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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96 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.

    • I have a local inspection company I hired to do my inspection, my realtor recommended. They did not mention the lack of Duck system in the attic. In fact the report reads ” no IMMEDIATE EVIDENCE of DEFICIENCIES was observed ” to the Duck system. I have has to spend over 5k to install new duck system. Who is at fault? Who can reinvest me??

      • Are you saying there wasn’t a duct system installed in the house, or was there something wrong with the ducts? Was every vent directly attached to the AC unit in the one spot? Can I assume that the original ducting system didn’t distribute the AC as well as you had liked? Keep in mind that an inspection only inspects what’s there, if it’s working properly, and if it’s correctly installed according to your local building code. If the duct system installed was working correctly, then that’s what he inspected and found it worked correctly. Contact a lawyer, but I have no idea who’s at fault. My initial thought is that the oversight was yours. What’s the square footage of the house? Was it an old house, built before AC and retrofitted? Reason I ask is that $5k seems like a lot unless you also had to buy the AC unit and condenser too.

  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. How long do I have to file a complaint against an agent with TREC from the time of the incident?

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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?

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

      • Bill,
        Thank you for your response. We have agreed to terminate the contract but the management has withheld the fees in dispute by refusing to send us (the owners) the monthly rent from the tenants. How can we obtain the money back from the management? Would a small claims court be an option?

  24. 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.

  25. Is it illegal in TX for a realtor to provide a kickback of their commission greater than the closing amount? I have a written agreement with my realtor that he would provide a kickback above the amount of the closing cost.

    • I’m not sure what you mean by a “kickback of their commission greater than the closing amount?” I’m confused because the closing amount includes all of the costs, commissions, unpaid taxes, etc. However, I can respond with this general piece of advice. Any monies received or paid related to the transaction need to be disclosed to all parties of the transaction. They should also be included on the closing forms too.

  26. I was in the market for a commercial lease and a real estate agent came along and showed me a property. The landlord of this property would not have anything to do with this real estate agent. It was the perfect place for me at the time but being that the landlord would not negotiate with the real estate agent and their relationship was highly volatile, i was on the verge of losing the space. I had no choice but to negotiate the lease myself. I sealed the deal and the landlord and I signed all the documents. Being that I’m a fair guy and even though the agent almost lost me the property, and our relationship had gone bad, I went ahead and paid the agent a commission (i mean he did lead me to the property and he had the documents i could use to negotiate the deal with.) However, our signed agreement makes it his responsibility to negotiate and facilitate any lease i’m interested in pursuing and I believe the agent to be in violation of our agreement making our contract null and void. Now the real estate agent has been contacting me insisting that I owe him more money because he believes I renewed the lease. Of course he doesn’t know for sure what is going on with the lease because he did not negotiate or facilitate the new lease (no one at the property is on friendly terms with the man.) I feel like this guy is harassing and trying to bully me under the false pretense that we have a contract (i did sign a renewal clause but like I said I believe our contract to be null and void.) Can I file a formal complaint with the Texas Association Of Realtors with which he is licensed? I think he is being very unprofessional.

    • Mark:
      First of all, the agent didn’t almost lose you the deal. The fact that the landlord didn’t want to work with agents is what almost lost you the deal.

      Regarding the contract’s validity, if you thought the contract was null and void, why did you pay your agent the commission as stated on the first lease contract? And, wouldn’t that imply that you thought the contract was valid at the time? Whether you owe the renewal commission or not depends on how your agreement was written. Yes, you can file a complaint, but from what you’ve mentioned, it sounds like he’s following the contract, but you’re not. I’m not sure what you’d complain about?

