and are ready to shop for your new home. If you have decided to begin your home search online, you made a wise decision. According to a 2022 National Association of REALTORS® report, a little over half of all buyers found the home they purchased through the internet.

Plenty of real estate apps have made it possible to search for homes by location and preference, all from the palm of your hand. However, many of these apps can expose you to intrusive advertising and unwanted offers. To enable you to search for a home safely and securely, FinLocker has partnered with HomeScout, a home buying and selling platform, to provide access to unfiltered MLS data on every available real estate listing online directly from the dashboard on your FinLocker app.

As each real estate app’s functionality differs slightly, here are some tips to keep in mind as you begin your home search journey using HomeScout.

1. Customize your searches to fit your wants and needs

Touring several homes can be time-consuming, and not every house you view will meet your specific requirements. Searching online for properties allows you to customize your searches, helping you determine which homes to tour in person. Once you search for available homes in your area, you may come back with more results than you would prefer. To narrow your results, customize your searches using HomeScout’s filters. For example, if you have a homebuying budget of $350,000, adjust the price filter to only show listings with a sales price of $350,000 or less. You can also modify filters such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, and lot size. Additionally, you can choose only to view house listings with a pool, a mountain view, a water view, or a park view. If you don’t see a specific filter, you can try to search a keyword phrase in the search bar.

2. Favorite your dream homes

Once you have narrowed your search to only show listings that suit you, you can save your favorite homes by clicking the heart icon in the listing. Homes you favorite will appear in the Saved searches section within your HomeScout dashboard. You also have the choice to form a list of saved searches and view your journey on the app.

3. Expand your home search to more neighborhoods 

When searching for available homes in your area, sometimes the results are only limited to a certain mile radius, preventing you from seeing homes outside of that border. Because there is a boundary set, you could miss out on a home that might just fit all of your needs. To solve this, remove the boundary feature on the upper left-hand corner of the map to view more listings in a broader area.

4. Organize your search results

One helpful way to organize your property search results is to use the “Sort By” feature within the HomeScout app. You can sort your search results by specifications such as the date listed, the price (high to low), or the price (low to high). This feature will help you scroll through your search results more quickly.

5. Get notified when new homes are listed

The MLS database frequently adds home listings, removes sold homes, and updates sales prices for existing listings. To avoid missing status changes on a property listing you favorited or receive updates on newly available homes in your area, opt-in to receive notifications and alerts by text or email.

6. Contact your real estate agent

After finding several homes you are interested in, you can contact your real estate agent to schedule a viewing. Photos viewed online can sometimes be misleading. They could be taken at an angle or with a lens that makes the rooms look larger or avoid showing any flaws in the home. Unless you are moving to another state and are too busy to travel, you will want to view the home in person to get a better sense of the house and its surroundings.

These mobile home searching tips can help you navigate HomeScout’s easy-to-use platform, find the perfect home, and help you achieve your homeownership goal. Read more on how HomeScout can help you overcome your home search challenges: FinLocker Partners with HomeScout to Help Homebuyers Overcome Home Search Challenges.

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