Your findings are justified regarding MLS agents.
Linda Shroeck, 732.470.5602 is an upstanding foreclosure agent who began working pre-foreclosures and REOs way before this recent downturn . . . so she knows her stuff. Don't believe she covers the areas you mentioned, but I am sure she would be happy to tell you who might be able to help you.
Feel free to mention that I sent you -I will not be asking her for a "referral fee" for handing you her phone number as these agents work their tails off for minimal commisions. Their comissions are much deserved.
Francesca Patrizio, Realtor Associate
Ideally, referrals will definitley be your best option in choosing who you feel comfortable working with. What you must understand is that with foreclosures/pre-foreclosures, you are buying them "as is" with little wiggle room for negotiations on repairs. Also, "most" foreclosures are priced based on the "broker's price opinion" (completed by real estate agents comparing similar properties and adjusting the value based on condition)- what this means for you is that, most banks will list the properties at an adjusted price from "fair market value" because repairs are needed. So it should be a surprise if your "low ball" offer is rejected - make sure whichever agent you choose to work with pulls comparable homes for you to give you an idea of what "fair market value" would be (after repairs).
Any other questions, don't hesitate to contact me!
ERA Statewide Realty
Kenneth "Ken" Verbeyst CRS GRI ABR SRES GREEN
Prudential Fox and Roach
Just like hiring any professional, speak to them, ask questions and get references. Buying a foreclosure or short sale is often a long process, so find someone you're comfortable with...don't settle.
Keller Williams Atlantic Shore
Two, find a good agent that has done Bank Owned / Foreclosure properties. You are right to a point, we all work of the MLS and we can find REO properties.
Send me an email and I can direct you an agent that is active in these properties.
I believe the best way to find an agent skilled at working with foreclosures and pre-foreclosures is through referral. I would be happy to connect you with a local REALTOR in the Somerset area familiar with pre-foreclosed and forclosed properties and the skillset you are looking for. ( Honestly, I wish it were me, but I'm not there yet.)
Feel free to email me with your specific requirements and contact information. I will gladly arrange an introduction. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of luck to you.