  27. A friend of mine opened a rehabilitation clinic and i had rehabilitation equipment that i wasn’t using and placed it in her clinic at no cost. if was in my favor to have in her clinic than me pay for friend had finical difficulties and was locked out of facility by real estate broker and owner. real estate broker and owner took possession of my equipment and refused to allow me to recover my equipment. after a lengthy process of providing proof that equipment was mine. owner thru real estate broke agreed to let me take possession of my property for an amount of 1,000.00 dollars to which i agreed. Have talked to real estate broker and have been told that owner is working on papers to return my property.after several calls and getting the run around. now real estate broker is not returning many messages i have left on his phone. what are my options now. I’m considering of suing real estate broker and owner to recover my equipment. my equipment is worth over 40,000. dollars.

    • You’ll need to check with a lawyer, but nothing you said in the post suggests any wrongdoing by the owner. Personally, I’d be more mad at your friend that got so far behind on his/her rent that the landlord was forced to take action. I would be furious that your friend didn’t warn me a lockout was coming and give me a day to get my equipment out of there. I’m pretty certain that your friend’s landlord must have given several advance warnings that this was coming.

      • so in a nut shell i’m SOL. the owner has led me on that i’d get my equipment back if i paid him 1,000. dollars. now i’m sure he’s found out the worth of my equipment and has probably sold it to get his money on back ret back. i want to report real-estate broker to board of realtors. yes I’m upset with friend. I’m going to contact a real estate lawyer in my county/state.Thanks but i feel i’ve wasted my time with this site. thanks for your free time and advice

        • David:
          No, you’re not SOL, but the owner isn’t in a hurry to let go of his leverage to reclaim or recoup his losses. Your best option is to get your friend to pay the money owed to release the equipment and in the meantime, keep working with the owner to get your equipment back in spite of your friend’s debt. It’s a sad situation where the tenant has nothing to lose by not paying but you and the owner are the only ones who have something to lose. Sorry my advice wasn’t what you’re looking for, but I think you’d have better luck suing your friend. Of course I assume there’s no money there. How far behind is your friend? How much does she owe?

  28. I recently bought a house. During the home inspection an issue was glaringly obvious issue with the floor that the seller agreed to fix. Walkthrough happens and my realtor is telling me that they did a great job fixing it. I look at the area he was telling me is beautifully fixed and its exactly the same as on day of home inspection – the pictures match. I ask my realtor about it and point out the picture from the home inspection. My realtor shows a receipt from the seller allegedly showing the repairs were done but clearly nothing has occurred. My realtor claims that since the seller provided a receipt he cannot do anything. I argue about this with him. He then changes his tune and says that because I did my home walkthrough morning of the sale he doesn’t have time to do anything about it. I explain that walkthroughs are done morning of the sale normally and a contract is a contract. My realtor contacts the sellers agent who refuses to do anything about the matter. My realtor then advises me that I would lose my escrow since the seller didn’t give approval to cancel the sale and that the seller is not in breach.

    In the end I determined I’d lose more money walking away due to temporary housing costs and the like. My realtors broker was extremely apologetic for his actions and paid a couple thousand to have it fixed properly. The seller’s contractor ended up admitting to me that repairs could not have been done as claimed on that receipt because he was not in the house at any time after the home closing. My realtor continues to claim he did nothing wrong and soon left for another brokerage.

    My concern is that this realtor could cause significant financial damage to other people and that his actions were negligent. Is this the type of case the realtor board would be interested in hearing? His actions appear to violate the realtor code of ethics. My only concern is that it could be a he said/he said situation because we did the final walk through together and there weren’t any witnesses to the more outrageous quotes said by my realtor (I can prove the floors were still in the same condition on closing day with time stamped pictures and home inspection report). I don’t want the person fired (guy has less than 2 years experience) but if he sincerely believes actions were acceptable then perhaps re-training is in order.

