There is what you say you want and there is what you really want. It takes time and interpersonal interaction for your agent to find those little things that are going to make or break a deal for you. Edward takes the time to listen and observe you and gauge what things turn you on or off when you are viewing; this helps him fine tune the future searches for you. If you are honest with him in what it is you are looking for and what you price range is, he can seriously help save you time by not looking at places that you will not be interested in.
While you are traveling from place to place during your search take the time to ask questions about parts of the process that you aren't sure about. He is very willing to explain the various details that will make a difference later on in the process. Is there an illegal addition that could prevent your financing, are there larger repair costs involved than you see, does the market really bear the premium price that the seller is asking; these are some of the things that your research may not tell you but he can. He can also spot a quick flip job that is poorly done by the fine details that you might overlook.
Then comes the time for you to make an offer. This is where it gets interesting. Edward will find out if you are the only offer on the table or if you are one of a dozen or more people with an initial offer on the table. If you are going to be in a bidding war, he will give you a fair idea of what a realistic number is. If his realistic number sounds too high for you move to the next search. Realistic doesn't mean that you will get it in the current market because there are plenty of people ready to out bid you. Edward also has a good grasp of when you are looking at a seller with unreasonable expectations. Some sellers expect to get 2007 prices for their place; he'll let you know if you might be facing one of these types. During your offer / counter offer phase; Edward is pushing for your advantage. If he tells you that certain contingencies have to come off for the deal to happen, that is because it is a non-negotiable point for the seller. This is the time to listen or you can waste a a fair deal of your time.
When you have an accepted offer you will really see where a good agent is worth their weight in gold. Between the appraisal, inspections, further negotiations with the other agent and their seller during the contingency period, staying on top of your lender, and all of the things that need to happen during a 30 day escrow, you will find that he will run them to ground and help you get it all done. If someone in the process is dragging their feet and potentially jeopardizing your deal or could needlessly cost you money he will be all over them and will keep you informed.
I asked two personal friends who had retired from the real estate business who they would recommend as my agent. Their answer was Edward; and at the end of the process I know why he was their choice.