No question, the housing market in Idaho is hot. With homes values up and new houses being built all over the region, many are considering selling their home or even building a new one. According to the online real estate database Zillow, showing home values in Idaho Falls have gone up 17.2% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 9.8% within the next year.

The Better Business Bureau understands that buying and selling a home is a major decision and it can be beneficial to hire someone who is familiar with the both the housing market and the process. When hiring an agent or Realtor, it is imperative to find someone who has your best interests in mind. But don’t take their word for it. Check references and look at their BBB Business Review for client reviews, complaints and general trustworthiness.

The National Association of Realtors reported 5.34 million existing homes were sold in 2018 in the U.S. More than 660,000 new homes were also built and sold. Finding a real estate agent who is properly licensed and has experience in both buying and selling homes of your size is essential.

Once you have a Realtor and your home is up for sale, be prepared to sell it quickly, but also have a back up plan if it should sit on the market. Have a conversation with your real estate agent about how long they will represent you if your home doesn’t sell quickly; this can save you problems down the road.

If you choose to build a new home, finding the right builder is crucial. Ask friends and family for suggestions and contact industry associations for a list of members. Of course, bbb.org is also a great source of information about local builders you may be considering, including BBB Accredited Businesses.

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If you already have a specific style of home in mind, try to find a builder who specializes in that style. Ask how many homes they have constructed in the style you like. If you are still considering different styles, find a builder with a wide range of experience and make sure to check their work in various styles.

One important thing to consider about a builder is how they communicate. Do you feel you can easily communicate with them? Be sure you can reach the builder by phone, email or in person, and that they respond in a timely manner. Ask how the builder will deal with changes or problems that come up.

Talk to your builder about permits, but also do independent research with your local department of licensing or permits to find out what is required. Make sure the builder will be able to get all required permits before starting the work.

For more tips and advice on selling or building a new home you can visit bbb.org.

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