In addition, if you do not know a good local agent in your area, please contact me and I will be happy to refer you to one who can help you...no matter where you live.
Best Wishes in Your home search,
Prudential Rand, Pearl River, NY
The reason that an agent from lets say California cannot help you in New York is because the agent is most likely not licensed in New York (each state has to license an individual to conduct real estate) and because each MLS is state specific the out of state agent would not have access to an MLS they do not belong to. Some states have more than one. Websites that pull from our MLS's such as Realtor.com are pulling from all the individual MLS's to form one large database of information. We as agents do not have access to all of the pertinent information needed for a market analysis without having access to the MLS and local tax records.
There are some great agents on Trulia that I am sure could provide you with a great referral and there are probably some agents on here from NY. Happy agent interviewing:)