    • Disgruntled in Dallas:
      If your agent didn’t do anything wrong, then why did the broker offer to pay for the repairs? I’m glad the broker remedied the situation. This might be a situation where you could file a complaint, but I’d also mention that the broker fixed the problem and that this complaint is solely directed at the salesperson agent, not the broker. From your comments, it sounds like your agent lied to you about the repairs during the option period, keeping you from taking action when you could have. You got lucky on this. Let this be a lesson to all that you, as buyer, need to inspect all repairs and be present at all inspections. The option period is there for your inspections and protection. If you don’t find issues and ask for remedies before the option period expires, you are accepting the house as-is. Always be there for inspections and always inspect repairs.

  29. I’ve been looking for house for quite some time now I’ve applied for two different ones setting contracts and have been overlooked now there’s a problem because I put in a higher amount than the other applicants and I found out that the reason why I was overlooked is because we’re applying for with a VA loan and the real estate agent realtor agents that are telling their clients not to choose ours because the VA loan takes a little bit longer to process I feel that that is discrimination and I feel that if anything VA loans should be number one I mean VA anybody that serve the military has gave their life for this country they have served and they’ve gone through so much just to protect the people here in the United States and then they’re going to slap them in the face by making it harder for them to get a house just because the VA loan takes longer to process this is ridiculous and it’s unethical and I think that people should be penalized and this should be this issue should be looked into frankly I am very very disappointed I understand that this world is full of corruption and there’s always something that’s not fair but when it comes to the military and what they do and what they did and how they served it it shouldn’t be they should never be mistreated in that manner

    • Francis:
      First of all, thank you for your service. Your problem is that VA loans and pretty much any government loan requires more hoops to jump through, increases the seller’s share of closing costs, and has a higher probability of not closing, or taking longer to close. This makes them less desirable than conventional loans or cash. When looking at multiple bids in a hot market, even bids that are slightly lower, government based loans are less desirable than a conventional loan and a slightly lower offer. There’s nothing unethical, corrupt, unfair, or illegal about a seller not wanting to deal with the hassles of a government loan, or selecting a buyer that has the highest probability of closing when there are other offers using conventional loans. If you want to make your offer more competitive while still using a VA loan, try offering other incentives like more earnest money or a higher price, or both. You can also make your offer more desirable by reducing or eliminating contingencies like selling your home first and by reducing or eliminating seller contributions. You could also work with the seller by offering more time for them to move out.

  30. I recently bought a house, and when I put in the offer the ad said ” All brand new appliances, never used” (that was one of the selling points for me) the fridge was in there. The fridge was in there at my walk through. We did a buyer lease because my loan was the down payment assisted and (the state kept asking for more stuff so I was told) and I needed to get out of my apartment. When I got the keys I went in and the fridge had been removed and replaced with a mini fridge. I called my agent and she told me to send her pictures which I did, and she said she was going to call the selling agent to see what could be done. Then she made a comment that the seller wanted me to pay for the fridge because we had to change the closing date twice (Not because of anything I did) and the seller had pay bills because of the repairs that had to be made. My agent did not relay to me that they wanted me to pay for the fridge or that there was any problems with having to change the closing date or anything else. My realtor and the sellers realtor said they would purchase one. I went ahead and signed the closing papers with no fridge which was already 2 weeks with out one. They said they needed to get paid so they could finish paying it. 5 days later I finally get a fridge and it is the smallest cubic feet one there is. It is not the same as the one that was in there. My realtor told me that since the seller agent did not have the owners sign the fridge was included they could remove it and nothing could be done. On every ad he (seller agent) has it shows the fridge and the paper that the realtors get with info on the house says the fridge is included. I can not even put a 12 pack of soda in and shut the door. There is no depth to it. I now have to pay the difference to get the fridge that was in there and that is over $800.00 and as a single mother that is a lot of money to be dishing out. I would like to know if there is anywhere I can file a complaint for unethical practices?

