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What to do when the agent who is "the" expert on a neighborhood also has most of the listings?

We found a particular development we really like, Mill Creek in Bradenton, FL.  One particular agent appears, at least on the surface, to be the expert on this development.  She has lived there for almost 20 years and is active in the HOA.  But, she also has the majority of the listings there, at least in our price range.  I am highly skeptical of "dual agency".  What's the best thing to do in this situation?
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August 01 2010 - Bradenton
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Hi,
I understand if you would like someone who just represents your interests, that makes sense.  I believe I would find a realtor who is also familiar with the area to represent you in your search, and he/she can show you any of the listings in this persons area, but your interests are being protected by your buyes agent.  I think the agent you choose will have a less biased opinion and analysis than the agent who is immersed in that community.

Good luck!   
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August 01 2010
You are very bright. It is best to have a Realtor© representing you as the buyer. Many agents will gladly work both sides, but in reality they can only represent fully one side. My rule is I represent the side that contacts me first. I explain on first meeting who I am representing. I also explain that I can assist the second contact party with the transaction as a customer. Most of the time it is not clear to them even when they are presented with the "Information about Broker Services" notification form.

Again you are correct to have your own Realtor© representing your interest.

Good Luck!

James Callas - Realtor©
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August 01 2010
There is a saying among lawyers:  "A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client."  That holds true for just about everything we seek advice.  As stated by the others, you are far better served by having your own personal agent than the listing agent.  I do not represent both sides period.  I agree with James that the dual agent disclosure forms are complicated to the average person and most buyers do not truly know what they are signing up.  The logic of "the expert in the neighborhood" is a false assumption because any agent operating in a specific county pretty much knows what goes on in all the neighborhoods.  If they do not they know how to get the information you need to make an informed decision.  It is wise for you to ask questions before selecting an agent.  I would be more concerned by a lazy agent than one who does not live in the housing complex you have interest.
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August 01 2010
In the state of Florida, we can not act as dual agents.  If an agent "represents" both the seller and buyer, they become Transaction Agents.  In other words, they are representing neither party and simply handling the transaction. 

I highly suggest finding an agent that will represent YOU and protect your interests.

Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

All the Best!
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November 29 2010
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sounds like she already showed you a property that you like.
if you didn't say you had an agent. a savy agent will claim you as a customer.
so you really have no choice.
this is why agents hold open houses.
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November 29 2010
 
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