Sold home for sale?

Sold home for sale? »Play Video
TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- KEPR is looking into a possible deceptive practice on home sales. Using a for sale sign that says a home is "available," when it's already been sold.

It could be done to lure you into buying a more expensive or even less desirable home. Policing the practice is another thing.

"That's bull," says broker George Dockstader.

What's got him upset is the same thing that has other home buyers in the Tri-Cities up in arms.

"I hate it when they do this because it screws everybody up."

Tracy Chavers' realtor was frustrated as well. A Pasco home Tracy wanted to buy was listed as available, but really it had been sold weeks ago.

"This is the listing my realtor pulled on this house the day that I found it, May 15th. She pulled this listing the next day and it actually says act, which means active," Tracey added.

An active listing is supposed to be reserved for only homes that can be bought. Not those under contract. We called the broker for the listing office -- Coldwell Banker. Broker Travis Davis told me it was true, the house had been sold, even if it didn't look like it.

Tracy took pictures when the house in the Madison Park development was already sold, they said the home was available.

We found a "sold" sign on the listing Wednesday.

Travis wouldn't talk on camera but tells me keeping a home listed as active when it's not -- is common practice for realtors. George disagrees.

"It's not common practice. That's not the way you're supposed to do business," he says.

George owns Desert Hills Realty, a competitor with Coldwell Banker.
He says the problem is with the code of ethics. It's considered misrepresentation.

KEPR spoke with the President of the Realtors Association in the Tri-Cities. He suggested Tracy file a grievance with the realtors association.
Misrepresentation could lead you to buy a home you didn't want when you were lured in by something else. And while the president wouldn't say it is common practice -- he admits there aren't enough people to enforce the rules.