Most new home searches start online with sites such as Zillow, Realtor, Trulia and Realtor.com.
While these sites provide powerful tools for beginning a search, it is important to know how to navigate the sites to your best advantage.
When you have located a property that you are interested in, most of the sites prompt you to “contact an agent.” Most assume that this button will link them directly to the listing agent of the property. This is rarely the case.
Most generally, the consumer will be prompted to enter contact information. These sites are often vague about where your information goes. Rather than being connected with the listing agent or even a local agent, your information is often sold to the highest bidder — often a national, corporate-style real estate firm that offers these connections to the first responding agent who may or may not have any connections with the local community.
The Clinton County Board of Realtors take great pride in being one of the few remaining truly local real estate boards in the state of Ohio. Your local realtors are more likely to be experts in local real estate than their counterparts from out of the area.
A realtor from a more urban area may not understand local utilities available like county water, wells, septic systems or internet availability. Understanding the market protects the seller from any undisclosed amenities of the property and ensures a smooth experience for buyers with no surprises after closing.
Consumers should use all the tools at their disposal when looking to buy or sell a home. Large search sites are a great place to start, but don’t forget that your best resource is often just down the street. Local realtors, like the members of the Clinton County Board, rely on strong client relationships to fuel their businesses. Because they are members of your community, they are fully invested in making fair-market deals that match each family with their perfect home.
Check your local paper, Facebook feed and other community resources to connect with a local realtor. Most realtors have the same resources available now including professional photography and drone video, access to local multiple listing services,and social media advertising.
Consider taking the extra step to make sure you are supporting local realtors. You can get a full list at clintoncountyohioboardofrealtors.com.
Remember — local funds support local communities!
Sheri L. McIntosh
Clinton County Board of Realtors