Filing a complaint against a real estate agent

If you have a legitimate grievance against a If you have a legitimate grievance against a licensed realtor, you can file a complaint with the National Association of Realtors. Photo Credit: IStock

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Q: How do you make people aware of an unprofessional real estate agent? I want people to be aware of this one agent who cost us a potential sale because of her unprofessional behavior.

A: If you’ve had an unpleasant experience with either a listing agent or a buyer’s agent, you should first contact the managing broker or owner of the firm and schedule an appointment to discuss the situation. You should calmly discuss the problem and ask the broker to resolve it for you, either by bringing in the agent so everyone can air their grievance or by speaking directly to the agent on your behalf.

If that doesn’t solve the problem and you have a legitimate grievance, you can file complaints with the National Association of Realtors (if the agent is a member) and local and state association of realtors. The governmental department in your state that regulates real estate agents and real estate brokers may allow you to file a complaint against the agent with that office. You can go online to the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint there as well.

While it may help you feel better to file a complaint, it’s unlikely that your agent will lose his or her license because of it. I suppose if the behavior was egregious, your state may take some disciplinary action.

But before you go down the war path with the agent, it’s worthwhile first trying to talk to the person that supervises that agent in the local office or regional office for that agency and then move up the chain of command to the owner if you do not feel your concern has been addressed property.

Lastly, while you say the agent was unprofessional in selling your home, there are times when a seller’s perception of a problem may not rise to a level that can actually be considered a real problem by most real estate professionals. You might want to discuss your situation with an unbiased person in the real estate industry to determine whether a problem is grave enough to merit more of your time on this issue.

Ilyce Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, television reporter, radio talk show host and bestselling book author. Her syndicated column, Real Estate Matters, appears in more than 100 newspapers and Web sites.

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