HI Alfred, working with someone with a consultative approach over a salesperson approach is key. These types of professionals will ask you lots of questions about your goals, whats important to you in the process, and craft a plan to accomplish them or tell you the truth if its not possible. Beyond that, you clearly want to work with some who is skillful, not merely experienced (experience does not mean someone is skillful or good at what they do). The types of skills that are important is the ability to help you interpret the market conditions, interpret if the home is the right match, property values, negotiating skills, deal processing skills, etc.. You'll also want to work with someone who's primary focus is real estate, not just a part time hobby. Full time professionals are much more educated on all the aspects of real estate. It's also important that the agent have a reasonable knowledge of the area your looking in, they do not need to be a townie for their entire life, but they should know the area fairly well and be able resourceful enough to help find answers. You should NOT judge an agent on their availability and response time or lowest fee. These characteristics mean nothing, and any one can make themselves available or cheap. You can get a $1 hamburger at McDonalds anytime of the day, but as you know it's really no good... If you want to work with the best focus on what matters and hire them as your exclusive agent so they will be fully committed to you as a client.