A recommendation from a friend is a good place to start.
If you don't know anyone who recently bought or sold a home, then why not stop in a couple of the local real estate offices in the area, and ask to speak with the manager.
Sit down and discuss what kind of agent you're looking for.
Are you more comfortable with someone who has a relaxed approach, or a more formal approach?
Obviously, you want someone with a proven track record (experience)..........someone who knows your area very well, and has successfully marketed (listed) homes there.
The manager can offer some suggestions, and you can then meet with the agents - ask for a written marketing plan, and see with whom you feel most comfortable.
Another option is to stop by any Sunday open houses in your area - and get a sense of how the agent conducts him or herself. Are they professional, yet approachable? Is the home staged in a way that enhances it (does it look decluttered, neat and clean)?
If you're comfortable online, look up the property and see how it is displayed on the internet.......good photos, or dark and unflattering? Text that gives a positive feel of the home? Are important features highlighted?
Once again....interview a few agents.......ask the right questions (re: marketing - what , where and how will it be marketed)........ask how the agent plans on staying in touch with you, and how often (right answer is - "how do you want me to stay in touch?).
Anyway, I am sure when you've met a few agents, you'll know the "right" one.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to me!
Prudential NJ Properties