Equally important as the Realtor you choose is your choice of mortgage person and attorney (in Connecticut most closings are done by attorneys). Some of the proven attributes you should be looking for are extensive and current knowledge of each professional's specific field, attention to detail, an emphasis on the importance of communication with all applicable parties, and a strong sense of urgency to staying on schedule. I think it helps if attorneys and mortgage lenders have good established working relationships as that can make the process more fluid. And this will take so much stress off the buyers and sellers!
Agents should have several good candidates from each field that they can recommend to their clients with complete confidence. Without the whole package, clients are exposed to many potential problems.