It is very important to find an agent who can get the job done. Although your cousin's friend may dabble in real estate, is he really the person most qualified to help you buy or sell your home. Personal referrals are great but you really have to think about separating personal from business sometimes. It should be all about you, the client and having a confident relationship with your agent.
Production and abilities matters. You want someone with experience, education and a proven track record of successful closings.