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The first thing most people are told to do when looking to buy or sell a home is research. The primary component needed is a realtor or real estate agent. But if you search the world wide web with “best realtor near me,” you’re going to end up with information overload.

First, it is essential to understand the differences between a realtor and a real estate agent before learning how to decipher the best one for your particular circumstances. A real estate agent is a licensed professional who acts as a negotiator for people looking to buy or sell a home. Whereas a realtor is a real estate agent that is a member of the National Association (NAR) of Realtors, which requires members to pay dues, abide by a Code of Ethics, and participate in ethics training every four years.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few agents, begin the process of determining the right realtor for you. Here are 3 tips to help you navigate through the ocean of real estate to find your perfect realtor.

Full-time or Part-time?

In the real estate industry, it is critical to stay on top of all new information. If a listing goes out at 9 am, you want your agent to be calling you by lunchtime. A realtor who only works part-time is most likely not going to have the reach, the time, or the knowledge necessary to get the job done in the same way a full-time realtor would.

Check Expertise!

The best way to know your realtor is to look at their history. Look for firm expertise in your neighborhood and price range. You could also check their experience with your type of home. However, remember that data can be manipulated. Always ask for raw data, so you can determine the numbers rather than being told what the number says.

Client Size?

Before you hire an agent, inquire about the number of clients they already serve. If they have a large clientele, it may be best to keep looking to guarantee you find an agent that can give you the attention you deserve. On the other hand, if you find a realtor who has no clientele, you could either be dealing with someone who is proven to be off-putting or someone who will dedicate themselves to your goals. Instead, look for a realtor who has a limited clientele; this allows you to receive the needed attention, as well as ensure you are working with an appealing professional.