How To Pick Your Ottawa Realtor

1 10 2013

Find The Ottawa Realtor For You

Buying Ottawa real estate is one of the biggest and most important decisions of your life. Not only will it be a huge financial commitment, but potentially you are choosing the home and neighborhood you might spend the rest of your life enjoying.

The best way to make sure your big step goes smoothly is to select the right Ottawa real estate agent to fit your needs. While there are many Ottawa home buying agents out there, it is critical you find someone with whom you can communicate well and who will give their all to helping you buy-or sell-Ottawa real estate.

Find The Right Ottawa Realtor

Not only will your Ottawa real estate agent be guiding you to potential homes, they will also be assisting in guarding your legal interests when facing tough negotiations or confusing contracts, so while you want to choose someone you connect with, you also want to choose someone who is an expert in Ottawa real estate. One of the best things to do? Interview more than one specialist and then compare them to see who fit your needs the best. Below you will find my tips on how to choose the right REALTOR for you.

Ottawa Real Estate Experts

Here are my tips to guide you on your Ottawa home buying journey:

  • Identify at least three licensed real estate professionals.
  • Interview the real estate professionals you have identified. Having a conversation with the person is a good way to find out if your personalities and goals match. Ask them any and all questions you have; bring a list of your questions with you so you won’t forget anything. Most importantly-are they listening to your wants and needs?
  • Find out about their marketing connections/what they will be doing to find you the right home
  • Select a strong negotiator. Ask your Ottawa REALTOR whether he or she has ever been in a tough negotiation and how he or she negotiated a fair price.
  • Compare interview notes. Think about each agent, and decide which one is right for you. You should choose someone aggressive, but who doesn’t make you feel anxious or pressured.
  • Talk money. Usually the seller foots the bill for a real estate professional’s commission, but don’t assume this will be the case. Ask point-blank what your financial obligations are throughout the process. Your Ottawa real estate agent at has the knowledge and experience to provide you with a smooth, hassle-free transaction.
  • Before signing a contract, know that the term “Disclosed Dual Agent” often means that the real estate agency does not represent your interests 100 percent. Try using an agent like Buyers Agent Bobbie McGowan, to represent you.
  • Buyer agency agreements are common, but be careful. What if the Realtor doesn’t follow up with you? What if you don’t get along? What if the agent doesn’t understand your needs? Remember that a buyer agency agreement is negotiable, and you can help negotiate the specific terms.
  • Ask for references from your REALTOR. This shouldn’t be a big deal; it’s a last-step investigation that could confirm or reject your impression of the agent.
  • Find an Ottawa area real estate agent who is savvy about technology. Through the online tools available to agents these days, you can expect nearly immediate e-mails about new property listings and quick replies to your queries.

Contact Bobbie and Geoff McGowan, Your Expert Ottawa Realtors

Learn more about what our team of expert Ottawa Realtors will do for you, and you’ll quickly see why we are the experts at Ottawa home buying. Are you ready to search the Ottawa MLS for your dream home? Be sure to take advantage of the information, tips and free guides offered at

Until next time,

Ottawa MLS Home Search

1 09 2012

Are you searching the Ottawa MLS for your perfect Ottawa community real estate? The search can be frustrating when you come across sites that won’t let you search without “signing up” for their newsletters, or creating an account that requires your contact information. Here at Ottawa Real Estate, we understand that you may be just starting your inquiry to buying Ottawa homes, or perhaps you just aren’t quite ready to team with experts.

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Increase Ottawa Real Estate Value

11 06 2012

Tips For Increasing Your Ottawa Home Value

When it comes to selling Ottawa real estate, you have to take out your emotional attachment to your home, and instead look at it from an investment standpoint. You want to get the most money for your investment and by doing some of these tips to your Ottawa real estate you will be able to count on getting big bang for your buck when the time to sell comes.

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Help Finding the Perfect Ottawa Homes For Sale

5 03 2012

Re/Max Ottawa Real Estate

It’s been called the biggest investment you’ll ever make. No wonder so many people stress over buying a home!

How will you know when you’ve found the right Ottawa real estate for you and your family? Keep an eye out for these signs-they will help you know whether you have found “your home”:

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Our thoughts on the Competition Bureau and CREA

14 11 2009

There has been much confusion and misinformation in the media with regards to the Competition Bureau and it’s proposed settlement with the Canadian Real Estate Association. We would like to state our company position on the matter.

