I agree with others, that where an agent is located is not as important as how knowledgeable they are about the neighborhood. Their ability to price well, know the nuances, are all important points.
Having said that, how far away is far? In reality, a good agent who takes a listing a distance from them will hop on the highway and show it whenever needed. A lazier agent may think of reasons to put it off. So this gets back to my 'your interviewing the agent' portion of my answer. Make sure you are comfortable that they know sales past, future trends, hot spots for sales prices, good or bad, in the neighborhood, etc.
As opposed to 'large or small' agencies, what agencies seem to do the most sales in youro neighborhood? By that I mean, whose signs do you see the most? A good place to start your search would be with one of these brokerages.
And much success with your home sale!
I am sure the agents that you have spoken with have spoken with you because they do work your area.
The agent must understand your area well enough to properly price the property, understand the competitive properties, and relevant issues facing the area.
A great agent who is a bit further away can still do a great job. I woudn't worry if they were with a large company or small one. That, too, is not going to determine the result.
Your property must be property priced and marketed agressively. Discuss those components extensively with any agent under consideration. Choose based upon the knowledge, skill, commitment and wilingness to work hard coupled with the marketing plan and exposure. Price right, otherwised you won't sell regardless of who lists your property.
Best of luck.
As stated in prior responses it is NOT the company that sells your home. It is the REALTOR(R).
In this market you need a straight shooter who will guide you as to how to price your home in todays market.
Price your home well, have it propertly staged and allow easy access to the property. Making homes by appt only in this market will deter a lot of showings to your home. Pricing it well and having it show ready will allow yours to stand up above the crowds of other listings.
Take a look at my blog, in the middle of the page on the left side, is what I call my job as a realtor. In addition to all the things other have said, I just like to add one thing which is you have to find someone that you can work well with. You'll be working together as a team and a successful team works effectively to achieve the set objectives.
I have often - to which I feel quite honored and grateful - been asked to represent sellers on properties outside of my area, on the basis of, "We'd rather have somebody we trust than someone who's knowledgeable." Meaning, not a local expert. Or not; I don't know what they really meant!
You can't have it all. It's possible that the best buyer for your property would have come across it in the New York Times; you just have to do the best you can do.
The fact is, you never know.
My phone is on seven days a week from 8:30 am to 1030pm.