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Don’t wait till January: The Million Dollar Listing guys say go holiday house shopping

The first thing real estate agent David Parnes does when looking at a property a client is interested in is type the address into Trulia’s heat map. It shows recent crimes in the area and assigns areas colors, from green to red, based on safety. “That’s a very, very valuable tool to have,” the Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles star tells Digital Trends.

Parnes and fellow agent and co-star James Harris recently partnered with the home-buying site, and they say that using its tools — including the heat map, which also lists area schools and their GreatSchools rating, commute time, and local amenities — gives clients a better picture of where they’re moving. “If you’re moving state and you’re moving to a new neighborhood, these are things that one is going to need to know,” says Harris. If you love your house but hate your ‘hood, you could find yourself moving again sooner than expected.

Related: Subscription service Super aims to take the headaches out of homeownership

If a new house is on your holiday shopping list, don’t put it off until the new year, say the Bravo stars. “There’s so many motivated buyers and sellers out there, so while most people just count it out and write it off, it’s actually a great opportunity, because you’ve got the most serious contenders — i.e., the most serious sellers and the most serious buyers — so it’s a really good opportunity to get a deal done and get it closed quick,” says Parnes.

Meanwhile, Google just partnered with Trulia competitor Zillow to launch a mortgage comparison tool in California. You type in your ZIP code, answer a few questions, like how long you want to live in the house, and it will offer up a lender and show you the associated fees.

An online tool the Million Dollar Listers might be less excited about is Rex, which promises to help you buy or sell a house without the help of a real estate agent.