    • Shannon:
      You need to take a look at your contract and see if the fridge was included. Then look at all the extension addendums and see if any of them mention the fridge. Find out what brand/model the fridge is that was originally promised and demand that fridge be installed or a new one like or better. You can file, but you’d be better off suing for breach of contract. That’s the technical thing to do, but realistically, anything you do is going to probably cost as much as the fridge with lawyers, court costs, etc. You need to setup a meeting with your agent and the seller’s agent and show how the seller and seller’s agent is in breach of contract and that you’re not happy with the replacement fridge. I’m sure they’ll take the replacement back and pay for a new one. They’ll realize that it’s not worth going to court over or risking a complaint filed against them for what would be $400/agent.

  31. Hello
    We recently finished a lease contract of our house, we had a tenant during 2 years, and now we have some problems, the contract agreed no pets in the house, and when cleaning of the carpets was done. The report says that there was pet hair, the contract agreed a fine of 250 dollars initially plus 20 dollars per day for each day that the pet had. The day the house was delivered, the real estate agent did not come, because in an email she sent us, we did not answer the question if we wanted her to come to the delivery of the house. Now she already ignored everything, saying that we did not want her to come with us that day. It is important to mention that she knows that it is the first time that we rent a house and we do not know the delivery process. We assumed that because she is the real estate agent, she had to explain the correct procedure to receive the house, but she did not do it. She sent us an email saying that she can not take care of anything because she was not there the day of the delivery of the house, she does not answer anything about the fine for the violation of the contract on the pet, she says that the owner said there was no pets in the house, when we have the report of the carpet cleaning company that supports the existence of pet in the house, I would like to know if it is correct what she is doing, if the last month of rent she charged her commission. first of all, Thanks

    • If your agent is acting as property manager, fire her. It’s the property manager’s job to remove you from all of this. She should handle all aspects of maintaining the house and the tenant, and you shouldn’t even be bothered with anything but paying for repairs, and receiving rent. If she’s not acting as property manager, but as the listing agent that found the tenant, then you can’t really blame her because this is property management related stuff.

      You have no proof of a pet staying in your house. You have to catch the pet on the property or see dog bowls or signs of pet damage like door scratches, chewing, digging in back yard, etc. Dog hair means a pet visited your property, but you have no proof of a stay. So, without that evidence, there’s no point asking for additional money because you wouldn’t win a case in court. Even if you had proof, you have no idea how long the animal lived there so you don’t know for how many months you should charge her. Just deduct the damage from the deposit and be glad there’s no serious damage to the property. The damages could have been much more severe.

      Make sure you send the tenant an itemized bill showing what was deducted and how much, if any, they owe and drop the whole pet fee/fine stuff. If there’s deposit money left over, you need to send it to them. DEPENDING ON YOUR STATE’S LAWS, YOU ONLY HAVE SO MANY DAYS TO RETURN THE DEPOSIT AND ACCOUNTING OF THE DEPOSIT. Failure to meet that deadline means big fines and court costs.

      You screwed up by either hiring a lousy property manager and not monitoring her performance, or you didn’t do a good job managing your property. I’m not picking on you so please don’t take it the wrong way. You said you’re new to this, so consider this experience part of your “landlording education.” I, and every landlord have had some form of landlord education in our history. The good landlords learn from it, the bad repeat it. Some learning lessons are costly mistakes, some not so severe. Just make sure you learn from this and move on, and take none of this personally (my comments or your situation). Just learn and move on. It’s what all landlords have to do. Learn to properly screen, learn how to handle move-in inspections, move-out inspections, periodic inspections and maintenance, and most of all, LEARN YOUR LOCAL LAWS related to rental properties and obey them.

      You’ll do fine, but you need to re-evaluate your current way of doing things. Consider yourself lucky because it could have been much worse.

      Once site I found very helpful is mrlandlord . com. Start hanging out in the discussion groups. I post there often and read it almost everyday. You can learn a lot there. I sure did, and still do.

  32. Realtor and his buyer who also was an Agent looked at my property one weekend. They were interested in buying. The next weekend Realtor/Agent had a contractor to go with them to check out the house while they walked the land. The contractor knocked a hole in the sheet rock. The was NOT how the house was when the contractor entered. My Agent has texted, messaged and called the possible buyer and agent. Photos of the damage was also sent.Still no reply. Question: Whose responsibility is this to repair the damage?
    Thanks so much.

