Marty, that a excellent response. You've captured the relationship and association between the exploring home buyer and real estate agent in a beautifully comprehensive manner.
But back to Zac's questions, "Why is the listing agent contact data missing?"
Consider the agent is unaware their listing has been posted on aggregate websites like the following:
Trulia,Yahoo, Aol, Zillow, Frontdoor, Homescape, Cyberhomes, hotpads, Cribs, Vast, CLR, Oodle, Propbot, Local, backpage, Lycos, Military.com, Landwatch, Resortscape, lakehomes, Enormo, Myrealty, walmart, homes&land, homesearch, Kdat, turnto23, whiotv.com. Click2Huston, MSN, Compuserve, DigitalCity, iwon, Juno, netscape, the wallstreetJournal, Chicago Sun-Times, TampabayOnline (tbo), Moving.com, WorldPropereties, Prudential, GMAC (This is but a molecule of the total list which is nearly endless, but I think the point has been made.)
Each and everyone of these sites will have stripped the listing agent contact data. It isn't that an agent doesn't get it. IT IS that these sites take agent generated data, display this data without an agents knowledge or permission.
How much time do you think an agent would have available to show homes to excited buyers if they were preoccupied correcting the data these sites have trolled off the internet and display to the public as their data.
The good news should be that the agents broker name and contact data is presented. This may or may not be true. With so many of these sites, I certainly can not state with certainty what they display. Yes, it complicates the process, and in most cases (not ReMax Realtec Group) calling the broker becomes a incredibly expensive situation for the listing agent if the broker applies a referral fee to a call generated by a frustrated buyer.
It isn't that agents don't get it!
One might be well advised to ask, "Where does the extortion stop?" Real Estate agents are in everyone's food chain from Realtor.com to URIdiotscom Thinking strategically, an agent needs to realize who are the big players, the websites every home buyer will turn to, what sites benefit the homeseller and the agent most and invest there. That may not be Trulia.
Zac, as a new agent, you have had the good fortune to experience what many home shoppers are confronted with. Know how to articulate this delima then provide for them a solution. Then the world begins to make more sense and you will have added value to the home buying process for some buyers who will be grateful for your intervention.