How To File A Complaint Against A Texas Realtor Or Real Estate Agent

If you feel you’ve been wronged by your real estate agent, and want to file a complaint against your agent, there are two ways to do it.  In Texas, you can file with either the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), or the Texas Association of Realtors, or both.

Filing a Complaint with the Texas Real Estate Commission

The Texas Real Estate Commission accepts written and signed complaints against real estate agents, brokers, inspectors, and unlicensed persons engaging in real estate activities that require licensing by the state.  Use this form to file a complaint with TREC. You have to mail it in because they do not accept complaints by e-mail, but other than postage, filing a complaint is free.

TREC requests that,  “All complaints should submitted with related documents, such as the contract, settlement statement, inspection report, or other correspondence along with the completed form.”

When the Texas Real Estate Commission receives a complaint, it examines the complaint to see if it violates a the Real Estate License Act.  If it does find that the person or company mentioned in the complaint did violate the Real Estate License Act, “disciplinary action could result in a reprimand, suspension, or revocation of a license, as well as an administrative penalty of up to $1,000 per violation.”

You should know that the Texas Real Estate Commission does not have the “authority to require a licensee to pay another person.” Those matters should be handled by a civil action  and should be discussed with an attorney.  For more information about how to file a complaint, please review the TREC website.  To file a complaint regarding a non-Texas real estate agent, please check with your state’s real estate commission.

Filing A Complaint with the State Board of the National Association of Realtors

If you want to file a complaint against a Texas Realtor for either an unlawful practice or a violation of the Realtor Code of Ethics, you can use this form.  Remember, the Texas Association of Realtors is an organization, and not a state or national governmental licensing agency so their powers are limited.  Please check with your state’s Association of Realtors board if you want to file a complaint in states other than Texas.

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53 thoughts on “How To File A Complaint Against A Texas Realtor Or Real Estate Agent

  1. We had a contract with [**NAME WITHHELD**] in Keller TX. I signed a 2 year contract with them in March, and this weekend after we questioned the Realtor leasing our home in TX said he quits, because what they say they have deposited to us each month is not what is being deposited. I am in FL and can not get the tenants to contact me due to this, I don’t know what is going on. [**NAME WITHHELD**] ids falsely putting numbers on the balance sheet but not depositing that amount. Please Help!!!!

    • Melony:
      I’m sorry you’re having this problem. Can you please explain the roles each party plays? What part does the rental property play and what part does the Realtor play? Is the Realtor responsible for finding renters for your home? What part does the company play?

      There are only two things that could be happening here. It sounds like you don’t have a clear understanding of what’s going on. That needs to stop right now. You need to audit the company collecting the money and see if everything is above board.

      If they are doing what the Realtor accuses them of, then they’re committing a crime. Time to get the law involved. Seek the advice of a lawyer. If they’re doing something dishonest you might want ask your lawyer about filing criminal charges, and of course terminate their services.

      It sounds like you need to do more research before hiring your next property management company and you need to be more involved in your rental. When using a property management company, you should always demand monthly reports and have them pay you the profits. Be sure to set aside funds from those profits for repairs and improvements.

      Personally, I wouldn’t talk to the tenant about this until I completely investigated the management company first. Besides, if the management company is cooking the books, you don’t know if the tenant is a good paying tenant or not. First thing’s first.

  2. My real estate agent helps me manage my two rental properties. However, she doesn’t deposit the rental checks on time and I have to remind her several time to deposit the checks to my bank account. Also, whenever I ask her something, she gives me very late replies and shows carefree attitude. She sent me a copy of lease agreement after asking her several times and hasn’t given me keys to my new property as well. Is there a way I can file a complaint against her?

    • Sure, you can file a complaint, but if you’re not happy with her performance, even after communicating with her about the problems you have with her performance, then I think it’s just time to fire her and find another agent.

      Save the option of filing a complaint to use as leverage if she doesn’t terminate your relationship cleanly and return all monies owed and the keys. Once you terminate her, I’d change all the locks.

      Your description of the problem sounds like incompetence on her part and not so much wrongdoing or fraud. Best to fire her and not have to deal with her again.

