How long do you intend to live in your new home? Will you be starting or adding to your family? Do you have any special requirements such as proximity to stores, public transportation, recreation facilities, etc.? These are the sort of things you should consider when deciding what kind of housing you will need--not just now, but also five years from now. Remember, if you intend on moving again relatively soon, you should get a shorter term when choosing your mortgage.
As a buyer, it usually costs nothing to hire a real estate professional to help you find and purchase a home--your Realtor will likely get a portion of the commission the seller pays to his Realtor. When choosing an agent, get referrals from friends, relatives, and co-workers, and then interview as many agents as possible. Pick an agent that works in the neighborhoods you're interested in. Listen to your agent, but make your own decision.
Sales statistics show that properties that are initially priced too high eventually sell for less than properties that were correctly priced in the first place. Also, over-priced houses can take months or even years to sell, while properly priced houses usually sell in a matter of weeks or even days. When selecting your agent, make sure that each Realtor you interview presents a CMA (or Comparative Market Analysis) that shows what he or she thinks your house is worth. The average or median price will likely be very close to your home's true market value.