With reasonable skill and care, an agent that you trust will provide better results than an expert that you're wary of.
So, certainly, start out on your own block! But, don't be afraid to go afield to find the agent you need. They may feel it's appropriate to collaborate with another broker closer to your home, in which case, you may get the best of both worlds.
However it depends on how long agent been in area, example Dallas Fort Worth I know approx. 50 % communities very well can talk many facts out of 60 cities in the area.
A local agent has the advantage of being able to be at the property on short notice. When someone is driving by and calls the sign number it is easier to get to the property if you are within a few miles - harder if your office is 20 miles away. The local agent also knows the area and can answer questions with a great deal of accuracy.
With that being said- "not so local" agents sell houses successfully all the time. I guess it boils down to who you are most comfortable with.
Jane Courtney CRS, GRI