When an agent has an exclusive right to sell listing, they are in control of the sale, and know when the property was sold. In listings such as this where a bank is selling the property without the involvement of the listing agent, he has a short term excuse in that he and his team, themselves, are left in the dark about the status of the listing after the auction date.
The listing agent should proactively inquire from his seller whether the property is sold or not, for a variety of reasons. #1 to correct MLS stattus, in deference to consumers and buyers agents. #2 to not waste his own employee's time in marketing a property that has already been sold by the seller through a different company.
Another problem that consumers have is that some secondary web sites do not update their information. Agents are responsible to correct information on sites that they directly upload information to. (Such as Metrolist) Agents are often unaware of secondary sites that harvest listing data haphazardly.
In the current environment, many consumers are relying on real estate web sites that are loaded with bootleg listing data, expired, sold, withdrawn and phantom listings. I have railed against Realty Trac as one of the worst examples of a web site that offers bogus or phantom property data.
Oddly, this plethora of bogus listing sites means that we Realtors are once again placed in the position of being the ones in the know.- The guardians of listing data.
It used to be that way because listing information was closely held. Now listing information is everywhere, but much of it is incorrect. Consumers have to come back to buyers agents to sort out what is real and what isn't.
To me, it sounded odd, but I didn't know if this was common practice or if the listing Agent is allowed to do this.
When a home had a date to go to auction, there are many circumstances where the sale is delayed, or canceled. In addtion, when it is sold at auction, there is a delay in the recording of that information. So the listing agent is not incorrect in assuming that until they have notification, then their listing contract is still valid.
I have been known to attend the scheduled auction and see for myself what happens; if it is sold (typically meaning 'sold' back to its lender in this market, rather than an outside party), or the sale is postponed. I do that for the piece of mind of my seller.
In addition, I have written an article on how Obama's stimulus package wil affect Real Estate. One of the ways is that banks will delay foreclosures now in the hopes of working out a refinancing, or loan modification. It is bad PR for the lenders to foreclose on more homes, no matter how justified it may be. And the banks are preferring the short sale option rather than foreclosure even as the scheduled sale date looms closer. So for those reasons, I think the listing agent is justified, without proper notice of cancellation of the listing, to have it remain on the market.
This topic should provide some interesting discussion.