Lisa, you can look at signs but that will give you the listing agents in the area. That doesn't mean they can sell the homes. I would speak with your neighbors and everyone you can in the area and ask for their referrals. Then you can interview those agents. As far as your interview, ask them how are they going to market your home to make it stand out againest the other homes in the area and sell it not just list it. Also ask them what the actual marketing plan will be, how many websites is your home going to be on and how are the targeting the buyers. Not knowing the particulars of your home and neighborhood I could not give specific advice since I tailor my sellers home depending on the home. Each plan is customized.
You sound like you are on the right track knowing that you have things to fix and get ready to sell it. But, also maybe interview and decide on the agent before you finish just in case they have some additional insight for you.
If you do like I am with Coldwell Banker and can refer one of the top agents in the area for you to interview. Through our relocation service an agent has to be experienced, fully trained, and certified before they can even start taking referral business. It might not even be a Coldwell Banker agent but just one from the Realology family which includes; Coldwell Banker, ERA, Century21, Southby's just to name a few. So the top agents in the area are the ones allowed to take referrals.
If you have any questions just drop me a line or post another question.
Take care and good luck,
Coldwell Banker Triad