Michelle, Using a "friend/Realtor/Agent" from outside of the area is always a bad move ('cuse the pun!). Here's a brief list:
* Lack of area knowledge--this is critical as "neighborhood" knowledge can make or break a marketing campaign not to mention placing the wrong price on a house
* Market Trends--local agents know the marketplace and what issues are effecting pricing and sales. Is this a big "short-sale" area with many defualts? New home community with competition from other new home builders?
* Feedback to you from the showings and other Realtor/Agents via "broker's open" house? If you have a well known and "connected" local Realtor s/he is going to provide you with the vital feedback of the other agents to make sure your proeprty meets their buyer's criteria
* If you chose this agent for a reduced fee s/he is NOT doing you a favor!! In my opinion s/he has violated the fidiciary to you the Seller. Remember, all real estate is LOCAL!!
I'll just end this with the reminder of the "Black September" credit crunch which has slammed the door shut for sales in many, many markets. We are down 41% over last year at this time in Sonoma County, wine country, Northern California. ! So you can almost throw September out the window as far as valid statistical data. However, the "credit-crunch" real OR percieved, could and most likely will, linger into October and then into the historically down market time of the Holidays. Those making sales in the upcoming months are going to be very motivated with either spectacular pricing or a combination of pricing, terms, condition and LOCATION!! This market is NOT for the faint of heart! The heat's up here in the Kitchen!