Is it worth it to file a Grievance Complaint??

Education & Training with Real Estate Expert Witness Support

if you read my blog,  you know I deal with a lot of crazy deals which wind up in litigation,  with the agent getting sued.  So,  some have accused me of being skewed.  I guess to some extent,  that is true.  But,  another input I get is that for the last 15 years or so,  I have been active in my boards (or association) Professional Standards process.  I was active on the Grievance Committee for years and for the last few,  volunteering on the Professional Standards hearing panels,  many times as the presiding officer. I was also an Ombudsman for our association, as well.

So,  why do I raise the question above?  The reason is that it doesn't matter what I think,  it is what the other agents in my association think. Many think it is a waste of time,  that they are too busy to worry about it,  they just want to close and get paid or they think it is a slap on the wrist.  I can assure you that all of these are incorrect.

NAR recently changed the rules to allow fines up to $5,000 plus putting them on probation and requiring them to attend training classes.  That is far from a slap on the wrist. And,  it is quite embarrassing to be brought before you peers in this type situation. This is especially true if the person complaining  thought to include the broker of record in the complaint. As an ex-broker/manager, I was less than thrilled when I had to go defend one of my agents mistakes.

We just had a case in our board where the behavior was so outrageous that the committee tined this two person team,  $5000 each and since it was also an MLS complaint,  another $2500 for the MLS breach.

So,  the next time you hear an agent complain about another agent's behavior,  see if you can persuade them to file a grievance.


Posted by


Guy Berry

Email -

Visit my Website  

Connect on Facebook



Comments (1)

Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate - Los Gatos, CA
CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES, Silicon Valley

About 6 or 8 years ago, I wanted to do exactly that. I shared the listing with another agent and the buyer's agent allowed the purchasers to begin moving stuff in prior to close of escrow (it was a vacant condo).  He was a member of the then "San Jose Board of Realtors" and so was I.  I got the packet of stuff for the grievance and realized it would take well more than an hour to complete the paperwork, if not two hours.

Who's got that kind of time?

Maybe the process is better now, but I was positively disgusted at what I saw. (Now only a member of SILVAR, the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, and I'm not sure if it would be better or not.)

Aug 22, 2009 02:22 PM