I apologize that you had to experience such a horrific encounter with a real estate professional. Ironically, there are more agents than you realize that do work hard for our clients (whether buyer/seller) without ever seeing a penny - and we do it willingly to continue our sought after reputation. Technology has brought easier access for the public to research homes, but remember, as your agent, we are sharing homes with you, the client, that meet the search criteria you have established as desirable. In many cases, what we, as consumers, need versus want vary and after seeing home after home, you may realize that you purchase a property with characteristics you originally hated. Now that may be an extreme, but the truth is we all change our minds and as agents we do our best to represent you and actively search for "good investments" for you.
As for the foreclosure property, I know from experience how misleading information/disclosures can be. In many cases the listing broker has an agent and an asset manager overseeing an individual bank's properties. In many cases, the listing agent fields all inquiries about the property, but the asset manager deals directly with the banks. Since there's a chain of communication, its always possible that information is not disclosed immediately. Many offers can be submitted to the listing agent, forwarded to the asset manager and then to the bank - at this point the bank can make a decision on the offer or hold on to it for a week or so to see what else comes in. Since there's no set time typically defined to answer an offer, there are times the bank decides to accept an offer when they feel like it and then that's passed on to the asset manager and agent. Meanwhile any buyer's agent may have contacted the listing agent and are told no accepted offers. As you can see, it's not necessarily the most efficient setup but its how the banks want it handled.
If you are set on looking at foreclosures you should be advised of this process and realize that if the right questions are asked to the right people, you can have a smooth transaction. Many foreclosures will have preliminary inspections to get an estimate of repairs so the bank can factor that in when deciding on a list price for the property. Depending on the bank, usually a full blown inspection isn't done so its merely just general estimated costs for repairs. As a buyer, its important to place the home inspection clause into the contract so you can hire someone and get a better idea of what you're getting into. I could go on, but if you'd like to get more education first before continuing your home search, I'd be happy to answer questions directly!
ERA Statewide Realty