Simple, owning a home can provide stability and achievement, something you cannot feel with renting. You have a place to live when you are renting, but buying is an accomplishment for you and your family.
You are relying on your agent on many different levels, so feel free ask about his/her education and experience. Its important to feel like your agent is looking out for your best interests, if not, then make sure you hire someone you are absolutely comfortable with.
Be sure to let your agent know the particulars of your situation. Do you need to sell within a certain time frame, are you staying in town or moving out of state, or are facing foreclosure. Please keep the agent informed…it will contribute to a successful transaction.