How to File a Complaint Against a Realtor

When you need to file a complaint against a realtor, you will have a variety of options and channels through which to file the complaint. Before filing your complaint with any organization, you must compile information and any relevant documentation that supports your complaint. You will also need to prepare a factual description of the incident to include with your relevant documentation. A complaint can be filed with one or more different organizations, depending on the severity of your complaint. For example, if you felt your realtor demonstrated unprofessional behavior, you may want to file a complaint with their office manager; however, if your realtor misrepresented a property and caused you to lose a large amount of money, you may want to escalate your complaint to the real estate licensing board governed by your state or local area. You can also file a complaint with a consumer protection agency, such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or even with the association of realtors your realtor belongs to.

Steps

Gather Complaint Information

1. Obtain the names and contact information for all parties involved. The organization you file the complaint with may need to contact one or more parties to confirm the nature of events that took place during the incident.

  • Obtain your realtor’s contact information; including their business address, phone number, and email address. In some cases, you may be asked to provide the realtor’s real estate license number.
  • Gather the names and contact information of any witnesses present during the incident.
2. Document the addresses at which the incident occurred. For example, if the incident took place at a specific property the realtor had taken you to, document the address of the property.

3. Make copies of any paperwork that supports your complaint. In some cases, you will be asked to provide relevant documents pertaining to your complaint; such as copies of lease agreements, sales contracts, property listings, advertisements, receipts, and more.

  • Review your copies for legibility before you file them with your complaint; especially if the document contains important legal information, such as a contract.
4. Write a factual description of the incident. The description must include the reason for your complaint, the names of parties involved or present at the time of the incident, the locations at which the incident occurred, and times and dates during which the incident occurred.

  • Write the events that transpired in chronological order so the party reviewing your complaint can gain a better understanding of the incident in its entirety.

File a Complaint

1. File a complaint with your realtor’s manager or broker. Your realtor’s manager may be able to work with the realtor on behavior and ethics, in addition to working with you toward a satisfactory resolution.

  • Arrange a meeting in person with the manager or broker if they are local, and bring the information you prepared that supports your complaint.
2. File a complaint with a consumer protection agency. In most cases, a consumer protection agency, such as the BBB, can act as a mediator to resolve any issues between you and the realtor.

  • Click on the BBB link listed in the Sources section of this article, then click on the name of your country to enter the website.
  • Click on “For Consumers” at the top of the website, then select “File a Complaint” from the drop-down menu on the right after the website refreshes.
  • If you do not have access to the Internet, call the BBB headquarters at 1-703- 276-0100 to file a complaint over the telephone.
3. File a complaint with a realtor’s association. This method will only be effective if the realtor is a member of a particular association that enforces real estate business ethics.

  • If you are unsure whether your realtor belongs to an association, review paperwork or business cards from your realtor to locate a seal or logo that represents the realtor’s state or national association they may belong to, such as the National Association of Realtors.
  • You may also want to call the realtor’s broker, office manager, or firm to determine if the realtor belongs to a specific realtor’s association you can file a complaint with.
4. File a complaint with the governing licensing board in your area. Real estate licenses are usually regulated by an organization on the state level.

  • Perform an Internet search to locate your area’s real estate licensing board. For example, if you live in the state of California, use keywords such as “California real estate licensing” to locate the website for the Department of Real Estate in California.
  • Obtain a complaint form from the licensing board’s website. Most websites will provide instructions on how and where to file the complaint.
  • If you do not have Internet access, call any realtor in your local area for help determining the name of the real estate licensing board in your area.
  • The policies and procedures will vary between each area or state’s licensing board. You will usually be required to complete a complaint form and provide relevant documentation that supports your complaint. In some cases, you may be required to attend a mediation to resolve the complaint you have filed against your realtor.

 

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 9:00 pm and is filed under Real Estate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.