Your realtor can help you with the first few questions.
As to finding the right realtor for you, here is a suggestion:
Go to 5 open houses in a neighborhood you like.
Talk to the realtors holding the house open.
These realtors are actively working in that neighborhood and they are also looking for potential buyers.
They will be familiar with other neighborhoods as well.
Like any business, 20% of the realtors are doing 80% of the transactions.
The ones who are dedicated enough to hold open houses on a Sunday are working and have enough time to hold open house. That means they can accommodate another buyer right now. If they had many buyers and sellers, they would not have time to hold the house open.
So, talking to the realtors at open house gives you the opportunity to see how you like talking to them.
You will probably find that you feel more comfortable with one than another.
That's the one you want.
Some qualities I would look for are:
a sense of humor
a feeling of trust
You have already qualified that they are actively working in real estate by meeting them at the open house. (there are a number of real estate agents with licenses who actually work full time in another field and do real estate on the side.)
And, since they are holding this house open instead of showing homes to buyers, you know that they will have time for you.
Once you determine which one you would like to work with, arrange to meet them at their office as soon as possible. (while they can comfortably accommodate another client)
Have them explain Agency, Pre-Approval vs Pre-Qualified, and give you a brief rundown of how the buying process works. Ask them how they work. If you are satisfied with their answers, sign the Exclusive Buyer's Agency Agreement. They will inevitably have questions for you as well. Be honest with them. They cannot help you very well if you exagerate your income, price range, or credit worthiness.
The realtor should ask you questions about where you work, how long you've been there, how much income you receive, how much money you have to put towards a downpayment, EMD, and closing costs. They will also ask about your hobbies, children, pets, and other things that will affect the type of housing that you need. Each realtor will ask these questions differently and not necessarily in order. Some of this information is confidential and we are accustomed to people being rather sensitive when disclosing such things. Once you have selected your realtor, you should ask for several of their business cards. Give these out when you go to view homes without your realtor; direct all questions by other realtors to yours. That way your realtor can protect and promote your best interests. Be sure to tell your realtor when you do look at homes without them. If at all possible, take them with you. This is the best way because they can arrange to show you the homes with no one else present and point out anything they see whether it be negative or positive.