Buying a house or condo? Here’s why you should have a buyer’s agent

Editor's Note

This article is sponsored by Nancy Benson of RE/MAX Hallmark Realty.

Buying a home is an exciting but also nerve-racking venture these days. For many buyers who are finding themselves having to pay over the listing price for a home they love and often rushing through the process, this purchase is likely to be the most substantial investment in their life. Engaging a Realtor who will protect your interest and provide sound investment advice is the key to ensuring you make all the right decisions.

In Ottawa in 2019, the average sale price of a residential home was $486,590. The average sale price of a condominium unit was $304,203.

MailboxWith the ease of looking at properties on the internet, some first-time buyers think they can do it on their own. They view listings, attend open houses and perhaps in their excitement about a property, approach a seller’s agent on their own, thinking they’re speeding the process. They are actually leaving themselves vulnerable to overpaying because they have no one who is working on their behalf. 

Remember that the seller is likely represented by a Realtor who is working for them and trying to get the best price possible. As a buyer you should have someone who is representing your part of the transaction and watching for potential red flags.

There are many reasons to work with an experienced buyer’s agent. Here are just a few:

You pay nothing for a buyer’s agent’s expertise and services

Dollar signIn my more than 30 years as a Realtor in Ottawa, I’ve often met first-time buyers who ask what they will be charged for our services. In fact, our services and expertise come at no cost to buyers. The fee we receive is paid by the seller.

Our background, knowledge and experience in the local market

When you work with an experienced Realtor, you are tapping into a wealth of knowledge about the city, its neighbourhoods and the homebuying process from beginning to end.

If there’s a neighbourhood you love but is perhaps out of your price range, we can suggest others that might be similar but at a lower price.

When we view houses together, a Realtor will sometimes notice issues that might be a concern or should be investigated – things a novice buyer might not notice. We can also be quick to notice if a seller is asking a price that seems unreasonably high, based on the recent sales in that neighbourhood. We have access to not just the asking price but the selling price, something buyers on their own will not have.

You get advance notice of listings

ChoiceWe receive early notice of listings before they are officially posted on sites to the public. When we spot a property that seems ideal, we can alert you and arrange a showing before those who are checking websites on their own will see it. This can give you a head start that can make the difference, particularly in a competitive market.

Our market knowledge 

Like the stock market, real estate markets go through cycles. Your Realtor knows the current market and how to navigate it. Ottawa has had lower than usual inventory lately. The most popular neighbourhoods can become competitive when an appealing property becomes available. We know how to help a buyer in a market like this, partly by being quick to act when an appealing new property is listed.

Our negotiation skills

An experienced Realtor will know the current market and the kind of offer most likely to succeed. We do the work for you in putting in an offer and then negotiating with the seller’s agent on the price or other conditions.

Our network of other professionals

We have an extensive network of other professionals whom we have come to trust with helping our clients. This can include a mortgage broker who can find you a pre-approved rate that works for you (also at no charge to you), lawyers, home inspectors, tradespeople and movers. 

Helping you keep calm 

Keep calmThe homebuying process can be an emotional thing, sometimes with disappointments or stresses. We’re there to help you keep cool and to not panic at any bumps along the way. I have often heard from clients who tell me how grateful they were to have someone there to guide them through a process they were nervous about, and to help them find a place they love. It’s always very rewarding to hear, and it’s a reason I love what I do.

If you are considering buying or selling property in the Ottawa area, I’d love to meet and chat about the market and conditions in your area. I have more than three decades of experience helping buyers and sellers in Ottawa and I am proud of the expertise we offer at Nancy Benson and Associates.

You can read more about me and my team on my site, nancybenson.com. Feel free to give me a call, at 613-747-4747.

Nancy BensonNancy operates a full-service office at RE/MAX Hallmark Realty and specializes in unique homes in the most desirable neighbourhoods of Ottawa. Whether you're buying, selling, acquiring an investment or a secondary home, we have a system that will work for you.