  3. I had contacted **NAME WITHHELD** to look at a house in Farmers Branch. Mrs. **NAME WITHHELD** then showed me the house and I told her I would like to put in an offer. Mrs **NAME WITHHELD** then told me that the best offer would be to come in at 10K over asking price and we would pay all closing cost and title fees. I then told Mrs **NAME WITHHELD** that I would like to put in a different offer that included a “special Provision” to read that I would pay 2,000 over all other offers up to a 295,000 Mrs **NAME WITHHELD** told me this was illegal and refused to write the offer. I then contacted a friend of mine that is a real estate agent that no longer lives in the state and asked her if this was illegal and she informed me it was not that she had done this many times in the past she even explained to me exactly how to write the offer. I then contacted Mrs. **NAME WITHHELD** again and tried to explain in detail how I wanted the offer to be written. Mrs. **NAME WITHHELD** again told me this was not legal and refused to write the offer this way. I then told Mrs. **NAME WITHHELD** that I did not understand why she would not write the offer and that since I had not signed any form of agreement with her that I would like to pursue this deal with another agent. Mrs. **NAME WITHHELD** replied with “I guess there is nothing I can do”. I then proceeded with a different agent and submitted the offer the way that I wanted to. After a few days the listing agent informed us that Mrs. **NAME WITHHELD** had contacted her several times asking if I had submitted any kind of offer. The listing agent then became concerned because Mrs. Henderson had contacted her so many times asking if I had submitted any offers and notified the buyer of the situation. The buyer was concerned about becoming caught up in the middle of a possible legal battle and decided to pass on my offer even though it was the highest and best offer and decided to go with the second best offer.
    I feel that Mrs. **NAME WITHHELD** purposely sabotaged my deal by calling the listing agent after I notified her that I wanted to pursue the deal with another agent. Is there any way to file a complaint against Mrs. **NAME WITHHELD** for purposely contacting the listing agent after I notified her that I wanted to pursue the deal with another agent. I would like to again state that I never signed any form of agreement with Mrs. **NAME WITHHELD**.

    • Sorry we had to redact the names. We don’t allow agent names to be included in comments, good or bad. However, I appreciate your comment and want to share some advice that might help.

      Any other time, this probably wouldn’t have been an issue. The selling agent would have worked it out with both agents before accepting such a nice offer. However, at this time, it definitely tanked the deal. It’s a hot market in DFW right now. The seller probably had 10 or more offers, all of which were over list. There were probably many good ones to choose from so any cloud put on your offer, no matter how small, might be enough to kill it.

      Regarding your wanting to file a complaint.. I’m not so sure. My bet is she was contacting the listing agent, not to tank your deal, but to get part of the commission. Normally these provisions and exceptions are listed in detail in the buyers agreement. They basically describe the list of houses she already showed you that she would be entitled to receive a commission from if you were to buy. Since she didn’t have an agreement, I don’t know what entitlement she would have, but I’m sure that’s what she was after. The seller’s agent saw this situation as a potential problem that could kill or delay the deal and since there were so many others to choose from that didn’t have a potential deal-killing problem they passed on your offer.

      From a listing agent point of view, I would have passed on it too in today’s hot market. Why risk stigmatizing the listing by having a sale fall through if I don’t have to?

      Can you file a complaint? Sure, but I doubt she really did anything wrong. If this wasn’t such a hot market, the listing agent would have been more willing to take the risk. However, without a signed buyer’s rep agreement, I don’t know what your former agent thinks she would be entitled to receive.

  4. I was just trying to find out if you would have any listing to try and get in touch with the MLS realtor board in Myrtle Beach South Carolina? To file a complaint? Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you for your time and co-operation.

  5. I need to know if i would get anywhere filing a complaint with our current realtor. We started with this realtor in February of this year (Let’s call her realtor A). Realtor A had a 6 month contract at the beginning of our term with her. However, do to her mismanagement of her firm and how she conducted herself with us (not returning phone calls/answering the phone, being the reason buyer agents canceled showings and limited marketing) we asked that she terminate the seller agreement that was in place with us on June 19th, 2015. I have in email from Realtor A that she released us from our agreement free of expenses even though now its been almost a month since then and she has not terminated our listing on the MLS. I want to go with a new realtor that i believe would be a better fit for us, but she cannot do anything for our listing until Realtor A terminates. What power do I have as the homeowner to make her terminate the listing? Does the email I have from her even count? Whatever advice you can provide would be appreicated as I feel we are deliberating being held hostage because she knows we have limited financial resources to fight her on this.

    • I’d talk with her broker and ask him/her to remove the listing. I’d also ask for a form that terminates the listing agreement to make everything official. The state’s real estate commission should have a standardized form for this purpose or their office should.

      If the broker doesn’t comply with your requests, send a copy of all correspondence to the local MLS system making them aware of the issue. They should then ask the agent to update her MLS listing. Has more weight when it comes from them.

      If all else fails, file a complaint against both the agent and the broker only after you asked the broker to help you. It shows the commission that you tried to do everything possible to correct this problem before going the complaint route.

