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Orange County Credit Union provides a broad range of banking products and services like checking, savings, loans, and investments for every season of life. Through our blog, our aim is to equip readers with helpful advice that will enable them to reach financial goals.

How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

Articles

Welcome to the Orange County's Credit Union blog - Simple Banking.  It’s been said, that people who bank at credit unions feel financially empowered. Whether it’s one-on-one conversations or free financial educational workshops, at the Credit Union, we’re with you all the way.

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Anyone who lives or works in Orange County, Riverside County & the neighboring communities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Cerritos, or Signal Hill, CA can bank with us. Membership is $5. Federally insured by NCUA

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How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

Sandra Diaz

Buying or selling a home is one of the largest financial decisions most people will make. However, most people give little thought when it comes to selecting a real estate agent (agent). Choosing the right agent makes all the difference – selling your home quickly, finding your dream home, and even negotiating the best price.  

Do Your Homework

  • Read online reviews about potential agents by visiting sites like Zillow.com, Redfin.com, and Trulia.com. Keep in mind online reviews don’t always tell the whole story.
  • Get recommendations from friends and family. 
  • Interview three to four agents in person before you make a decision. Look for characteristics that will make the buying/selling process go smoothly  ̶  friendliness, patience, knowledgeable, able to answer your questions about the real estate experience and doesn’t pressure you to sign. 
  • Ask potential agents for client referrals. Ideally, these would be clients in your desired neighborhood and have a similar price range. 
  • If you’re buying or selling a home in California, Be sure to check their credentials through the National Association of Realtors California Bureau of Real Estate. 

Ask Questions

  • If you’re a buyer: How often will you send me listings? Will you show me homes when I’m available (e.g., after work or on the weekends)? How long have you worked in real estate? What type of property do you specialize in (e.g., condos, single-family, or townhomes)? Have you worked with other clients in my desired area and price range?
  • If you’re a seller: What kind of marketing or plan will you use to sell my home? (e.g., open houses, internet postings, and working with other agents). How many homes do you currently have listed? How many have you sold in my neighborhood? What’s your commission rate? What factors will you use to determine the list price

At Orange County’s Credit Union, we’ve partnered with First Team Real Estate. You’ll receive service from experienced real estate agents who work in your home search area. Plus, when you enroll in our Home Connection Programs, you’ll receive 20% commission rebate from participating agents when you purchase or sell a home.* Visit orangecountyscu.firstteam.com for more details.

Doing your research upfront can help you make a wise decision and choose a well-qualified real estate agent who’s right for your needs. Remember, that you’re creating a business relationship. It’s important that you work well together, as it could be several months before the entire buying or selling process is complete. Enjoy a cup a coffee with a few agents before you make the decision on the agent who’s right for you!

*Rebate payment is made by First Team Real Estate and is credited to your benefit at the close of the transaction. Purchase must be greater than $200,000.