Shopping For An Agent

Your first step should be to shop for a Realtor, not to shop for property. Shop for a Realtor the way you would shop for a good attorney, accountant, mechanic, plumber, doctor, financial advisor, or other professional.

Now that we have the Internet, you have more information at your fingertips than buyers from the past.  The web is a good place to start.  There are lots of directories that list agents, plus search engines, too.  Peruse the sites.  If an agent has lots of information on their site and seems genuinely concerned about informing homebuyers, that's probably a better choice than someone whose web site only talks about how good they are.

The client should be the focus, not the agent.  At the same time, agents have to market themselves aggressively  -- or else you won't notice them.