Are there any laws that prevent a real estate agent from falsely advertising the price on a MLS listing?

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Are there any laws that prevent a real estate agent from falsely advertising the price on a MLS listing?

The MLS listing was for a planned community. A specific lot and street address were provided in the MLS listing, along with a picture of the actual house. It was listed at $190,000. After looking at the house and being provided a copy of the MLS listing again, we were told that this house is actually $204,500 and they would not honor the listed price. If we wanted the house we had to pay the higher amount which we did. Are there any laws that govern this particular practice of “bait-and-switch”?

Asked on June 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, a multiple listing service placement is simply an advertisement and not an offer to the general public that the price stated would be accepted. The reason is that there are many other conditions with respect to  contract formation other than price. Examples are terms and conditions of the sale, time to close escrow and the like.

If you believe that there was false advertising concerning the listing of the property you are writing about, you can make a complaint with your state's department of real estate against the particular real estate agent.


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