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Home Buying, Mortgage & Home Buying

How To Choose A Real Estate Agent

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, Redfin, and Trulia. 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, knowledge, ability to answer your questions about the real estate experience. Choose someone who 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 it's best for my schedule?
  • How long have you worked in real estate? 
  • What type of property do you specialize in?
  • Have you worked with other clients in my desired area and price range?
If you’re a seller:
  • What kind of marketing will you use to sell my home?
  • 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?

Home Connections

Orange County’s Credit Union developed the Home Connections program to pair Members with experienced, local real estate agents. When you enroll in the Home Connection Programs, you’ll receive 20% commission rebate from participating agents.* And home sellers can enjoy a flat 1.5% listing fee.* Click here for details and savings examples.

Final Words

Doing your research up front 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!

Get Details


*Rebate is awarded by HomeSmart Evergreen Realty to buyers who select and use a real estate agent in the Home Rewards network. Rebate is 20% for purchase only of a residential property. Payment is credited to your benefit at the close of transaction. Using Orange County’s Credit Union for a mortgage loan is not a requirement to earn the rebate. All rebates are subject to limitations, lender guidelines, state laws and other requirements. Certain properties may not be eligible for rebates. Please consult a qualified tax professional for advice on tax implications from receiving a rebate. HomeSmart Evergreen Realty is not affiliated with Orange County’s Credit Union.

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