This is not a debate about commission nor competition. The marketplace has, and always will, take care of that. Consumers already have a choice about fee for service and whether they engage the services of a REALTOR® at all, so we put that argument aside.

This should also not be a debate about paving the way for innovative business models. Although that sounds like a tidy summation of this allegation of the Competition Bureau, this debate reaches well beyond such simplistic descriptors.

This debate is, and should be, about the mission which lies behind the 3 Pillars of the MLS® trademark and the accompanying 7 Interpretations, chiefly consumer protection and fiduciary duty to the principal. By leaving Interpretations 2 and 4 in place (to be available to provide advice and counsel, and be accountable for the accuracy of information submitted to the Board), the Competition Bureau demonstrates that Agency duty plays a role in consumer protection. However, by deleting Agency as a pillar, as well as Interpretations 1,3 and 6, (that the listing REALTOR® manage the offer and remain the agent of the seller throughout the term of the listing contract, and that the Seller’s contact information not be provided to the public), the Competition Bureau seems to imply that there can be a shortcut to providing fiduciary duty and protecting the consumer. We believe you can’t have it both ways.

Here is what that shortcut looks like: The only way to ensure protection of the consumer under these proposed changes is to rely upon the Cooperating Broker to act, absent a Listing Salesperson during negotiations, with an extra duty of care and due diligence, i.e. doing the Listing Salesperson’s job. This describes the typical ‘For Sale by Owner’ property that is sold by a REALTOR® who is put in the position of educating and protecting both Seller and Buyer. The proposed MLS® changes merely formalize and validate this shortcut if the responsibilities of the listing REALTOR® to manage the offer process and all of the steps toward closing date are removed.

We question why any REALTOR® would choose to put himself in the position of being liable for a transaction without being present for the contractual negotiations between the principals. In addition, why would a REALTOR® put a consumer in the position of risking personal and property safety by providing Seller’s info on a public database such that anybody could presumably make an appointment directly with that Seller? Is nobody concerned that a Seller might accept more than one offer on a property, or accept terms and conditions that are not in his best interest because he doesn’t understand the contract and attendant paperwork? The list of calamitous outcomes is potentially very long. To whom will the Seller complain when he finds himself in a legal mess, or is visited upon by a thief (or worse) because nobody is governing the showing process?

To the public and fellow REALTORS®, the MLS® system is a credible database; but it doesn’t end there. Others who rely on accurate information from this database are mortgage financing companies, insurance companies, MPAC and others. We strongly believe that the listing REALTOR® has a responsibility to be more than a flow-through of information and that the unbundling of real estate services will result in the erosion of this valuable database as a resource, not only for our industry but for our peripheral partners.

There is no lack of opportunity nor lack of tools available to the promoters of these changes to the MLS® model to create their own marketable system. Parallel systems can operate very well together in today’s marketplace, providing the consumer with as much choice as would be expected in any industry. More importantly, the consumer would know what he is getting when he engages with a REALTOR® under either system.

The defenders of these proposed changes suggest that the MLS® is merely a coveted marketing tool. We posit that this notion is both naïve and ill-informed. MLS® represents a community of professional REALTORS®, not simply an advertising service.

Our position is that, for the sake of consumer protection, the Pillars of the MLS® and its Interpretations should remain intact. They serve professional REALTORS® and the clients with whom they work very well, and work in tandem with the tenets of provincial and federal regulations under which REALTORS® must operate. There can be no contradictions. Real estate is a complicated, serious business and to suggest that the public would be well served under an MLS® system that allows for anything less than full service and all available mechanisms of fiduciary duty is mere folly.

In the marketplace today there is a forum for sellers who choose to represent their own interests and to operate without a nod to the principles of Agency Law such as disclosure and competence. The MLS® system operates with a mandate to uphold standards of business practice which are much more rigorous. We believe that, when a consumer chooses to engage the services of a REALTOR® under the MLS® system, there should be no compromise in standards of practice. It is these rigours that protect the parties to the transaction as well as the REALTORS® themselves from legal entanglement.
Let there be consumer choice, but let us be clear about what that choice is really about. Under the proposed changes to the rules of MLS®, the consumer would be choosing what level of protection they want, not simply the amount of commission they want to pay based on services provided because they can do that now. We believe it would be a grievous error to mandate compromise in consumer protection and dress it up as consumer choice.