    • That’s a legal question that should be answered by a lawyer if no one pays for the damage. However, sheetrock patching is pretty inexpensive if you can match the paint color and texture.

      If they’re interested in buying, I’d let them buy the hole too. Don’t be too obsessed with collecting for the small repair that you lose the buyer. Focus on the objective. Just make sure when they submit a contract that they accept the hole too. If they don’t buy the house, then make your agent get one of them pay for the repair. Your agent notified both so they are aware of it and I wouldn’t pursue it any further until their decision about buying your house has been made.

  33. I need to know how to file charges against a Houston Realtor ? I am talking about theft of a good deal of money from several Real Estate transactions. I didn’t get anywhere when contacting The Houston Area Realtors Association.. Please help !

    • Harrell:
      First of all, theft is a crime so consult with a lawyer and press criminal charges if it’s a clear case of theft. Filing a complaint is done at the state level with the real estate licensing commission. Go to the Texas Real Estate Licensing Commission website for information on how to file a complaint. They should be able to help you further, but I do recommend hiring an attorney. Good luck and I hope you can get restitution for this crime.

  34. I need to know if I can sue the sellers realtor? We have significant cracking along walls and ceilings 6 months after move in. She did the remodel of the home necause sellers were living out of the area. We visited several times when they were touching up. She patched previous cracks and failed to disclose foundation issues.

    • Lisa:
      You can sue anyone for anything. You need to contact a lawyer and probably consider suing the seller too.

    • Our home went under contract, buyers financing was conventional. We put offer on home we found and everyone was to close and move on July 27th. After 3 times of changing our closing date our selllers were wondering what’s really going on with our finances. Long story short, my realtor purposely left out the contingency to present the best offer. Well it Backfired on her and she tried to save the deal and the sellers realtor said no they will not sign another addendum because my realtor being dishonest and asked sellers to move out already. They never knew we had a home to sell and our buyers changed their financing to conventional to VA and needed to change closing date again. 3 days notice and we are homeless and had no where to go. I wrote a letter to the broker to be released from realtor and would not pay any commission. My realtor was fired and her broker said she takes full responsibility for my realtors negligence. and last would go to closing with us. We told broker that was her choice but we were homeless with 4 kids and my realtor admitted in a text several times that she purposely let the contingency out because they had 4 other offers. Broker tried to hide the fact she’s still learning contracts.
      Days after we close, realtor is now trying to sue us for $1800.00 after we had lost everything and moved into a rental now bind to a 12 month lease. I’m filing a complaint to Trec and wanted to know if we should counter sue and hire attorney? In her mind she said we have to pay because we signed contract, I told her if I thought I needed my real estate license then we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Your the realtor and your suppose to present the best deal you think and then let us make the decision if we need to add it not add something. She said it didn’t matter if she left out contingency doesn’t void her fiduciary duties she’s already done.

      May I add we have proof beyond words, to prove her negligence from our text messages and from the other realtor of our realtor begging her to not leave us homeless, and it’s her that should be punished and so on. She admitted that she didn’t think it would happen this way.

      • In a seller’s market, you can’t take chances like that because the sellers aren’t going to wait around for you to get your stuff in order to close. And yes, the contingency would have made your offer far less attractive. But that can be compensated for by a higher price, or more earnest money, or more option money. They have other buyers making offers, that they can sell to without all the difficulties your buyer is putting you through. One thing that I don’t understand? Why are you homeless if your current house didn’t sell? Why didn’t you stay in your old house until it sold? You say you lost everything, but how can that be? It sounds like you only lost earnest money on the buying contract. Am I missing something?

