Who Do I Report a Bad Realtor to?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC NC# 218097

Who Do I Report a Bad Realtor to? Isn’t that a scary question?

Do you keep tabs on Trulia questions for your area? Each questioner is identified by a zip code and they ask all kinds of real estate connected questions, sales and rental related. Real estate agents have an opportunity to respond to these questions and appear to be the expert and I guess the theory is that it is another form of Google Juice. I’ve answered a few when the topic was interesting and the question was well articulated but, the questioners are rarely from this immediate area…guess we’ve educated them well, lol.

Anyway, how confident are you? If you review the Agency Disclosure upfrontmicrosoft image the way ALL real estate agents are supposed to then if your state is like North Carolina the information on where to report agents is posted right inside the disclosure brochure. When we review the Agency Disclosure with prospective clients we not only point out the reporting information…we circle it and make a point of showing them this information is for their protection.

In the case of the question this morning, the person identified themselves as both a buyer and seller…we know what that probably means. They are in a Dual Agency relationship with an Agent who either doesn’t fully grasp the constraint of their own boundaries OR when and if they reviewed the Agency Disclosure they didn’t make it clear to their client what some of the limitations of the Agent are in Dual Agency. Now, the client either feels betrayed or unable to make some of their own decisions.

Working with real estate agents in ncAt MoonDancer Realty, we’re very confident that the Agency Disclosure is fully reviewed well before any substantive information is revealed by the prospect. We’ve always been confident that the prospect understood the Agency disclosure. But what if they just SAID they understood the information because all they wanted to do was get in the car and look at houses? Could this question on Trulia become the beginning of our own nightmare?

We don’t think so, but no one can keep someone from fabricating reasons to reportmicrosoft image an agent. All we can do is make sure that Agency Disclosure is reviewed in depth immediately…and if the prospective clients’ eyes roll and glaze, we stop and try a different approach until they are as engaged in the discussion as we are. Then to protect ourselves we keep excellent records of all transactions and communications, which only serves as a back up for well-behaved REALTORS.

How about you? If you read a question by someone identifying them as a Buyer AND Seller in your zip code asking “Who Do I Report a Bad Realtor to?”, would you worry? We wouldn’t but certainly feel sorry for our industry that any consumer ever feels this level of frustration or rage to even ask the question.



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Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Mona, We provide consumers with a consumer relation disclosure form at the initial meeting . This explains agency relationships.

Jan 28, 2012 01:02 AM #1
Jon Eliason
EXIT Realty Advantage Pagosa, Pagosa Springs, Colorado - Pagosa Springs, CO

Mona ~ The first impression I had was that this individual was an Investor. Apparently fed up with their Agent, IMO, they were compelled to reach out, if not for any other reason but to get it off their chest. Whenever I am approached by either Buyer or Sellers and have that question presented to me, I first ask if they can elaborate. Most do. I offer phone numbers to our local and State Boards. I have a feeling that many of them don't take it any further than that. Unfortunately.

Jan 28, 2012 01:11 AM #2
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Gita, this is the best practice...to lay all the cards on the table upfront.

Jon, this was my impression also...not necessarily an investor but maybe a seller who had a deal fall apart and the agent was a dual agent.  I don't know.  I hope those who have a legitimate complaint do follow through but I agree with you, not many do.  My guess is that a lot of what the Real Estate Commission deals with are frivolous cases.

Jan 28, 2012 01:16 AM #3
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

A "bad" Realtor?  I would guess that reality and expectation are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Jan 28, 2012 01:27 AM #4
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

True enough Kathy...but I have heard they exist.

Jan 28, 2012 01:34 AM #5
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Good Morning Mona,  We cover the agency agreement upfront and I always point out the benefit of what a Realtor is and we live by the code of ethics.  I also tell people I will not knock another agent.

Jan 28, 2012 02:22 AM #6
Connie Goodrich
Keller Williams Realty - McKinney, TX
CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas

Do you report a bad agent?  Our Texas ethics state that the failure to report puts you in a violation.  Pretty clear on duties to the industry.  Our Information About Brokerage Services is required as well.  Acknowledgment of information must be made so an understanding of the agency types is explained to the buyer/seller.  The problem is .. some agents don't get it!  I'm afraid those are the ones I get to meet at the ethics hearing. 

Jan 28, 2012 03:41 AM #7
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Hi Mona: explaining the Understanding Whom Real Estate Agents Represent is a must at the first face-to-face meeting. If I communicate vial email with a relocation client for awhile then I make it a point to send forms upfront for their review and discuss again when they get here.

I've had a few clients (or customers) whose initial knee-jerk reaction was "I'm not signing anything" and then it takes patience to explain that this is a disclosure and what does that mean.

When I read about a complaint or not-so-stellar review my initial thought is always whether or not this is legitimate b/c that agent happended to be one of the very few bad seeds or if it's a case of too-high-expectations, no meeting of the minds and an easy way out of blaming the agent for things gone wrong that could likely have not been the agents fault. It's hard to judge the situation as an outsider, while some complaints are warranted and should be reported others are personal attacks from a disgruntled client. I certainly hope and make sure to the best of my abilities that I wont find myself in any of those scenarios.

Jan 28, 2012 03:52 AM #8
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Hi Will, that's exactly how it should be done. 

Connie, Some agents don't get it.  I still hear about people not getting the brochure until they are ready to go under contract!

Andrea, Realtors' middle names should be "Patience".  For many consumers this is such a new concept and it does take finding the right communication technique to present it to them.

Jan 28, 2012 04:13 AM #9
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

They do exists, but 'BAD'  can mean a lot of things.  We are required to give a disclosure form also.   If someone really needs to report someone, I will give them the contact number.

Jan 28, 2012 05:23 AM #10
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

I wouldn't be afraid.  There are times, though unfortunate, when a client or customer may not have been treated properly or ethically and I do think these things should be turned in to hold our industry to a higher standard.  I am on the Grievance Committee for my local board here, and we do see things that should occur, so while we want to protect our industry, I think that allowing the public to be heard on things like this is protecting our industry, making sure we are all held to the higher standard. -kasey

Jan 28, 2012 08:41 AM #11
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Nope, it wasn't me.  I didn't do it.  Oddly enough.... I don't think folks here know Trulia exists.  I've seen about 2 questions from my surrounding zip codes in three years. :)  But I try to stay on the up and up and disclose disclose disclose and explain ect... And I try to ask them questions that let me know they understand.

Jan 28, 2012 09:01 AM #12
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Hello William, bad can mean a lot of things.  Could be unethical behavior or could be someone not returning phone calls. 

Hi Kasey, it seems that protecting the public DOES protect the industry and you are right that it holds us to a higher standard.

Hey Tammy, the best thing to do is make sure they understand the disclosure information...no matter what it takes.

Jan 28, 2012 01:26 PM #13
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h

I agree with the comment mentioning expectations. Yes, a thorough conversation regarding disclosure and agency relationship is important. But, there are times when expectations seem to blind people to reality. As a property manager I don't deal in dual agency but I do get clients that expect unreasonable treatment of residents because "I'm THEIR agent" 

Feb 19, 2012 09:07 AM #14
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GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.
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