The most important decision you will make in the sale of your home is the REALTOR® you choose. Be sure to find someone you feel comfortable with. If you don't feel you can ask questions or go to your REALTOR®, you have the wrong person. Your REALTOR® should show you research to back up any recommendations. This includes information about recent sales, current listings, and recently expired listings in your neighborhood.
Watch out for agents who try to "buy" your listing. This is when a realtor will tell you your home is worth a lot more than it is likely to sell for. The key to catching this is being involved in the Market Analysis and making sure the comparable homes the realtor is using are sold homes and that the adjustments they make to the sold prices are reasonable and realistic. Get at least two opinions and compare the two closely, and even get a third opinion or more. You need to feel comfortable knowing what you will realistically get for you home. You can list a little higher, but you want to have realistic expectations in case you have to reduce the price.
Choose a local REALTOR®. He or she will know your area better than an outsider, will be seen as a source for people looking to relocate in your neighborhood, and will get better co-operation from other agents. It is likely that any amount you might save by having a friend or relative from outside the area serve as your REALTOR® will be lost in their lack of knowledge about your specific local market. Experience counts, and with the tightening market a lot of realtors have quit the business (full-time), and switched to a different career. Make sure your realtor is only working as an agent so they are available to talk with prospective buyers and show your home 7 days a week and not limited because they are at their other job and missed the email asking about your home.
Don't forget to ask for their references. He or she should be willing to give you names of previous clients, and you should try to contact a few. Ask the realtor to show you what will be done to market your home. Are they "Internet savy" and do they have the ability to market your home. Consider the experience they have in real estate as well as the initiative and professionalism shown by the individual.
Look for a REALTOR® who tells you what he or she knows from experience in the market, and not what they think you want to hear. Flattery may sometimes get the listing, but it doesn't sell the home!