      Good luck with your problem and keep us posted how it worked out. I’m hoping a simple call to the broker should fix it. You may also consider using another agent in that office, if they’re a better agent. By keeping it in house, the broker won’t lose your business, just the agent and he/she may be more quick to correct if the broker is able to keep the listing and reassign it to another agent of your choosing in that office.

  6. I am in the process of Renting a Property through a Real Estate Agent. After paying application processing fees with application and all the requirements. Real Estate Agent called me to tell me that your application is approved and if I want to hold the property and OFF the Market I must pay the security deposit.

    The method of payment Real estate agent asked me to pay both application fees and security deposit is Electronically Transfer the fund from BANK of America account to PROPERTY OWNER account. I have done so and send the screen shot of the both receipt to the Realtor. It has been 2 AGENT has not take the property OFF the market.

    I asked the agent to send me the LEASING contract but AGENT EXCUSE that AGENT is waiting for the OWNER to send the CONTRACT TO AGENT. SO REALTOR IS AVOIDING TO HAVE ME SIGN THE LEASING CONTRACT FOR THE LAST 2 DAYS.


    There is some work to be done on the property which agent told me would be completed by Friday August 7th.

    MONDAY August 3, Application was processed and approved and SECURITY DEPOSIT was MADE to the OWNER OF THE PROPERTY.

    I am smelling I have been made fool, Agent is still taking applications and searching for even better candidate who will not ask for any work done inside the property.

    What are my LEGAL options? I have already given notice to move and must empty my place now.

    • Based on what you’ve said, I’m making some assumptions that you’re working your agent, and your agent is working with the landlord’s agent to get this deal done. If that’s correct then that pipeline of communication may be the cause for your delay. It may be that the landlord is trying to get the work done in a timely manner and is falling behind. I’m not sure what you mean that they are still accepting applications for the same property. Are you basing that solely on the fact that it’s still on MLS, or are you basing it on the fact that they’re actually taking applications? If it’s just from being on MLS, I wouldn’t worry about it. The agent is going to leave it on MLS until the contract is finalized. That’s standard. A transaction isn’t done until it’s actually done.

      If you are not being represented by an agent, and only working with the landlord’s agent, then you need to look that agent up on their state’s real estate commission board to see if they have a valid and current license. If they do, then I don’t think you’ve been had, but if that person isn’t an agent but posing as an agent then I’d be worried. Fearful actually.

      Does the person who you wired the money to live in the same area as the house? In the US?

  7. I have been working with a property management company for two years. I have not been pleased by their lack of communication which often causes issues addressing property concerns in a timely manner. On multiple occasions I have received charges for items that I have been told were address but later went on to learn had not been address. This happened recently as I visited the property and saw several under addressed items that I was previously charged for. After I brought it up to their attention they began trying to find solutions and excuses at the same time. The accounting and billing for repairs is questionable as most bills/receipts are handwritten or handles by companies they specifically contract with. I have spoken to the director of property management and she is not helpful either as she often becomes defensive, short, and rude. I keep copies of all emails and monthly statements which is how I have been able to catch them in their lies and/or miscommunications. What suggestions do you have in order to better protect myself and my property? In previous posts you also mentioned an audit. How could I go about obtaining one?

    Thank you for your help!

    • Edgar:
      You could hire a bookkeeper or accountant to go over their books, but realistically, you’ll probably spend more in the audit and attorney fees than you’ll collect. However, I’d go back over all the repair requests, go to your rentals, and inspect all items they billed you to fix. If the repairs weren’t done, I’d fire them. Personally, lack of communication, non-timely repairs and the fact you don’t trust them, would be enough for me to fire them. Look over your contract with them and read up and follow the termination options. Talk to other landlords for recommendations and when hiring, talk to the landlords and tenants the management company handles and learn what you can from them. Tenants won’t hold anything back if they aren’t pleased. If the new company doesn’t want to provide those contacts then move on.

  8. I was staying in the house rented through Plat realty. At the time of handover, I was required to get house cleaned through professional cleaner and provide a receipt.
    In my case, to avoid any issues, and got house cleaned through their recommended/partner professional cleaner. The cleaner didn’t provide any receipt of the payment. I called and informed that I have not got the receipt from the cleaner and they should collect it from them directly. I was told that it would be okay. I also emailed on the same and did not get any response.
    After one month when I was supposed to get my deposit back, $350 were deducted for carpet and house cleaning. I was told that Plat Realty did not clean at all but charged me this money because receipt was not provided. Plat Realty also acknowledged that they did not apply to email and failed to communicate.
    I should get $350 back because:
    1. I got the house clean and they didn’t really clean the house.
    2. They failed to communicate to me that they were not able to get receipt from their partner cleaner. Seems that they did not even try to get the receipt but acknowledged me about that over the phone. I would have tried to get the receipt if they would have told me about it.

