What to Look for When Choosing a Real Estate Agent

With thousands of real estate agents here in Ottawa, it can be hard to know which agent is the right one for you. When faced with so many options, most individuals tend to do what takes the least amount of work and makes the most sense at the time. They select the agent that their parents used or the one with the flashiest website and biggest claims, only be disappointed a couple of months down the road. Everyone has different values and needs, so it’s important to do your research ahead of time to find the agent best suited for you. To find the right fit for you, here’s what you need to consider when choosing a real estate agent. 

Your Gut Feeling

If the agent doesn’t give you a good feeling, go with your gut. You should feel very comfortable with the agent you choose. Not only will you be working with them closely over the next few months, but you’ll also be trusting them with the biggest investment you’ll ever make. So if you don’t feel comfortable when you meet one, talk to a few more until you find the agent you really vibe with. 

Communication Skills

A good agent will listen to you, understand your requirements and dedicate their time to your needs. If the agent takes days to return your calls or is always pushing you towards certain deals that you’re not comfortable with, you should pass. Regardless if you’re buying or selling, you need an agent who has your best interests at heart. Remember, an agent works for you, so they should be focused on your needs, not theirs. 

Experience

Experience isn’t everything, but when it comes to negotiating and closing, you want someone who knows what they’re doing. Behind every good agent is a set of skills that makes them a top producer –strong negotiation skills, passion, persistence, and extensive industry knowledge.

Knowledge

Speaking of knowledge, you’ll want to make sure that they’re an expert in your market and are up to date on all the current real estate conditions. They should also be aware of things like where the best schools are in the area, the number of homes currently listed in the market, and the price range for past sales. Don’t be afraid to test their knowledge and then compare their answers with other agents.

Reputation

Even if a friend or family member recommends an agent, you still need to do your own due diligence to ensure that the agent is the right fit for you. To get a better feel for the agent and their reputation in the industry, ask for a few references from past clients and also check online for any reviews. Agents who have a glowing reputation will be proud to show off all of their listings.

Track Record

If you’re a seller, would you rather work with an agent who has a track record for closing deals fast and above asking or one who has a number of sales that have been sitting on the market for months on end?  As a buyer, it’s highly likely that you want to work with an agent who has a track record of beating out the competition in bidding wars and getting their clients the best rates. To ensure you’re working with an agent with a solid track record of success, ask for a list of all their current listings and properties that were recently sold or purchased. The details are in the data.

Network

Finding an agent with a solid network is highly beneficial. Choose an agent that is armed with a network of mortgage agents, lawyers, appraisers, developers and other vendors. Having an army of industry experts can help speed up the buying/selling process and help you come out on top when faced with a bidding war.

Availability

Don’t be afraid to ask about the number of deals the agent is currently working on. If their plate is full, you’re not going to get the attention you deserve. Ultimately, you’ll want to pick an agent who will be there when you need them. 

If you’re looking for a real estate agent that you can trust to fully represent you and your needs, call our team at McElheran & Associates. Our team of highly experienced Ottawa real estate experts are ready to help you buy or sell a home quickly and at the best rate possible. Contact us today!