        The thing you have to prove is that the agent hid the contingency without your knowledge. Otherwise it would be assumed that you were told about hiding the contingency, agreed with the agent, took the gamble and lost, which means you’d lose the suit. But I still don’t understand why you had to move from your unsold house? What’s the $1800 for?

        • Yes we sold our house, and buyers wouldn’t move or alter anything since closing was 3 days away. Only way is if we back out of offer. If everything went through on the home we had the contract on we wouldn’t of had no where to go. We had to move in with family until we found a rent house, now obligated to a lease term. It was just hard of doing that alone In 3 days. We lost out yes on Ernest money, appraisals, inspections and so on up front. Realtor was doing a special that she would only take 2% of commission if we bought another home from her, so $1800 would of been what she got and the $2025 was paid to broker. Do she wants to sue for the $1800.

          Yes and our realtor flat out said she didn’t think we needed the contingency and she didn’t say anything to us because she forgot. Later when confronted she said she was only a new realtor for 18 months and forgot to tell us, but the other realtor and I have gotten together to compare notes and she again said in text to Other realtor that she was doing what was best for her clients and we didn’t want to know about contingency not being in the contract later she admits to it begs for Her mercy not to say anything to us.

          According to the realtor she said we signed the contract and no matter what she owes us the $1800

          • Sorry typo that realtor thought we didn’t need to know about not having contingency, and Basically trying to get other realtor not to tell us anything.

            Just being in a rent house and throwing money away sucks.

            Bottom line she wants to sue for her 1800 because we signed a contract.

          • She wants to get paid? That’s funny and completely unrealistic. If, as you said, she caused this mess, and it sounds like she did, you should demand the following from her broker:

            1. All out-of-pocket expenses related to the terminated contract: inspections, loan origination fees, earnest money, option money, etc. EVERYTHING to be reimbursed.
            2. All fees and commissions paid to your agent related to this contract are to be reimbursed, and no additional fees owed.
            3. They should cover your rent for the entire rental contract.
            4. Any and all buyer’s agent agreements should be terminated without contingencies, stipulations or exceptions for houses already shown.

            Since the Broker is responsible, but not at fault, be polite but firm. Let the Broker know you’ll be filing a countersuit against the agent and you’ll be filling one for the Broker for all of the damages mentioned above and anything else your lawyer recommends and you will be filing a report with your state’s Real Estate Licensing Board regarding both the agent and Broker. But let the Broker know if they drop their lawsuit and do the items listed above, you’ll drop your lawsuits and agree to not file with the state. Be sure to put a deadline on it. If the Broker pays your rent, renting may not be so bad after all. You’ll probably want to keep renting until all this is settled. Besides, Dec-Feb are slim buyer months. You might be able to get a better bargain then anyway so it’s worth the wait. Just don’t spend your home sale proceeds on something else. Good luck and let us know what happened.

  35. I was in prison for 5 years, during which time my now ex- wife decided to buy a new house. She forged a real estate P.O.A. notarized by her then step sister with me falsely giving g her rights to purchase this house in my name as the primary borrower and herself a s the secondary. She was also the real estate agent listed to recieve a commission, listed on the loan documents in the transaction, as well as the borrower and as the POA signing falsely on my behalf. She later divorced me while I was still incarcerated, and still lives in the house which I have never spent one night in,. this loan in my name harms me tremendously for she has made dozens of late payments . She is the only person who has benefited bot as realtor, accepting tax credit, abusing my credit , obtaining property she would not normally be able to obtain. How is this legal, ethical or just in any way. When I filed police report I was told this was not a matter of investigation but prosecution ( proveably I didnt sign)the DA’s not prosecute crimes against spouses for property here. I want to know does the commission condone this type of transaction, or do they look the other way also. What does a person. Due when those who should help do nothing.

    • Also I has now been over 4 years, so I guess a complaint would do no good, the will just conti us to let dishonest people represent them, becouse I couldn’t let them know sooner. FRAUD IS FRAUD, even if time has past I stil suffer and am harmed and she still benefits from being a realtor who can take as advantage of others.

