If you feel you have been treated unfairly or unethically by a real estate agent, one of the first places you can appeal to is their broker. If you have a complaint against a real estate broker, you have several recourses. One is to file a complaint against the broker.
Write down and document the offending incident. Before you contact anyone, write up a summary and outline of the incident while it is still fresh in your mind. Note names, times and places.
Contact the local Realtor association. If the broker is a member of his or her local Realtor association, you can file a complaint with the association. This is typically an ethics complaint, which will be reviewed by the Realtor association. The local Realtor association will give you instructions on its procedures on filing a complaint against a broker. If you are unable to find the local Realtor association, contact the National Association of Realtors (link in Resources).
Contact the state real estate department in the state where the incident occurred. Each state has its own real estate department, and each may have its own procedure for filing a complaint against a real estate broker. The purpose of a real estate department is in essence to “protect” the general public against real estate licensees. This is the correct government agency to contact. Most have websites, and many offer online complaint forms. If you are unable to locate the state’s real estate board, contact the National Association of Realtors for assistance.
Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.