You need to approach selecting your agent like a job interview. Write up a list of questions before you invite them over for a chat. Seek recommendations from friends and associates and then check them out for yourself. Google them; their online profile can tell you heaps about what you can expect from them. Make up a short list of candidates. Take a Saturday or three and ‘secret shop’ the open homes of the agents on your short list. Observe them in their native environment and get a feel for how they do business. Ask what you can expect from them and what they will expect from you. Get the full rundown on the process (sale, purchase or property management) and how they operate. Look at their track record. Are they selling properties like yours, now? How about the advertising campaigns they use; do you like their style? How long are their properties on the market before they sell?
We’re all different, so don’t be surprised if you have to interview a few candidates before you find your 'chosen one'. I know that I don’t get along with everyone I meet, do you? So you need to hire someone that’s a good ‘fit’ with you. They don’t need to be your new best friend, but it’s a lot easier if you at least like them!
Keep one thing in mind while you’re making your final decision; the cheapest real estate agent isn’t necessarily the one who charges the lowest commission. The cheapest real estate agent is the one who gets the best price for your property.