Lots of real estate agents are great at talk, but less great at data (a balance of the two is generally optimal!).
Know that as you begin to organize for a purchase or sale, I'll be forwarding research to you from time to time: Everything from Wells Fargo's synthetic housing market report (email me for a copy) to Clarus Market Metrics reports on trends in your area of interest--by zip, city, size or type of home, etc. (ditto for a copy).
I get this material because of my relationships in the financial and housing policy fields (see more about my background here), and I read this stuff regularly to keep my finger on the pulse of the local market. All that in addition to visiting properties during Monday and Thursday brokers' tours, and touching base with realtors with pending listings--those often are the most up to date indicator of changing demand or pricing.
In fact, know that recent sales of attractive properties (meaning good location, good mix of amenities, not too many steps or too many floors, not too dramatic in style) are very often selling with multiple offers (and therefore often over the asking price).
It's all about getting you the big picture, so you are comfortable and confident as you make your offer!