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Is it best to use a development's own agent to buy a resale in a 55+ community?

My husband and I are looking for a premium lot home (one that doesn't back up to other houses and has landscaped privacy) in a 55+ community in south central NJ.  We have been out with an agent several times and have seen a dozen or so properties.  Since we can't get into gated communities without an agent and so far haven't seen what we're looking for, is there another approach anyone can think of?  I considered writing to homeowners directly (in case they're thinking of selling) but we are under a time crunch because we sold our house already.  We have very specific criteria such as upgraded kitchens, hardwood floors, 2+ baths, etc.  Thanks.
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June 05 2010 - Monroe
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I would interview as many agents as possible and work with who you feel most comfortable. If the agent you are working with cannot get you into certain areas, then you have to explore other options so as to not limit yourselves.

Good luck in your search!
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June 05 2010
I think working with your agent to come up with an aggressive plan of action is the best thing to do.   Did you let your agent know about your Letter Writing idea? 

New Orleans Lakefron Real Estate Agent
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June 05 2010
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Thank you for the suggestions.  Nate, the agent we're working with is a good guy, but he doesn't seem to have stellar knowledge of 55+ places and isn't moving as quickly as we'd like.  We didn't sign anything to make him a buyer's agent (just a disclosure statement) so could move away from him, but that's awkward -- may be necessary though.

And Abraham, I was thinking of writing to people on my own, but don't want them to think I'm a wacko (there are so many online these days).  We're comfortable working without an agent to buy, as we've done it before, but the seller may feel more comfortable having one.

Now I'm feeling we need to find an agent who specializes in 55+ places in the areas we're looking.  Anyone who reads this who fits that category in the areas near the Turnpike in Somerset/Monmouth counties NJ can write/reply to me here.

Thanks again!
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June 06 2010
It's always best to have your own representation to get the best price and terms for your real estate purchase.  If you are interested in 55+ communities, might I suggest an agent who has earned the SRS (Senior Real Estate Specialist) designation.  You can search for one here:  Senior Real Estate Specialist
Read bios and interview a handful of agents.  Ask them specifically if they are willing (or have the time) to pursue properties on your behalf that are not currently listed in the MLS.  Sometimes, the most successful (read: busiest) Realtor is not a good fit for the type of property search you desire. Though, if you pick someone who has taken the time to undergo specialized training to expand their knowledge base, you start off knowing that whomever you choose takes their Real Estate career seriously.
Good luck!
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June 06 2010
If your not happy with your agent, find a new one now because it will only  get worse when the offer/contract period begins. Real estate is a performance industry and those who cannot compete will not service their clients in the best manner.

Speak to some other agents and see who you like the best.
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June 06 2010
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Thank you all for your suggestions.  We will take them into consideration and hopefully land the home of our dreams, as quickly as possible!
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June 06 2010
Best of Luck to you!
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June 10 2010
Hi There:  I am a realtor in MA on the south shore.  I would suggest that you contact the development office at the place you want to live.  I would think that they are more familiar with what homes are located where and which ones meet your criteria.  Since they would know the subdivision better than anyone else, I would put out individual feelers to each individual subivision since working with your individual agent isn't working for you.
Either that, or drive by these properties before making appts.
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June 10 2010
 
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