    • If you followed the move-out requirements, then you’re entitled to the deposit refund. If you didn’t follow the rules then you’re going to have to talk with them and see what you can work out.

  9. We bought a house owned by a realtor. Her and her husband (not a realtor) flipped house. We were told by our realtor that house was in contract before we got it and home inspection was done, not to worry. After 4 months in house, we have 7 tickets in to home warranty. Outlets not working, hot water heater installed wrong, could have resulted in fire. Plumbing issues. Crack in storm shelter that we were told could result in collapsing if something fell on if. Air conditioner leak that resulted in damage to laminate flooring. AC tech said reason was while painting house, vent was taken off resulting in unit sucking in plastic wrappers from new light fixtures being sucked in, causing unit to operate all summer at 50%, causing $370 electric bills. Garage door busted out of wall (not covered by home warranty) because unit was not installed into a stud, just put in drywall. Most issues were not listed on home inspection. We have licensed professionals in their fields telling is that there is no way this should have passed inspection and what was done by seller was not professionaly done and in most cases not correctly done. One thing that was allegedly fixed, a hanging light in garage, was fixed by sellers husband, fell about a week after we moved in, fortunately didn’t land on car. I am certain seller and home inspector had an agreement not to give an honest inspection. What can I do, bills are mounting up…. Please help!!!

    • You only have one option. Talk to an attorney. They will probably recommend suing the previous owner for failing to disclose, and anything else a good lawyer can come up with. They may recommend suing her as an agent, owner, developer, and they will probably want to go after her broker. As an agent/owner, she is fully knowledgeable of the condition of that house and the shortcuts that were taken in its restoration. Because she’s an owner, she is required to fully disclose the condition, and as an agent, she’s required to make sure that the conditions are fully disclosed to the best of her knowledge. Because she did this misrepresentation as an agent, her broker is now liable. You may be able to get the title company involved too. Discuss everything with a lawyer. You can also file a complaint against her with the state’s real estate commission, but that’s minor compared to the lawsuit. If it were me, I’d settle for nothing less than their buying back the house and reimbursing me for all moving expenses, repairs, etc. since you moved out of your previous residence. No matter what happens, I would not want to own this property after discovering what you’ve mentioned so far. There’s probably a lot of faulty things you haven’t discovered yet. It may still be a fire hazard. You don’t want their actions to be your liability when you try to sell it. Best of luck and for heaven’s sake, find a good lawyer.

  10. Hi
    I have contracted with a real estate management company for several years, now I decided to change to different management company for multiple reasons. Initially we created a contract between owner and the management company for one year, then monthly after that. I informed them 30 days prior to the end term of the contract. They came back saying that I have to pay them fees for all remaining leases with tenants including months post termination.
    Per contract they charge me for new tenant fee of 50% first month lease and monthly fee for managing each tenants each month. I terminated the contract with them at the end term, why do I still have to pay them the managing fees for each tenant for remaining months that they no longer manage?

    The second issue I have with this company:
    After terminating the contract with them, I asked them to return the keys of our houses since they no longer my properties manager. They refused my request with reason that they already programmed our houses’ keys to their master key. I also gave them the alternative option to pay for rekey fees to these houses, they also refused this option and challenge me for any legal action.

    I am not sure if this is legitimate reasons to file a complain for. Is it even legal if a management company refuses to return the keys to the owner after the contract is terminated?
    I am really appreciated if you give me some advice

    • You’re property is being held hostage, of course it’s a valid reason to submit a complaint. The rest of what you’re talking about concerning the fees they’re asking for all depends on the contract you have with them. You should also read tenant leases to see what verbage they have regarding the management company too. Looks like this is going to be sticky. You might want to consider not only filing a complaint, but also hiring a lawyer to help you separate from the company.

      • The main contract mentioned about the Fees Upon Termination. I assume that if I ended the contract immaturely then I have to pay for the fee. This should not be applied if I terminated after the term is expired. Although the language is not clear in the contract.

        Part of the contract:

        D. Fees Upon Termination: At the time this agreement ends, Owner must pay Broker amounts specified
        in Paragraph 12.

