Updated August 30th, 2019
Homesnap is a real estate search portal that provides access to home listings across the country by partnering with local multiple listing services (MLS) wherever they can.
The app offers detailed listings with HD photos, property history, and unique features like searching within a school zone.
Homesnap's information is only available through its app, available on iOS and Android - that means you won't be able to use a laptop or desktop computer for your home search.
All in all, Homesnap is a great house hunting tool - and it also offers to pair you with a buyer's agent in your area.
That said, just like on Zillow, realtors pay to advertise themselves to Homesnap users. In other words, you'll be getting paired up with the highest bidding agent - not necessarily the most qualified one.
If you want to find top-rated buyer's agents in your area, consider going through an established agent referral network instead.
Note: Referrals are 100% free and there's never an obligation to sign.
Continue reading to learn more about Homesnap: how the company works, how it makes money, reviews, and alternatives to consider.
What is Homesnap?
Homesnap is a real estate listing application available for iOS and Android that provides accurate, real-time MLS data with enhanced features for its customers.
Homesnap is both a consumer-facing application for buyers - and a realtor-facing portal that helps agents provide comparative market analyses (CMA), communicate with clients, and more.
Much like other listing websites like Zillow or Trulia, Homesnap offers high-quality photographs, property lines, property history, and some specialized features like school attendance zones that let you search for available homes within a certain school district.
Homesnap is primarily a tool for helping buyers find the perfect home. If a home is listed on a local MLS that partners with Homesnap, it will also be listed on Homesnap.
If you're looking to buy a home, Homesnap is a tool you can use to look for homes with your agent, a partner, or family and friends.
Real estate agents use a similar version of the app (with enhanced features), so they can see exactly what their clients are viewing and help them find their perfect home.
How does Homesnap work?
Homesnap has developed relationships with hundreds of local MLSes across the United States and are represented in most major metropolitan areas with their Homesnap Pro service.
Using Homesnap is simple: since it uses the MLS data real estate agents have (though in a much nicer interface), you simply set the parameters for your home search, such as: bedrooms, baths, square footage, and a locale.
You can refine your home search with a variety of metrics, including filters like commute time, open house listings, and school zones.
Homesnap also has innovative map layers which show you those school zones, property boundaries, and satellite imagery where available. This technology helps you find the best properties for you and share them with your real estate agent.
Homesnap offers functionality that allows you to “snap” a photo of a home to access home value estimates, photos, and additional information about the home.
The application also offers a built-in messaging features that allows you to find and discuss homes within the same interface. You can discuss your favorite homes with your family and your real estate agent within the app, which makes it fast, simple, and easy to keep track of everything.
How does Homesnap make money?
Since the Homesnap app itself is ad-free, Homesnap makes money in several major ways:
- Charging real estate agents for its Pro+ memberships. A one-year subscription initially costs $299 and $599 upon renewal.
- Offering agents the ability to purchase ads (Homesnap acts a third-party intermediary) on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Waze. They can set a budget from $49-$499 per campaign. While Homesnap doesn't explicitly say what percentage cut they take, the company is acting as a marketing agency and providing metrics to agents for an undisclosed percentage fee.
- Branding fees for brokerages
Homesnap may make money in other ways by offering services to agents who it works with.
Pros and Cons of Homesnap
Homesnap can be a great choice for those looking for a convenient and easy-to-use interface for the home buying journey. It provides many of the same features of websites like Zillow and Trulia, but with true MLS access. Here are some pros and cons of the application to help you decide for yourself:
- Access to more listings due to MLS integration
- Extensive filtering, map overlays, and other options to find the perfect homes
- High definition photos
- Lack of coverage in some areas, as Homesnap must partner with individual MLSes
- Random agent pairings not based on client needs
- No discount on realtor fees
As of August 27th, 2019, the Homesnap mobile app has 4.1-out-of-5 stars on Google Play out of 4427 reviews and 4.8-out-of-5 stars on iOS out of 28.3k reviews.
Homesnap vs. Zillow
Homesnap and Zillow are quite similar in many regards, at least from the consumer's perspective. Both are real estate listing portals that allow buyers (and sellers) to view properties near them. Homesnap has integration with certain local MLSes, which limits its coverage somewhat, while Zillow has full nationwide access.
Homesnap works with agents through its Homesnap Pro and Pro+ products to connect its customers to qualified agents. Zillow does something similar with its Zillow Premier Agents product, but Zillow has a much wider reach and additional programs like its iBuying arm, Zillow Offers.
Perhaps most different is that Homesnap only offers a mobile app, while Zillow has both an app a website which you can use to view listings.
