I would contact your County Board of Realtors and explain the whole situation to them. That way you can further explain the exact circumstances.
Keller Williams Atlantic Shore
In addition to the comments on short sales, please also be advised that internet technology and real estate is relatively new and evolving rapidly (changes, changes, changes). The problem I find as an agent is that price changes aren't always reaching the Trulias, Zillows, etc. in a timely fashion and, yes, this is a problem.
To avoid this problem in the future, it would recommend that once you spot a property on what I refer to as "alternative" websites, you then check it on Realtor .com (which is 99% accurate and gets their feeds directly from the "official" multiple listing systems) for confirm the accuracy.
Hope this helps!
Francesca Patrizio, Realtor Associate
Realmart Realty - An AFFORDABLE Way to Sell Your Home
$395 FLAT FEE MLS
Ranked #15 out of 436 Real Estate Brokers in Monmouth/Ocean County MLS in 2008
No one knows in the outset of a short sale what will work for the bank. The list price may of come from the seller or from comps in the area. If you make a 200k offer and the bank runs the numbers and says
275, 000. The agent should change the listing. But, for the most part, I have not seen this happen.
I would believe that you learned a lot if you were posting that you were happy about how you got a deal done.
most foreclosures or short sales are located either at not so popular township. Hey! Piscataway just ranked #23 of Top 100 Best Places to Live in America http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2008/snapshot by CNN Money Magazine. Or those properties may be at very bad shape since no one take care of it.
But this house is at good condition and it is estate sale. You got to ask your realtor to show you. Many ranch house like this also bought by builder to make it a 5br 3hba 2ga new house in the neighborhood.
As a listing agent who has many short sales....the problem is that we don't know WHAT the bank will take. Sometimes they surprise us (in a good way). I will agree with you, though, that if a listing agent has already submitted a contract to the bank, and it has been turned down with a "minimum" acceptable price to the bank, then the listing agent absolutely should change the asking price. The problem with some agents out there is that they have only been selling for past few years...in a seller's market....basically "order takers" and have no clue what the difference is between a short sale and a REO property. Their brokers should be focusing office meetings on educating their agents about these types of sales. It is very frustrating trying to deal with an agent (even on my end) when they do not have a clue as to what they are doing.
As for the ethical implications, I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
When listing a short sale property, the Realtor will list the home at a price which will get the home sold. Unfortunately, the current mortgage or mortgages on the home may exceed current market value by tens of thousands of dollars. I have one now that owes almost $200,000 more than the home is currently worth. The banks tend to be on the greedy side and decide that the agent doesn't know what the home is worth, and tries to recoup more of the mortgage monies. They got themselves into this mess...and are perpetuating it by not working with the agents and the sellers to get the homes sold.
Not a "bait and switch" as you wish to call it.
Broker / Manager
Orange Key Realty