Buying or selling a home: how are you making hiring decisions?

As we are finding out (some for the first time), housing and the mortgages that finance it is a key economic engine.

Question: Is it important that the agent and/or loan officer you are working with have a keen understanding of fundamental market knowledge and economics? Should they show competency in basic fundamental economics and how it impacts housing?

How would you rate the importance:

1) Very important (it could make the difference in working with the agent/loan officer or not).

2) moderately important (would allow for good discussion, but it would not necessarily dissuade a working relationship).

3) somewhat important.

4) of little importance.