Find an agent that also has proven business skills (i.e. owns or has owned/managed a successful business that involves negotiaiting skills)! Many realtors are great at being personable and anyone these days can use the internet to find homes available on MLS with just a click. The real key to choosing a buyers agent should be their negotiaiting skills like you mentioned and like Lew mentioned their ability to help you with everything else along the process. So you're in the right direction by realizing the importance of that key quality of negotiaiting skills! You need someone business minded that knows how to substantiate your offer(s) and get the deal done at the best possible price for you. Also ask anyone you interview how they handle submitting offers substanitally lower than asking price and what other aspects of an offer they can make look strong to help offset any difference in price. If you're also looking at shortsale and bank-owned listings make sure your buyers agent is comfortable and knowledgable with these types of transactions. Make sure they are persistant and will follow up daily if necessary! Make sure they understand the importance of all the necessray forms some banks require (Ive seen deals fall apart or missed opportunities for buyers because their agent overlooked a form or missed a deadline! Let me know if you have any further questions.