With homes values up and new houses being built all over eastern Idaho many are deciding whether it’s time to sell their home or even build a new house.

According to the online real estate database Zillow, the median home value in Idaho Falls is $201,300, showing home values have gone up 14.3 percent over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 8.1 percent 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 housing market and the process. When hiring an agent or realtor, it is imperative to find someone that has your best interest in mind. But don’t take their word for it, check their 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. as well as more than 660,000 new homes built and sold. So, finding a Realtor or agent that is properly licensed and has experience in helping you buy or selling a home your size is essential.

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

If your next step is building 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 Better Business Bureau-accredited businesses.

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.

Jeremy Johnson is the eastern Idaho marketplace manager for Better Business Bureau, serving the Northwest and Pacific. Contact her by emailing jeremy.johnson@thebbb.org.

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