Is Ottawa a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market Right now?
If your target area is a buyer’s market, then it may be fiercely competitive and an agent is more than necessary. In this model, there is a shortage of ideal listings and a surplus of buyers. An agent can give the customer a competitive edge over less informed buyers while also getting the most value for a customer’s budget.
In a seller’s market, a real estate agent is less essential, because customers have no shortage of listings, and therefore less competition and obstacles for purchasing a new home.
How Does a Real Estate Agent Help You?
Real estate agents understand the nuances of a complicated real estate market much better than the average customer. They have been trained in and are certified to work in the field, and they have gone through the process of buying and selling homes repeatedly, which leaves them equipped to identify and overcome any obstacles which may come with buying a new home or selling your old one.
Local Knowledge of Your Listing:
Familiarity is a term that cannot be overstated in practicing good real estate transactions. Smart customers use a screening process and obtain background information when searching for the right agent. Good agents use this same concept of familiarity, using their local knowledge of listings to ensure a customer’s particular needs are met.
Different neighborhoods around Ottawa have different pros and cons. An experienced agent will notify you about known issues with houses in certain areas. For example, old houses in Central Ottawa have been known to have poor or outdated electrical wiring, and as a result, this area has had more incidents of fires than normal.
(See document on pros and cons of Ottawa area real estate.)
Advanced Negotiation Skills
Most people in the Ottawa region are rarely faced with monetary negotiations, while even fewer have experience in negotiating for property and real estate. Realtors are trained and certified in the negotiations of buying and selling homes. Agents also have years of experience in negotiating home prices.
Advanced market knowledge and negotiation experience are what separates an agent and the average customer with respect to their bargaining strength. An agent will usually be able to get the average person a better final sale price than they would have been able to get themselves without an agent.
What is a good deal? What is a steal? What is too much? These are all common and valid concerns for potential home buyers. The right agent can answer all these questions and suggest strategies for success.
If a price is too low, you may need to do some investigating on the house or the conditions of the listing. If the price is too high, you may have to go into aggressive negotiations to get a desirable figure.
Perhaps the greatest tool a good agent can posses is that of personal networking. Most real estate transactions don’t actually come down to dollars and cents; rather they come down to successful personal relationships. Realtors are well connected in the Ottawa market, so they can often recommend great vendors for services you will need for your new home once it has been purchased. A good agent will use their personal networking skills to get bargains with vendors even after the sale.
(A list of other services required by new home buyers)
(A list of our recommendations)
Understanding of the Real Estate Market Trends and News:
Most potential buyers and sellers are not up to date with the realities of their respective local markets. Although it is important for you to educate yourself on local realty news, a realtor will always have a more in-depth understanding of these trends.
Crossing the T’s and Dotting the I’s:
The last, but certainly not least of the services an agent provides are the finalization of legal documents. Obtaining and filing the proper legal documents for the sale of a home can be a daunting task. Once these documents are obtained, they still have to be read and filed correctly. Oversights in the contract or improper filing can result in lost court cases or further headache for a customer. A real estate agent will investigate and process the proper legal documents to ensure that your home sale goes smoothly.
The fact of the matter is, buying or selling your home is an exciting venture, but it is a complicated process not to be taken lightly. This is demonstrated by the fact that 82% of homes on the market are represented by an agent. Choosing the right agent can simplify the complicated process and get the most value out of your resources when buying or selling your home.