Look at the statistics that are important to the area. Local knowledge is critical in finding the right home for the right price.
We all have references, check them out. Interview the agent. If you don't get along you should not work with them.
Experience does matter, look for credentials. CRS (Certified Residential Specialist)is the highest standard of measurement for agents and proof to their peers they are among the best in the industry. This designation trumps every other by a long shot and is accredited by the National Association of Realtors. Don't be fooled by those who say they could be if they wanted. If they could be they should be!
ABR stands for accredited buyer representative. For those who don't think it matters, an experience Buyer's Agent will advocate for their buyer and work very hard to ensure their position throughout the buying process.