It’s easy to assume that most buyers and sellers are looking for the best real estate agent in Ottawa because why would you want anyone but the best? But how do you actually find the best agent for YOU?
If you’ve looked for a real estate agent in your area, you’ve likely searched “best real estate agent Ottawa” and had Google pull up the most relevant answers. Most of what you’ll see are paid advertisements for real estate agents or third-party lists that rank the best agents (a few mention the Adam Mills team, thank you, bestinottawa.com).
But is this really the best way to find a real estate agent that’s the right fit for you? Definitely not.
As much as we appreciate the shoutout as one of the best real estate teams in Ottawa, it’s not how people find an agent that truly fits their needs. We always encourage potential clients to do research and take the time to make sure that we’re the best fit for them. We want to help people as best we can and can only do that when our goals align with our client’s goals.
Here are some of our tips for finding the best real estate agent for YOU.
- Make sure you find someone who’s an expert in your area.
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, your real estate agent needs to be an expert in your area. This is especially important if you’re moving to a new place and are unsure of the market there yourself.
Agents are only as good as their market knowledge, experience and research. Taking the best agent in Toronto and plopping them into the Ottawa market won’t be as effective. You want a realtor with a home court advantage working for you to get the best deal possible.
Try narrowing your Google search further by including your current or desired neighbourhood to see who specializes in that area.
- Actually meet with different agents.
Many agents might discourage this, but we think it’s best to know what’s out there.
If you’re not 100% sold on working with our team after only meeting with us once, that’s completely understandable. You should feel free to interview different agents until you find someone you really click with and trust.
You might go back to the first agent you met with, but at least you’ll know that you’re actually working with the best person for you.
- Don’t sign a buyer representation agreement right away.
Agents will often try to get you to sign a buyer representation agreement with them, requiring you to use their services to purchase a property within a given time period.
NEVER sign a buyer agreement upon initially meeting an agent. In our opinion, this is a huge red flag. You shouldn’t feel pressured to commit to an agent upon meeting them, but unfortunately, this is a tactic many agents will use to rope in first-time buyers.
A buyer representation agreement is typically signed prior to putting in an offer on a home, but some agents ask for buyers to sign one after a certain number of meetings or showings, typically around 3 meetings. This is just a way that realtors can ensure that the time and work they’re putting into searching for your home will be worth it for them. Remember that a realtor comes at no cost to the buyer and is entirely commission-based. A buyer agreement gives realtors a sense of security, knowing that you are exclusively working with them on purchasing your home, and any commission will be given to them.
A buyer’s representation agreement is a legally binding agreement between you and your realtor. It typically outlines the terms and conditions and the period in which this agreement is binding. Typical agreements have a period of 90 days to 6 months; any agreement that exceeds 6 months should be a red flag.
As with any legally binding document, you need to take the time to review the content thoroughly before signing.
- Ask your friends, family and neighbours for advice.
Relying on the internet for your information on realtors can be challenging because the truth is reviews, ads, and references can be bought. Unfortunately, there are many ways realtors can make themselves look like the best without actually doing the work to be the best.
The best way to get a list of agents that might work for you is to ask around. Ask trusted friends and family in the area who they’ve worked with in the past and what their experience was like. More often than not, you’ll get some pretty honest reviews from these people. They won’t hold back, so be prepared to hear about the good and the bad.
Look around your neighbourhood to find an agent specializing in your area. Did someone move in down the street? Who did they work with, and what was their experience? Ask for recommendations or referrals if your neighbourhood has a private Facebook group or other communication forms.
A sense of trust is the most important thing you can look for when searching for a real estate agent. If you immediately feel at ease and taken care of by an agent, that’s typically a sign of a great start to a professional relationship. Buying or selling a home is one of the most important transactions of your life, so working with a real estate agent that you trust and who understands your needs and goals is of the utmost importance.
If you’re looking for a real estate agent, please check out our website and social platforms to see if we’d be a good fit. If you like what you see, give us a call or send us a message, and we’ll set up an initial meeting!
We look forward to meeting you!