    • Rodney:
      There’s no way this is legal, but I can see how it wouldn’t be a police matter. You need to hire a lawyer to clear this mess up. Sounds like it’s your wife’s turn to spend some time in prison.

  36. I own a plumbing company I replaced a water heater and had the city inspect it passed Myself and the real estate company entered an agreement about the complete cost of the job When the bill was sent they said that I had to list and price each item after the fact that we agreed to the price I informed to do this I would have to collect sales taxes on the completed work if I do not break out the material and labor cost on residental work and pay the sales tax on material when bought and I do not up charge for it there is no further taxes collected. She said that she needed this so she can make her own invoices to owner and up charge for my work it would appear to me that the state can come back on me for this inflated invoice. Is this even legal it sure sounds shady to me .

    • I’m assuming the agent is a property manager wanting to add on a surcharge for hiring your services, paid by client? Yes, that’s legal if it’s agreed upon by both client and agent. It’s part of her compensation for managing repairs. However, not paying sales tax is never legal. If she needs labor and materials broken out separately, then by all means, charge her for sales taxes. Let her and her client deal with the increase in price. Her requirements should never jeopardize your standings with the tax collector. I’m sure your bid states that it doesn’t include taxes, etc. If not, you should always add that.

  37. Hello, I have a rental agreement with a realty property management company for a home we are renting in Conroe Texas . move in date was set for august 11th 2018 on a Saturday . showed up and there are men throwing insulation and removing air-conditioning tubing on the carpet and floor. only one person could speak a little English. I couldn’t under stand why they didn’t cover the carpet or floor with plastic , since fiberglass particles were embedded in the carpet . on Sunday we stopped by and the work was completed, but they didn’t vacuum, or clean the floors . We came back Monday and I notified the office that we were cleaning up their contractors mess they hired and now we wont be able to move in until Tuesday August 14th. I requested to be reimbursed for the difference that was over paid. Since we moved in the rent that was agreed to on the agreement was $1500.00 per month. Paid $1500.00 for deposit , partial payment for August, and also paid in advance rent for September . When September came we received a phone call that our rent was not paid and that they charge 10% on $1500.00 a penalty charge that cost $150.00 dollars , plus $25.00 daily there after . Finally got that corrected . Mailed rent for October with a personal check in advance ,cashiers checks prior . get a call that our rent was not paid for October so we now are in default $150.00 . got a cashiers check to cover October, November and Decembers rent plus $ 50.00 extra . Had to drive for over a hour to get to their office in Houston from Conroe. arrived and asked what happened to the check that they received and she said they do not accept personal checks. the rental agreement show’s that they do . so I was charged a $150.00 late fee and they got the rent for the next three month’s in advance . now on December the 12th I received a call saying that we didn’t pay all of Decembers rent and now we owe $880.00 and that there is a eviction notice on our door ! What ! I didn’t see a notice on the door and told them that I was going to have a lawyer call them if they didn’t stop doing this stuff . Yesterday we found a piece of paper with their letterhead but no envelope tapped to the inside bottom of our mail box, and our mail comes after 3.0clock if were lucky . the letter was dated December 10th and said you have 3 days to make payment from the date printed above . I found out they had raised our rent to $1600.00 . This morning I had a lawyer who called them requesting all paper work and lease agreement to be faxed to her .suddenly I get multiple calls that we owe nothing, and they claimed they tried calling me to let me know that there is no eviction , all a misunderstanding . the last kicker to this incident is we mailed January’s rent out a month early with a cashier’s check and paid for return signature to make sure that they received it . GUESS WHAT ? the tracking number says the letter was delivered November 29th at 10.32 a.m. But they say now that they never got it, called the bank and found out the check was not cashed. I think there’s a scam going on and they wanted me to sign up with them for auto pay with my bank to theirs . Who do I make a complaint to since the cost of hiring this lawyer who only helped this time could get costly.