        12. FEES UPON TERMINATION: At the time this agreement ends, Owner must pay Broker:
        A. all amounts due Broker under this agreement; and
        B. if the Property is leased to a tenant on the date this agreement ends and Owner terminates this
        agreement, an amount equal to the lesser of:
        (a) the management fees that would accrue over the remainder of the term of the lease; or
        (b) $ .
        If more than one property or unit is made part of and subject to this agreement, this paragraph applies
        only to those properties or units then leased and applies to each property or unit separately.

        • You have now crossed beyond the realm of getting advice from the Internet. You need to hire a lawyer that specializes on real estate contract law and address all future questions to that lawyer. You are either about to be sued, or sue your management company, or part with lots of money.

  11. Leasing a Home from Broker *** NAME WITHHELD *** after 4.5 years she just comes over and tells us she is going to freshen the place up because we have been there for 4.5 yrs..puts up crown molding to hide the foundation problem and next thing you know the house was put on the mls and she had a open house without us even knowing! then it went under contract we found that out when the inspector and new buyer showed up again no notice..then we received a 30 day notice to vacate .she then starts just showing up unannounced to do the repairs that the inspector found when we told her ..we where going to talk to a lawyer she gave us a lease violation for the dog we have had for 3 yrs.we have also paid 100.00 per month for landscapers that we have yet to see after 4.5 yrs.

    • Gerald:
      What’s right or wrong in this situation depends on how these actions are described in the lease agreement and any additional agreement you had with the landlord. While you don’t have the right to refuse entry for repairs, the landlord has to follow the rules of the lease regarding access and proper notice. If your lease is a month-to-month, it can probably be terminated with 30 day notice or whatever your lease describes as proper termination or non-renewal notice. If your lease is greater than month-to-month, then they have to abide by the lease expiration date and when the house sells, the new owner has to abide by those terms too. Your lease is sold with the house. If you notified the landlord that you owned a pet, and paid a pet deposit and any additional pet fees per month specified in the lease agreement then it’s not a violation. If you didn’t report the animal to the landlord, then it is a violation. And regarding the landscapers, if the landlord agreed to pay for any part of it, then they owe you what they agreed to pay. If you hired them on your own without any agreement from the landlord to share in the payments, they don’t owe you anything. If you paid landscapers to mow and trim, then you just basically hired out what you were responsible for anyway.

      They should have been honest with you from the start. That’s not right but you’ll have to read your lease agreement to determine if they violated your lease agreement or not.

  12. I gave notice to the landlord that we would be moving according to the lease specifications. The landlord stated they would then be selling the house. We had multiple realtors “just show up” without making an apt with us to show the house to potential buyers. One realtor showed up when I had a minor child home alone. The realtor told the child “they had an appointment.” My lease is currently paid until the end of the month.I told the listing agent I was beginning to move on the 21st. Today the listing realtor showed up (without an apt) and went in to have the ac checked and no one was there. Isn’t there something that can be done to prevent realtors from going into a house at will? Isn’t this trespassing? Can they really show up unannounced?

    • You need to meet with your landlord to try to come up with a compromise. With it being so close to the end of your lease, if I were a landlord, I would have waited to list it, and would have scheduled repairs with you to get it ready for sale but unfortunately this isn’t what’s happening. Can they show up unannounced? Depends on what your lease says and what you and the landlord agree on. Personally, I wouldn’t bother trying to get them to stop. I’d just move up your moving plans and be done with the situation. Your lease is almost over anyway. However, be sure to lock up your valuables, drugs, cash, papers that could be used for ID theft and anything else that is pocketable and would have value. At least hide it. Who knows who’s being let in. I give this advice to everyone with a house on MLS. Remember, it’s not just your landlord’s agent gaining access, but any agent with a buyer looking at that property.

  13. I sought to transact an all cash purchase of a home represented by **Name Withheld**, on 26 March 2016. We agreed upon a price and on her word, I was to be emailed the contract for signature (…quick turn bank owned property). When I didn’t receive the contract in the expected timeframe, I called and was told “sorry someone else called and wanted to offer more and that she forwarded the other client a contract.” She indicated that since the other offer was higher she didn’t want to bother even sending me a contract. Is this the way business is supposed to be conducted? Shouldn’t I have the opportunity to submit a contract? This seems incredibly unethical. Appreciating the market may be a little crazy right now, is this what I should expect in trying to conduct business in San Antonio? Please advise.

    Disappointed & confused,

    • Rob:
      Simply put, it’s stupid. She could have created a competitive bid situation by allowing you to compete. She could have probably gotten a higher price as a result. However, if the seller immediately accepted the offer before she could get you the contract then I could see how your situation could happen. In hot markets, thinks happen fast.

