Dina Chao, Sales Associate, REALTOR®, ABR, SRS, PSA
Meet Dina Chao…a high-energy, creative REALTOR® with two decades of experience helping home buyers, home sellers, and investors in Howard, Carroll, Anne Arundel, and Baltimore counties as well as in Baltimore City.
Born and raised in Columbia, Maryland, Dina studied business management in college, and decided in the early 2000s, to become a REALTOR®. Dina says learned a lot from those early days. And in today’s seller’s market, her hard-earned experience has paid off in dividends…
She says, “When I meet with a client for the first time, I like to sit down face-to-face and talk about what the market is like right now. I educate them about what they’re up against. Yes, interest rates are low. But homes are overpriced. And they’re few and far between. So, you have to be ready to jump.”
To help her clients find homes with more value, Dina suggests they explore neighborhoods and communities a little outside of their target area. “Oftentimes, they’re thrilled with what they find. The homes and yards are bigger. They have great schools and amenities. And they’re at a lower price point. Plus, there are a lot more homes to choose from when you expand your search,” she says.
Dina also encourages her home buyers to be patient and keep an open mind. She says, “I always tell people it could be the first house you see…or the 100th house you see. It could take a one month…or a year. I’m here to help you through this process…and help you find the home that’s perfect for you whenever the time is right.”
Even though the home-buying process may take longer than it did five years ago, Dina cautions her clients against “settling” or upping their budget.
Dina believes sometimes markets are crazy. "So, you may make three…four…or even 10 offers on different homes to secure the property that was meant to be. I never want clients to lower their standards and settle for something they’re going to be unhappy with six months down the road. And on the flip side, I don’t want them to overspend and be ‘house poor’ for the next 10 years. You will get the home you love...at a price you can afford. It just takes time and patience.”
The last piece of advice Dina offers her homebuyers is to step back and look at the big picture.
She says, “A lot of times, clients will tell me they want a newer home with a modern, white kitchen, stainless steel appliances, marble countertops, and gleaming wood floors. Then, I convince them to take a look at a well-maintained, older home in a charming neighborhood. It doesn’t have all the modern bells and whistles. But it’s a wonderful place to raise a family. And they realize they can live without all the other stuff...at least for a little while until they can renovate.”
Dina says she’s thrilled to be part of The Bob & Ronna Group because she gets the support she needs to remain laser-focused on her clients. She says, “With Bob and Ronna, they’re just good people. They’re always available, and their primary goal is to help their agents. So, it frees me up and allows my clients to get the best of me.”
When not scouring listings and looking at homes, Dina is a self-proclaimed “fitness fanatic.” In fact, during the early days of the pandemic, when life was a bit slower, she earned her personal trainer certification. The pace of life has certainly picked up since then, but Dina still makes fitness a priority by waking up and working out every morning at 5 a.m.—even before she gets onto her computer for the day. She also enjoys cooking, baking bread, spending time with her son when he’s home from college, and watching the Ravens. Dina lives in a “football house divided,” however, as her spouse is a Washington Football Team fan.