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Zillow's app can now help you buy a house instead of just look for one

Zillow has been the most popular real estate app since it was released for iOS in April of 2009. It helps you find a house, providing real estate details, pricing, and photos.

Today, the Zillow Mortgage and Real Estate apps on iOS are being updated, and these new versions enable home shoppers to get pre-approval on their loan in just a few minutes. That feature is particularly useful on the Zillow Real Estate app.

Shoppers start by filling out a simple questionnaire online using the app. Once they receive initial quotes from lenders, the user can elect to have the lender pull their credit report information. If the home shoppers meet guidelines, they will receive a mortgage pre-approval letter directly on their mobile device, which they can save, print, email or share with their agent and home sellers.

"Home buying can be extremely competitive today due to inventory shortages. Having the ability to get a pre-approval letter instantly can make the difference between getting the home or losing it to a buyer who is better prepared," said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages for Zillow. "With this tool, we are able to streamline the pre-approval process from days to minutes. Securing pre-approval shows real estate agents that a buyer is serious, and it provides our users an enormous advantage when searching for a home."

The company says it has had 83 million unique visitors last month to its mobile apps and website. More than two-thirds of Zillow visits come through the mobile apps the company provides.

The Zillow apps require iOS 6 or later and they are universal.

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