  14. We plan to close our home on Mar 25th. Due to snow storm in our area the bankers could not complete the paper work. This caused a delay. The sellers agent contacted my bank and got the false info. that our loan is not approved. The bank even sent us a mail indicating that our loan is approved and it is their fault that the paper work is incomplete. The sellers agent sent us a mail threatening to sue us. My question is does he have any right to contact the bank and ask about my financial details? I guess all my financial information are confidential and banks cannot disclose. Now the agent is asking extra money for none of our fault. Can I file a complaint against him for intruding my privacy and slanderous remarks?

    • Narayanan:
      The agents involved in the purchase do have the right to contact the bank to see how the loan is progressing. However the bank has the responsibility to limit the info given so that your personal information is withheld. However that agent may only be interested in the timeline and what’s been accomplished and what’s left to be done. They also want to know why there is a delay.

      If the contract needs to be extended, both agents can negotiate an extension, but sometimes option fees are added. If the other party is worried that the purchase may fall through, they may want this fee to test your intentions to make sure you’re not stringing them along or if you are, they get some compensation for the effort. If you do pay a fee, ask that it be applied to the purchase so if you are truthful about purchasing, the fee paid will be deducted from the money you pay at closing. But, if you’re stringing them along, it’s going to cost you. Putting money to your promises adds credibility.

      Emotions are getting out of hand on both sides. At this point, both clients should stay out of the argument and let the agents work it out. If the bank is willing to accept responsibility for the delay then make your agent show the other agent your evidence, work with the bank to set a new date, and try to get the listing agent to extend the date to that new date. Don’t get caught up in the fight. The other agent overreacted. They aren’t going to sue if what you say is true. They’d rather sell the house than fight with a buyer. Further provocation only sabotages your chances of closing.

  15. This question is probably so common, as it does not need to be asked but, I’ll ask anyway.
    I just finished a lease from xxx realtor from xxx company. When I moved in, the backyard was horrible, basically a mud puddle, the house was not cleaned, and the paint looked like a 5 year old kid did it.
    Now, the xxx realtor kept $1000 of my deposit for raking leaves and other yard work even though I filled over 10 large bags of leaves before I left. They are even charging me to put mulch in the flower beds!
    Besides filing complaints with the various realtor groups in Texas, how can I get my $1000 back?
    Thanks in advance…

    • It really boils down to what the lease and move-in condition and move-out condition documents specify. Specifically, what condition were you required to leave the house in, and what condition was it left. Check with the laws in your state regarding security deposits. Did they give you an itemized expense list and can you prove that it was an unjustified charge?

      Was the Realtor acting as property manager that you dealt with throughout the lease or were they just there to find and place a new tenant (you)? Did you have any dealings with the landlord at all? If so, I’d deal directly with the landlord. Ask them for a breakdown of expenses and the documents showing what your were required to do.

      Rather than complain to TREC about the agent, this may be a small claims court issue if you are unable to work something out with the property manager and/or landlord/owner. Unless your lease requires you to mulch their beds, that seems a bit excessive. If that’s the case, other charges may be excessive as well.

      Situations like this is why it’s so important to put a lot of details in the move-in condition report. Pictures also help too.

      • The landlord, RH, also owns the house and he’s doing business under an umbrella company in Houston. I have written a letter to RH, he has not responded. Now, I’m sending a letter to the umbrella company. If they cannot get this resolved, I will take this to a higher level.

        • Good luck. If they are intentionally gouging you, the higher you take the action to get it resolved, eventually you’ll reach a point where they’ll back down or you’ll take them to court. I wish you the best with this situation. Most landlords use a corporation or LLC to buy, own and maintain rental houses. It’s pretty common practice. I personally use an LLC for my properties.

  16. I believe that my realty company has been trying to steer me away from purchasing in areas which they don’t think I should live based on race. They have told me that they have a house they want to put me in. They have refused to make an offer on a home which they didn’t think I should purchase. I have attempted to make offers on homes only to be told the home is pending, however the home continued to show as active for several days. I have been discouraged from making an offer or viewing and been told that an offer was pending, or that mulitple offers have already been submitted. I have been told that they want to send me to buy a home which is less popular or unkown ( pocket listing). I do not see that they are working in my best interests.

    • They aren’t working in your best interests. However, your examples of an offer pending or multiple offers submitted may be due to your market being a hot seller’s market. That’s the way it is in the DFW market. Currently listings are selling in 2-3 days with multiple offers and some agents will still show a listing’s status as active on MLS until an offer is accepted.

