If you're planning on buying a home in the near future, one of the best things that you can do is hire a realtor to assist you. A great realtor can help you with every step of the home buying process, from getting pre-qualified for a mortgage and viewing homes that you're interested in to submitting an offer and ensuring that all paperwork is submitted so the transaction can close on time. However,in order to benefit from all that a great realtor has to offer, you have to hire the right one. Most metro areas have a large number of realtors, so it can be hard to know which one to work with. Use the following tips to help you hire the right realtor:

Consider Experience

When it comes to hiring a realtor, you want to work with someone who has an in-depth knowledge of real estate, your local market, and the home buying process. Thus, if someone has just recently become a realtor, he or she may not have the experience and expertise needed to help you. Thus, when you meet with a realtor that you may be interested in hiring, it is always a good idea to ask him or her how much experience he or she has.

Ask How Many Buyers the Realtor Has Helped Over the Past Year

A dedicated realtor who specializes in working with buyers should have a proven track record of helping clients purchase a home. When interviewing a realtor, don't be afraid to ask him or her how many clients he or she has worked with over the past year, and how many homes were successfully closed. A good realtor will help multiple buyers close on homes in a given year, so look for someone who has completed multiple transactions.

Full Time vs. Part-Time

Some realtors work full time, while others may have a different profession and only work with real estate clients on a part-time basis. When hiring a realtor, it is typically in your best interest to hire one who is a full-time agent. One of the risks of hiring a part-time realtor is the fact that he or she may not have a lot of time to dedicate to you. Likewise, a part-time realtor can be more difficult to get a hold of. A full-time realtor will be more available and will likely take your home search more seriously.