Well said - and hats off to you for being the only poster in the last 5, to have enough integrity and professionalism not to take sides.
Michael - you must be very blissful then. Actually by focusing on only one part of the poem, and not looking at the larger context you have misinterpreted the meaning of the poem: "Ode on a distant prospect of Eton College" (1742) Sometimes a little knowledge can be worse than none at all.
Back on topic - then I'm signing off this post.
Allison, starting 6 posts down - there are some good agents in this post to contact - some offer more advantages than others, but *almost any would be better than none - interview several carefully and it will be clear who can help you, and who you can trust.
A few proven tips for selecting an agent:
1. In the interview, if anyone focuses too much on their "firm", that is usually a sign they don't have a lot to offer - it is the agent you hire, not their firm that will make or break your deal.
2. If an agent makes a big point about being a realtor - that is not a bad thing (I was one for over a decade) but it is NOT to be relied on. The fact is, most agents are Realtors, and after 20 year of experience working with them, I assure you, most agents (Realtors or no) aren't worth hiring.
3. If any agent refuses to insist that you sing an Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement - DO NOT work with them, they legally are not accountable to you for their errors, actions, or failures to act. In other words you have little to no recourse if/when they make a mistake.
4. If any agent offers to "send you listings" before they have even spoken to you to get your a detailed criteria - run - they are unprofessional and definitely not an advocate. You need an advocate - not a salesman looking for the next closing.
5. You want someone with at least 5 years experience, and they should be able to prove they are very tech savvy.
6. They should have at least 25 transactions under their belt - but it must be spread out over at least five years - believe it or not, there are rookie agents that have sold 50 homes in their first year - that is not enough time on the job.
8. Finally, (there are plenty more but this is a good base) do not be impressed with agents who boast volume sales - volume only tells what the agent did for themselves - not how their client faired.
Case In Point: I have had listings in neighborhoods at the same time a huge (400 sales a year "mega" agent) had his listings - I think I only sold about 10 listings that year. In both cases, I sold my listings faster and for $20-$35K more net to seller.