At the start of the pandemic, most people didn’t want to buy or sell a home, but that quickly changed.
The housing market heated up as house prices rose and mortgage rates were low. In fact, sales of existing homes plunged nearly 18% from March to April and another 10% from April to May, but they shot up nearly 21% in June, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The strong demand for homes is likely to continue. If you’re looking for your dream home, Better Business Bureau recommends you find a trustworthy real estate professional whether it’s a realtor, real estate agent or broker.
BBB offers these tips for finding a real estate professional:
• Get referrals from family and friends.
• Attend open houses to see if you connect with a professional.
• Shop around. Select a customer-focused professional who’s a consultant and salesperson.
• Find at least three real estate professionals with positive online reviews. Make sure they know the area you’re interested in.
• Ask for references and contact them first-hand to see if the real estate professional is going to be a good fit for you.
• Check to see if the real estate professional is licensed or certified in the state of Ohio and belongs to a professional association like the National Association of Realtors.
• Ask questions. (How long have you been a realtor? How many houses have you sold in the past year? Have you worked in my area before? What are your fees and/or commission?)
• Make sure the real estate professional knows what you’re looking for in a home, such as area, bedrooms, bathrooms, yard size, etc. Also, make sure he or she knows your timeline.
• Read your contract. Don’t use a realtor who pressures you to sign right away. If you’re selling your home, you’ll sign the rights for the professional to sell your property in a certain time frame. Make sure you are aware of the length of time.
Put the BBB to work for you, too. It can provide you a list of BBB Accredited Businesses in the industry and Business Profiles on real estate professionals you’re considering.
Visit BBB.org or call 937-222-5825 or 800-776-5301.
The writer is the president and CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Dayton and Miami Valley.