    • Teresa:
      This is a horrible mess but I don’t see much of a case to file a complaint since your lawyer fixed it. I don’t think it’s as much as scam as it sounds like a horribly managed property management company, but I could be wrong. Definitely sign up for autopay, but be sure to open a new checking account that will be used solely for rent autodrafts. Don’t give them access to your current checking accounts. Only put a few months worth of money in the autodraft checking account. If it’s a third-party company, then I’d trust it more than the management company. Personally I like ClearNow, but there are many other reputable companies in addition to that one. I’m sure they have one they like to use. It sounds like they are incapable of managing the accounts so if autopay makes it easier on them then it’s less likely you’ll have non-payment issues in the future. However, I would consider moving after the lease ends.

      My biggest concern is how could they raise your rent? Is it a penalty written in the lease? Are you on a 1-yr lease or month-to-month? If you’re on month-to-month, I’d give the appropriate notice explained in your lease and get out of there. Find another place with a decent management company. If your lawyer can fix the issue for less than the remaining months rent increase then hire the lawyer. Otherwise it would be cheaper to just grin and bear it until you can get out of there, and I’d do that as soon as possible. If the lawyer is more expensive than the remaining month’s rent increases, then by all means file a complaint. Google TREC Complaint to find the link to make a complaint. If your lease doesn’t say they can increase your rent, then I’d complain primarily based on that. Before you do, read your lease to see if they can raise the rent for non-payment. It’s not something you typically see, but each lease is different.

      Instead of filing a complaint, I’d continue using the lawyer. Yes, it is costly, but at least you’ll have a case history to hand to your next landlord if this one gives you a bad reference.

  38. We have our house for sale and got so called buyers and their agent had them haggle price without being approved and had a contract made and their lender had found something on their credit that she has to get fixed before approval can be done and has been lying to my agent since then so we canceled contract but their agent wants another contract filled out and they are still not approved

    • The contract is cancelled and you don’t owe them anything. If it were me, I’d keep the house on the market, entertaining new offers, but give them a chance to submit a new contract with different loan options or whatever they wanted to change. Just this time, make sure there’s a hefty option fee that’s non-refundable. There’s a cost to tying up the house in a contract and taking it off the market. If you have other offers you’re entertaining, I’d certainly place a higher priority on those, but if you aren’t looking at offers, then why not try. I’d also want to know why they failed to qualify and see how easy that is to correct. That fact would weigh heavily on my decision to give them a second chance. I’d also ask for a higher deposit too. They need to show more intent the second time around. Maybe the credit issue can be corrected quickly allowing them to buy the house. Don’t cast them out to quickly.

  39. I recently placed a cash offer on a home in Van Alstyne that was being sold by [* Name Withheld *] in McKinney, TX. Every time my realtor would call to see where we were in the offers, he would tell her the highest bidder’s price and/or a few details. We would countered 1 or 2 times, but he kept saying he had not presented the offers yet to his client (the seller). This went on for almost a week before finally an offer was accepted. I believe this was shady and being run like an auction. I also believe he violated the NAR’s 2020 Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice, specifically the following standard
    Standard of Practice 1-6
    REALTORS® shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/95).

    • Christina:
      In a multi-offer situation, the agent has an opportunity to provide every party submitting an opportunity to improve their offer before submitting. Doing this serves the best interest of their client. I’m surprised they told you the highest bidder price. They usually don’t. Even if the buyer knew all the offers, I doubt the strategy would have changed. Think about it, if you were selling and received multiple offers, wouldn’t you want to see if anyone wanted to up their original offer? Keep in mind that the best offers aren’t always selected based on price. Sometimes closing date, buyer’s ability to get a loan, type of loan, concessions, etc. may be more enticing than price alone. You were dealing with a multi-offer situation and before the agent and seller select the buyer they want to work with, they usually offer an opportunity to submit a more competitive offer.

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