      Choosing the areas they show you houses in based on race is against the law and it’s called “Steering.” Or, they may be trying to make you buy homes that THEY list, especially their pocket listings. While that may not be considered steering, it’s certainly not in YOUR best interest. No matter the reason, if they won’t show you the houses you want to see in your price range, you’re better off finding another agent. I’d terminate the contract, explain your reasoning, and find another agent. If you want to know a few good agents in your area, you should use our service.

  17. What advice can you give me. I had a realtor that I was under contract with. I told him a couple of times that I didn’t want him to be my realtor anymore, his response was “Well we are under contract and if you want to break it you have to pay me my 3% commission. Also, this is isn’t something that can be done in a couple of hours. I have to get the lawyer approval and my brokers approval.” So what I did was called his broker and his broker had him sign a release with the exception if I purchase a house he showed me he was entitled to his commission. Well, I found a new realtor and I’m a few days from closing and my old realtor “that I terminated” calls my lender and asked her if I found a house because he needs the address and how much am I getting the house for. My lender the asked him why and he said because I didn’t fully release him and he needs to pay me my commission. I did not purchase a house he showed me. What can I do?

    • Thoroughly re-read the release. Ask the broker that gave it to you to determine if the new house is excluded. If he agrees with you then have him handle the problem or you’ll get a lawyer involved and ask him to put it in writing so you can send it to title company. If the broker also thinks you owe a commission, and his agent did not show you the house, get a lawyer involved. If you do owe two commissions, you may want to terminate the contract if you’re still in your option period. This needs to be resolved before closing. Ask to extend closing if needed, explaining the situation otherwise you may have to pay two commissions and sue to get the other one refunded. Technically, the listing agent pays the buyer’s agent from the total commission paid. This creates problems for the seller’s agent too, not to mention a big mess for the title company.

  18. I hired realtor to lease my house because we were moving out of state. We usually rent our dfw properties ourselves, but because of moving out of state and the price point (800s), we decided to hire it out. Three weeks in, our realtor said someone wanted to lease the house and wanted to move in a few days later. The house was still “staged” and was not empty. I had to jump through hoops and empty out a 7000sf house in a matter of days for this woman. It would have been much cheaper if I had had a chance to shop around, But I had to take whoever I could take. I was told by my realtor she was qualified, made 6 times the rent per month, etc. I asked to see her application, credit report, income verification, etc but did not get it before she moved in. She did pay one months rent and one month deposit. I paid the realtor fee and kept asking for the application, credit report, etc for my records. I finally got her credit report and it consisted mostly of 12 collection accounts and her score was 547. WHAT??? How can you say that is “qualified”? I then pressed for the other documents and was told he never actually saw a paycheck-just took her word for it. Turns out this woman had no employment, no income, was going through a nasty divorce, and was mentally unstable. The following month she did not pay the rent and I had to fly back to Dallas to see what was going on. I caught her moving out and skipping on the rent. She also stole items I had left in the house (small furniture, electronics, gardening power tools, toilet brushes?). In a nutshell, I feel this was gross negligence on the part of my realtor. His only excuse was that it all happened so fast…I could have done a better job putting my house on Zillow. What can I do to recoup the leasing fee I paid. He never checked her income, no copy of driver’s license, didn’t tell me her credit score was 547. Also, never got the inventory and condition form back from her. What can I do? Do I have a case if I hire an attorney for gross negligence?

  19. We contacted a “Investor” to purchase our property and on legal document he represented himself as our “Buyer”. After we signed the “Buyer” “Seller” Agreement Purchase Price Contract and completed our disclosure the “Investor” was supposed to put the earnest funds that we agreed on in a escrow account within 72 hours of the execution of the contract, it was not done. The “Investor”/ “Buyer” sent someone to inspect and take pictures of the property. We sent emails and text to follow up, but no return communication in regard to the title information. Several days later we noticed our house was listed, I did not see the pictures that were taken and was not aware that I was in them, again yet another deceptive practice of publishing them on MLS (unauthorized) and that next day we had 40 to 50 people coming to our home saying that our “Realtor” said that it was “Open House” from 6am to 730pm, never authorized, requested or communicated in any way, because he was supposed to be “Our Buyer” not an Agent.

    • Denise:
      What document did you sign, a listing agreement or a contract to purchase? If the document mentions escrow, earnest money, etc. it sounds like a purchase contract, but a purchase contract he/she’s not fulfilling. You need to talk to that agent’s broker and let him/her fix it. Sounds like the agent posed as a buyer or promised a buyer to get the listing. However it surprises me that they ever expected to win you over as a client after such a deception and let down. Be firm. If the broker doesn’t straighten this out, file a complaint with the state’s real estate commission.

