Steve, picking one agent from the many good agents that are vying for your attention is a herculean task, especially right now. Most people pick one from a referral of a good friend or relative. You may already have a relative in the business already. The trouble with those options is if it doesn't work out sombody's feelings may be bruised, maybe yours. If you throw your hat into the ring, such as you have already done here, you will be inundated with "pick me offers" to produce their credentials for you. I bet you have already recieved a call before I could post this. We all have those credentials, some real and relavent, others less so. There will be so many that it will come down to a blind guess.
Another way would be to go to the California Association of Realtors and search for an agent that lists Carlsbad as their home area. The agent profiles there will also list their areas of specialty and other personal information. You will find links there to their websites where you can also get a grasp of their personalities and ethics. Once you find a few candidates this way, call each one and interview them out of the blue. From those pick several that can think on their feet for a personal interview at your home. The one you should pick will immediately relate to your issues, not their agenda. That candidate should have some years of experience, remember, this is the first downturn of the market in many years. They need to know the area where you are interested. Ask them questions, many questions about selling homes and about what to expect if you list your home with them. Pick the one with good answers and a sense of humor. Good Luck! I hope I get a call soon.