House-Hunting? What the Zillow-Trulia Merger Means For You

House-Hunting? What the Zillow-Trulia Merger Means For You

Currently on the hunt for your dream digs? Your search may soon get a whole lot easier.

At least that's the analysis from industry experts on the heels of Zillow's recent purchase of Trulia. The two top real estate sites plan to join forces next year, in a move that has the potential to shake up the way Americans hunt for homes.

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Although Zillow plans to maintain the sites as two distinct brands, the merger could result in a number of big wins for consumers. For one, combining the two sites' separate data banks could result in increased information for house-hunters, who are always eager to learn more about schools, public transit and average home prices in their desired area.

At the same time, a beefed-up company could mean more resources to launch new products and services, CBS News reports (think: innovative mobile apps that make hunting on-the-go more accessible). After all, a recent joint study by the National Association of Realtors and Google found that up to 90% of homebuyers are searching for real estate online, with many doing so while waiting in line or over their lunch breaks on their smartphones.

Of course, this planned deal won't spell good news for everyone. Experts predict that the merger could mean jacked-up prices for real estate agents (who are charged to advertise on Zillow), while others say that the site could put agents out of business entirely, as more Americans turn to the web to find their future homes.

But no matter where you opt to search for your piece of real estate—whether it's through an app or the back of the newspaper—make sure you're doing it smartly by researching how much you can afford first, and aiming to avoid these home-buying mistakes.

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