Best Apps For House Searching

House-hunting is a bit of a pain, isn’t it? How much time do you spend searching for homes by calling or e-mailing real estate agents or running from open house to open house? If you’re lucky enough to find a listing that looks even remotely promising, you’d better be ready for some pretty long showings. And then there are the offers… Thankfully, new apps are making the process easier.

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Best Apps For House Searching

  1. NoBroker
    As the name promises, you will see houses listed by their owners, so you aren’t stuck paying a huge brokerage fee, and the company says that it verifies all the owners. There is a checklist for the owners to follow, to ensure that all the listings contain enough information to be useful. In terms of listings and details, NoBroker does a great job. It’s not as well known however, which is why it sometimes felt like it had fewer listings than the others.

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The app itself is good looking, and apart from rentals, also includes purchasing houses, hostels, and flatmates. You can quickly set up the basic filters, and the results are easy to browse. There’s also a map view that lets you see where everything actually is.

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nobroker app shots nobroker

One area where it could be better is its recommendations – NoBroker sends recommendations of flats and despite our search being in Bengaluru, it thought it would be a good idea to pop up a flat in Thane. It also sent recommendations in areas that were around 10km away from the localities we had been searching in, which is far from ideal.

Visit NoBroker on the Web | Download NoBroker for Android

  1. CommonFloor
    Within Bengaluru at least, in our experience CommonFloor had the biggest set of listings. That’s a huge plus and the most important part of looking for a house. It defaults to show you owner and broker listings, so you’ve got one extra step to see listings without agents. The various filters are easy to set up, and a simple toggle on top lets you switch between buying and renting.

If you’re looking for a PG or for flatmates, CommonFloor won’t help, but for a family looking for a home to move into, it’s solid. The map view is smooth and continues to search as you scroll. CommonFloor also has a large number of 3D tours of properties, which can help cut down the number of site visits. Most of the companies are now starting to do this, but it appears that CommonFloor has a good collection already, at least in Bengaluru.

commonfloor app shots commonfloor

There are some issues though. For one, it keeps trying to enable your Wi-Fi which feels intrusive. Secondly, when you want to contact a homeowner, you sometimes have to re-enter your phone number even after signing in. Many of the homeowners also made mistakes on their CommonFloor listings – for example, the date of possession, or the amount of deposit were often wrong.

Also worth pointing out is that CommonFloor as a platform is extremely spammy – you will get a lot of notifications by mail and SMS, which can be useful, but if you’re on the app, it would be better if that could all just be contained within it instead.

Visit CommonFloor on the Web | Download CommonFloor for Android | CommonFloor for iOS

  1. only recently reintroduced its rentals feature, which had been shut down in 2015, with a claimed 60,000 verified listings. The number of listings is definitely lower than the competition. What we liked was how smoothly the map view worked and the fact that every listing had a large number of photos – some of the listings on the other sites had only tiny thumbnail images, which manages to avoid, at least amongst the listings we saw.

housing screenshot housing

On the other hand, the website itself is a little difficult to navigate. The app does not support rentals yet – we were running the latest version of the Android app at the time of writing, and it only had homes to buy – but if you’re looking for a house, checking out isn’t a bad idea. You’ll be able to get a good look at the houses before you decide to visit, and all the details you need to know are also available. Setting up the filters and actually searching is also very simple – the only problem comes with the results themselves looking cluttered, and ending up looking a little confusing.

Visit on the Web | Download for Android | for iOS

  1. 99acres
    The oldest company on our list, 99acres has a great number of listings and you’re literally one tap away from searching in your general area, which is very handy if you’re already out house hunting and pull out the app. It also has a filter called listing quality, which lets you limit the results to houses with photos, or videos, or only properties that 99acres has physically verified.

That’s great and can save you a lot of time. While the website feels very outdated at this point, the app is quick, fast, and good looking. In terms of listings, we found a lot to choose from, though we wish 99acres would add a sort by distance option, along with the price and date options.

99acres app 99acres

You don’t have fine grained control over the price slider in the app, so you can search for 25,000, or 30,000, or 40,000, for example. This can be tricky if your budget falls in between a set of bounds. Map mode on the app also works, but it isn’t as detailed as the others we tried, and doesn’t load the listings as quickly. If you’re using 99acres, stick to the list mode, it has all the information you need anyway.

Visit 99acres on the Web | Download 99acres on Android | 99acres on iTunes

    Although this was actually our favourite app to use, it features lower on the list than the others because (for our search at least) it returned the fewest number of leads. That said, things could be different in your area and with your filters, so we’d recommend you try it out.

Makaan comes with a chat interface – you can also tap buttons in the chat-bubble to use it like a GUI, and it has a great looking interface once you have carried out a search. You can add more filters, and everything is very easy to understand.

makaan screens makaan

Map view does not search while you scroll so it’s only useful to quickly see where the houses are – but once that’s done, you can log-in, create a shortlist, and plan property visits all inside the app. You will still get SMS notifications as well, though it isn’t as bad as CommonFloor. However, the biggest problem is the the number of listings we found (excluding broker listings) were a third of what we’d see on CommonFloor or 99acres.

Visit Makaan on the Web | Download Makaan for Android | Makaan for iOS

  1. Nestoria
    Nestoria isn’t like the other apps on this list, in that it doesn’t aggregate listings directly. Instead, it’s an aggregator for aggregators, so a search on Nestoria can turn up results from, Makaan, NoBroker, Commonfloor, and 99acres (among others).

The app and website are both very basic and if you see something you like and tap on it in the app, or click on it on the site, you’ll be redirected to the website of the platform that actually has the listing. It’s a slightly clunky two-step process, but you can apply a lot of filters right at the start, to save time searching across different sites.

nestoria app nestoria

With Nestoria, we’d actually recommend the website over the mobile app – it shows a little more information on Nestoria itself so you won’t find yourself clicking out as often. That said, on the app the pages are loaded on an internal browser so you’re not jumping between apps, and the experience is reasonable. The real plus point is quickly getting a start on your search, and Nestoria does deliver on that front.

Visit Nestoria on the Web | Download Nestoria for Android | Nestoria for iOS

These are our six top picks for house-hunting apps, along with their various pros and cons. Have you used any of these when looking for a house? Tell us what your thoughts are, via the comments.

Best app to find houses for rent

Another app version of a property portal, MagicBricks uses GPS to zero in on your preferred location and helps you search for properties across all major Indian cities. It boasts a simple, intuitive interface that lets you contact homeowners with just a tap. Though it caters primarily to property buyers and sellers, renters can also use this app to their advantage. You can set alerts for when properties that matches your preference become available, and let the ..

This app provides a platform where homeowners and potential tenants can share their location, find contacts in their vicinity and chat with them. It also allows you to sign up to find suitable flatmates to share a rental with. This can make the otherwise difficult process hassle free, since you can find people with the same budget and location preference as you, as well similar hobbies and habits. So far, the app is only functional in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi ..

This app stands for what everyone looking to rent wants to do: cut the broker out of the equation. It lets you find and rent a house without paying any brokerage. Most of us feel that having to pay a hefty brokerage fee is unfair. The NoBroker app resolves this by letting home owners list their properties easily and then putting them in touch with potential tenants. You can contact the homeowner directly through the app after shortlisting a property.


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