You should probably speak to at least a few realators before you pick one, or take a recommendation from a trusted friend or relative.
If you aren’t familar with the area (don’t have family there…friends all renting etc.) Then call a few different companies. Tell whoever answers the phone that you are a first time home buyer, and that you would like to meet with an agent to discuss the possibility of your buying a home. Ask if they can suggest someone who would be good, or ask if the company offers any first time home-buyer programs (My mother is a realtor (she does not actually sell real estate, but she does work for a Realty company), her particular company offers classes and programs for first time homebuyers several times a year. The classes are designed so that the home-buyer learns the basics of the process, they also usually have morgage reps, insurace people etc. so that the whole process is covered by people). Generally, pick someone you like, who seems interested in working with you (some realtors get a swelled head, and only like to work for the “big” commissions, they may not be willing to spend as much time with you as you would like)
RULE: pick a realtor BEFORE you start visiting homes… What ever realtor shows you a property first has dibs on the commission if you buy it… You can’t just go back with another agent later… it doesn’t work that way. If they are a jerk, you are still stuck with them for the whole deal. Also, NEVER sign anything without reading it AND understanding it. You will never sign as many things in your life as you will during this process. There are constantly new forms that must be signed (I think in some cases before they can even show you the house). Understand what you are signing, and if realtor brushes it off, or tries to give you an overly simplified answer, leave, you don’t want to sign any rights over to a person like that.
Also, be aware that all agents work for the seller (as this is who pays their commission). (i.e. their job is to SELL you a house, not to help you BUY a house). They will answer all of your questions, but they aren’t supposed to disclose property information you don’t ask about. (ie. if you ask how old the roof is, they will answer honestly, but if you don’t ask, they won’t clue you in on the fact that the roof is 40 years old, and shot) If you want someone to represent you, then you want a Buyer Broker. Different beast. Most people in Real Estate are agents, some are both (I don’t personally known of anyone who is just a buyer broker… it may be possible).
Anyway, find someone you like, and trust, and work with them. They should be able to hook you up with a mortage rep. who will help you figure out what you can afford to buy, then the realtor will show you properties in you price range that meet whatever other requirements you may have (off street parking, close to transportation, 2 bedrooms 3 baths… whatever).
P.S. All of the above info is based in PA. Real Estate laws and definitions do vary from state to state, but in general, they are similar. (all state may not have buyer brokers for example).