When it comes to buying or selling real estate - it is all about you. What do you want in a home? Where do you want to live? How much can you afford? So it is best to have an agent who seeks to understand your needs? One who will ask questions to find out about you and not just tell you about how great an agent he/she is.
You need an agent who not only asks and listens for the answers, but who has the expertise to handle your transaction and can give you good advice when it comes to negotiating the purchase or sale. Credentials are an indicator of an agents knowledge.
You want an agent who knows the area you are interested in. What is happening in and around the area? Experience that goes beyond the fact that they may have listed or sold a property in the area. Look for someone who feels comfortable and can answer a few questions about the area.