You definitely seem to know what you are talking about. A lot of agents would take overpriced listings and than get the seller to reduce the price until it is sold or expired.
They get additional exposure and the phone ringing, so there is no downside in having listings lingering around. At some point the whole street and the neighborhood know realtors name because of the for sale sign that they pass every day.
You seem to know what you want so go with your gut. Get some recommendations from your friends, family, walk in into a Real-estate office and just see who you meet there.
Ask specific question like how they will market your home, how will they look for buyers, what is setting them apart form other realtors? The good realtor should have the some sort of a informative package to offer you about current market, company, some sort of hand -outs about home selling, staging etc. Are they going to provide you with professional looking sheets or brochures about your property, are they going to keep you up to date with the market, are they going to call you weekly to touch base with you, are they offering any extras to the public (like chocolates with the picture of your home on it, or something else that will keep the people talking), are they willing to roll up their sleeves and help out if needed, are they going to contact other agent to let them know about your listing, will they notify the neighbors via postcard about your home and so on .
Do not over improve your home. As long as you paint and stage it to look and feel neutral like a model home you will be fine.
Visit some OH in your are to see what is offered at what price. Who knows perhaps you will meet your agent there. Just stay away from agents that are pointing out negatives in the house and tell you that the seller will settle for less.
Best of luck