  20. Hi, Thanks for the detailed blog. I recently bought a home hiring a realtor. Definitely she did a decent job until we closed the home. However, when I signed up with her, she offered me a free home inspection and move in (trucks etc) and later ignored all her promises. I tried to text her, call her but she wouldn’t answer. Can I take a copy of all my texts/emails etc and complain? Sorry, for missing the location until now. It’s in Dallas, Texas.

    Thanks for taking time to read and help me.


    • Ram:
      Of course you can complain, but did she put those offerings in writing or does she have an advertisement that lists those offerings? If you take it to the State Board, you’ll need to have proof that it was offered. However, before going to the Texas Real Estate Commission, try talking to her Broker. Give the Broker a chance to work it out first. You’ll probably have an easier time proving your case with the Broker anyway.

      • Thank You Bill for your response. I have tried talking to her, waited for over 6 months. She don’t answer phones and can’t take it to the broker because she changed 4 companies in 1 year I have known her. So, not sure which company to talk to.

        I do have proof of what she offered and what she bailed out on.

  21. I have a situation that I am unsure how to handle. I used a “realtor friend” that has helped me in the past when buying or selling a property. I am in the process of buying a new construction build in Texas and did not need to use her as our realtor. She said if I put her on as her realtor that she would give us the commission. I told her that we could do that but since she has helped in the past that she should take something for her helping and that would just need to let us know how she would like to split the commission. Since we have been going thru the buying process, she has not helped us at all and is conspiring with the builders realtor and sending things to them without my consent. I really don’t want her involved anymore since she has done nothing and have asked the builder if we could take her off as our realtor. Is there a way for us to get her off our contract? We did not sign anything with her but for her to be sending texts to the other realtor is unethical and I just want some advice on how to proceed. Thanks.

    • Dina:
      If you don’t have a contract with her, and the builder doesn’t have her listed as a referring agent, I’m not sure she has a claim on a commission. You need to find out who has her listed as your agent and they need to produce those documents. You should probably halt the project until the situation is resolved. That will motivate the builder and the builder’s agent to get to the bottom of this incident immediately. Either you signed a buyer’s rep, or she’s on record as an agent with the builder. Your friend needs to produce the documentation. She may be inserting herself into the transaction without your consent but may be telling the builder’s agent she has your consent. The builder and builder’s agent will help you get to the bottom of this, especially if they think you’ll walk away from the transaction.

  22. Hi,
    I am an owner of an apartment complex in Austin and am in a bit of trouble with my broker who manages the apartment for me. After we initially agreed to make a couple of upgrades to the apartment, the broker later sent us invoices for the upgrades as well as charges for upgrades that were not agreed upon. However, it seemed like the invoice prices were greatly inflated and when we demanded that he provide documentation such as receipts for the services, he refuses to/cannot do so. He relentlessly hounds me to pay but I do not want to pay for such dubious service charges that are baseless. What can I do or how should I proceed in this situation? According to our written agreement, he has in my opinion breached agreements such as: not properly storing records of purchases and services, not informing the owners when making upgrades costing over a certain amount, and modifying the apartment without informing the owners with an estimate of cost.

    • No, you are not in a bit of trouble with your property manager. Your property manager is in trouble with you. First, you need to read all the contracts and agreements you signed with that broker regarding repairs and markup. Second, you have a right to the receipts. If he doesn’t have them, then ask for a list of vendors he paid and contact them directly. If he has a checkbook, or credit card statement, he can come up with the list of names. How much money are we talking about? Is it enough to risk having your credit dinged or having a lien placed against the apartment complex?

      Sounds like these problems have gone on for some time now and you’ve just tolerated it until this point. Withholding payments has its risk. You could have a workman’s lien placed against your apt complex or they could mess up your credit. Consider these when determining how hard to fight.

      Either way, terminate the contract with the property manager on the grounds you mentioned earlier. I’d probably use the money owed as leverage for a clean break of the contract. Regardless of how this situation turns out, you need to find a better property manager.

  23. Hello,

    I have a property in Houston Managed by Property Management Company. Where and how i should file complain as this company not sending my money on time, always two month late.


    • What does your contract say about receiving your funds? If you have a problem with them, you should talk directly to them to see why. If you don’t like their answer, terminate their contract and find someone else. You could complain to TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission) or the Sponsoring Broker of the Prop Mgmt Co. If you don’t know who that is, you can look them up on TREC’s website.

      I think the matter is too small to report them to TREC, but I could be wrong. Best approach is to tallk to them, then their Broker. If all else fails, contact TREC.

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