How do you find these things out, ASK. Do not be shy, ask potential agents for references and then call them. Ask your friends, family, business associates. This is a business built on referrals. Exemplary service tends to be rewarded through recommendations from satisfied customers.
One thing is for sure, not all agents are alike. A good agent can add a great deal of value. The home buying process is a complicated one - particularly for a first time buyer!
Good luck to you!
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Just kidding... if you're in the Bronx, I won't be much help. Is that where you need an agent? Email or call me directly, I'll be happy to find out some information about what kind of services you need and refer someone to you. I know many agents in NY.