Zillow is a behemoth in the real estate industry, while Homesnap, with its innovative app and technology is trying to use its unique MLS integration to make an impact. While both companies offer similar services, use whichever suits you best - or even both.
Alternatives to Homesnap
Homesnap is worth considering as a tool to help in your home search, especially if like using a smartphone or tablet to find potential properties rather than a computer.
However, if you live in an area where Homesnap has not partnered with the local MLS, you won't get the full benefits of Homesnap's app. Other real estate search portals, like Zillow or Redfin, may be more comprehensive in their coverage.
While Homesnap can pair you with a local agent to help purchase your home, you won't receive any cost savings or an agent who matches your specific needs.
Homesnap simply promotes the agents who pay for its subscription services to local buyers. While Homesnap is a useful tool, it may not be the best place for you to find the right agent.
If you want to find a buyer's agent well suited to your specific needs, get in touch with a local full-service agent. With a discount referral network, you'll get paired with the best buyer's agent in your area who matches your needs.
Clever Real Estate works with thousands of top-performing real estate agents across the country from major brokerages like Century 21, RE/MAX, and Keller Williams. These agents are in the top 5% of their markets and have years of experience serving local residents, helping them buy and sell property.
Clever Partner Agents run traditional full-commission real estate businesses but have agreed to offer significant discounts and rebates to buyers and sellers who work with them through Clever's online referral service.
If you're buying a home, get on-demand showings and $1,000 back at closing - or up to 1% if the purchase price of your new home is over $500,000 (in states that allow buyer rebates). Agents from Homesnap likely won't offer these kind of perks.
Interview as many local top-rated agents as you want to find the perfect match for you. Our team will help you find the buyer's agent right for you, whether you're selling or buying. Best of all, there's no referral fee or obligation to sign with us.
Want to learn more about Clever? Fill out the form below or call us (1-833-2-CLEVER) to get the information you need to get in touch with full-service, low-commission agents in your area.
FAQs About Homesnap
What is the best app to look for houses?
There are many great mobile applications for finding homes. You can use just one or a combination to help you find the right properties in your chosen locale. Here are a few of the best:
- Zillow: Zillow is the biggest name in real estate search, with its Zestimates (estimated home prices) and excellent app. Zillow has excellent filtering options and is a great way to keep track of homes you love and share with family, friends, and your realtor.
- Trulia: Owned by Zillow Group, Trulia is powered by much of the same data as Zillow. Trulia is differentiated by their local map view data, which lets you comparable sales data, crime rates, amenities, schools, and transit near the homes you're interested in.
- Redfin: Redfin is primarily a discount brokerage, but their app is top-notch, providing home value estimates than can be more accurate Zillow's Zestimates. Redfin allows you to see upcoming open houses, so you can scope out new homes coming onto the market.
- Homesnap: Homesnap's integration with local MLSes is its main selling point and also its weakness. The app is sleek and powerful, allowing for instant CMAs and viewing home data by taking a snapshot, but it may not work in your area.
- Realtor.com: Realtor.com's app strength lies in its close integration with MLSes, which is better and more comprehensive than Homesnap's. While less feature-rich, Realtor.com's app quickly updates and lets you see homes on the market before they appear on Zillow or Trulia.
What is the most accurate real estate app?
The two most prominent home estimates are Zestimates from Zillow and Redfin Estimates. While these numbers are only algorithm-based computer estimates, many consumers them as fact. For homes on the market, Redfin claims its median national error rate is 1.77%. On houses not on the market, that rate climbs to 6.66%. Zillow has no direct comparison to this because it doesn't break out its rates between the two, but is working toward a 4% composite error rate across 110 millions across its website, which would be better than Redfin overall. Zillow's current error rate is 4.5% overall.
While in some cases, Zestimates and Redfin Estimates can prove useful, a comparative market analysis and appraisal will provide a more accurate home valuation than an algorithm.
How do you search by MLS number?
You can find the MLS number for a listing in many places: usually on the MLS listing, Zillow listing page, or even a printout from the realtor for a home. Searching on a site like Zillow or Homesnap for an MLS number will pull up the home you're looking for immediately, as MLS numbers are unique. While most customers and realtors use addresses as a way to communicate properties, MLS numbers are a singular identifier and therefore ensure you're looking at the correct home.
Can you get on the MLS without a realtor?
You can get on the MLS without a realtor by using a flat-fee MLS service. You'll pay a fee ranging from $99-$499 for a realtor to put your home on your local MLS service, but you won't receive much service beyond that. You'll still have to write your own listing description, take your own photos, show your house, schedule open houses, and do your own negotiations. Some flat-fee MLS services come with limited services like a yard sign and a few professional photos, but these can end up costing almost as much as a discount full-service realtor.