In my more than 30 years as a Realtor in the Ottawa area, technology has changed a lot of things for buyers and sellers.

For starters, consider the internet.

If you are looking for a home today, whether it’s a condominium apartment or a traditional detached house with a lawn and garden, it’s easy to check out a real estate listings website and view potential properties all over the city from the comfort of your home. You can click through listings and get an idea of which neighbourhoods are closest to your tastes and price bracket.

While some web browsing on your own can be helpful to give you a basic overview of the local market, there are many reasons why you should contact an experienced Realtor very early in your search, to be there for you and work specifically on your behalf throughout the home-buying journey.

A home is probably the most expensive single purchase you will make in your lifetime, so you will naturally want to go about it with an experienced realtor working for you every step of the way.

If you are buying your first property and are perhaps unsure of the advantages a Realtor offers, here are a few of many ways a buyer’s agent will help you:

Expertise, Free of Charge:

First-time buyers are sometimes surprised to discover that there is no expense to them when they ask a realtor to help them find a home. When you purchase a home, the payment your agent receives comes from the commission that the seller’s agent receives. There is no cost to the buyer.

Your agent is on your side:

A home seller will almost always have a realtor working for them to try to get them the best price possible in the current marketAs a buyer, you will naturally want to have someone who is doing the same thing for you, negotiating the best price that you will pay.

From the first meeting with your agent, when you explain the kind of home and neighbourhood you’re looking for, we will help you find a home that matches your wish list as closely as possible.  A buyer’s agent is working on your behalf and trying to find you the property that comes closest to the dream home you’ve described, at a price you can afford.

The process can sometimes be stressful for the buyer, particularly for a first-time buyer, but your agent will be there as a calming presence, talking you through what to expect and helping you in the face of any challenges.

Your agent knows the local market and prices:

When you have an agent working on your behalf, you have someone who knows the Ottawa market thoroughly and how prices for a similar-sized house can vary from one area to another.

If you have a dream neighbourhood but the prices there are out of your reach, for example, your agent can often help you find something in a neighbourhood that has similar amenities but where the prices fit your budget.

Based on our own experience and from actual records of recent sales in a particular area, I can tell you if the price a seller is asking is excessive in the current market. I can also give you background on a listing, including whether an initial asking price has been lowered. We also hear very promptly when a seller is about to lower the asking price if the property has not sold as quickly as the seller was hoping

With the experienced eyes that we bring to every property we visit with you, we can also sometimes spot some potential concerns when we take you through a property.

If you’ve made an offer and your home inspector finds something of concern, your lawyer and I can help you resolve the issue with the seller or return to the search if the inspector finds something that’s not easily fixable.

A buyer’s agent has an extensive network of professional contacts:

When you work with an agent in buying a home, you have access to our network of professional contacts, from mortgage brokers, lawyers and home inspectors to professional moving companies we can recommend.

Our contacts obviously also include fellow realtors.  When we are looking for a certain style and price of home for you, we have access to listings before they officially appear on listings sites and before you would see them if you were looking at a site on your own.

We get an inside idea of properties that will be on the market soon that might be a perfect fit for you, and we can arrange viewings at the earliest opportunity. This can give you an inside track over buyers who do not yet have an agent and who are just casually searching websites on their own.

A buyer’s agent offers experience, from searching to negotiating:

Going through the homebuying process can sometimes feel intimidating, particularly if you are a first-time buyer.  It’s been gratifying for my team at Nancy Benson and Associates when clients tell us we have helped them go through the process comfortably, thanks to the expertise we offer, our knowledge of neighbourhoods and prices across the region and our way of helping them through the bidding and negotiation process.

With 3 decades of experience helping clients in the Ottawa area, I have been through the buying process thousands of times. I know how to keep the journey as smooth as possible, answer any questions that come up and assure you that we’ll help you find that home you’re looking for.

I’m proud of the services we offer at Nancy Benson & Associates, and of the testimonials and referrals we’ve received.  Click the following hyperlinks if you’d like to read more about me, the services we offer for buyers and sellers and some of the testimonials we’ve received, you can also view my current listings .

If you’d like to chat about the current market and tell me about your dream home, I’d love to hear from you and get the process started. You can contact me through my site, or give me a call at 613-747-4747.