Once you have a list, call up the Realtors for a phone or face to face interview. Explain your current living situation, your goals, and the types of houses you are looking for. What you are looking for is an Agent who listens to your needs and will provide a service that helps you fulfill your goals. What you don't want is an Agent who is only concerned with fulfilling their own needs.
The agent you want will have good judgement, local knowledge, and tools to help you find what you are looking for. Most importantly, you want to feel comfortable with your agent. If you like them and they are competent, they are most likely good match.
First and foremost, keep in mind that the number one complaint from home sellers is that their agent didn't practice good communication. We hear frequently about how agents "put up a sign and were never heard from again." So, pay attention to an agent's responsiveness while you go through the interview process.
Again, ask around for recommendations and include the people you know in your list. Interview agents with the following questions.
1. How much is the house worth?
2. How long will it take to sell the house?
3. How should I prepare my house to sell?
4. What is your fee?
5. What will you be doing for your fee?
Sources: hud.gov, harrisonburghousingtoday.com