Posted by Tim on April 26, 1999 at 08:33:45:
As I understand it, some real estate agents are required to use certain contracts either by office policy or local RE Board. You can still make the changes you need right on the contract or via addendum. Some sellers might balk at this when they see how many changes you might have to make to suit your needs. Using your own pre-printed form is always advised as they will be viewed by sellers as more of a “standard” contract.
As for agents, they usually have access to all properties listed in the MLS system. It also seems as though, in my area at least, a few brokers specialize in working with banks to help liquidate their REO properties and as a result get the listing for most properties that go REO around here. (You would still have access to them via any other agent, but it is always best to work with the listing agent, if you can.) In my short experience, they tend to get tired of your using them just for info. They, like us, want to get paid ASAP.
If you build a good relationship with an MLS agent, you might be able to garner yourself open access to their MLS system which can help you get “inside” info on new listings in your area as soon as they are available and you can tailor your search to your targeted property type.