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Complaints Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Real Estate Commission

  1. Can a complaint be filed against an unlicensed person?
  2. Who can file a complaint?
  3. How long does the complaint process take?
  4. What type of supporting documentation is needed when filing a complaint?
  5. Can I file a complaint against an Agent/Broker for a property located outside of Maryland?
  6. Does the Real Estate Commission resolve Earnest Money Deposit disputes?
  7. When a complaint is filed against an Agent/Broker, are they automatically penalized?
  8. Can I file more than one complaint against an Agent/Broker?
  9. If a complaint was filed, but I no longer wish to proceed, how do I go about closing it?
  10. Can a copy of the Agent’s/Broker’s responses be given to the Complainant(s)?
  11. What options do I have if my complaint is dismissed?

1. Can a complaint be filed against an unlicensed person?
No. The Real Estate Commission regulates Maryland Real Estate Agents/Brokers only.

2. Who can file a complaint?
Any person being represented by a Maryland licensed Real Estate Agent/Broker during the sale/purchase/leasing of a property.

3. How long does the complaint process take?
The complaint process can take up to two years to complete, however, each complaint varies and in some cases complaints are resolved within a year.

4. What type of supporting documentation is needed when filing a complaint?
All complaints must be submitted with the following documentation: complaint form, complete contract of sale and/or lease agreement, addendums (if any), listing agreement, brokerage agreement, e-mails, and receipts for estimates or repairs completed. It is the Complainant’s responsibility to provide the burden of proof.

5. Can I file a complaint against an Agent/Broker for a property located outside of Maryland?
No. To file a complaint with MREC, the property must be located within the State of Maryland.

6. Does the Real Estate Commission resolve Earnest Money Deposit disputes?
Not without a signed mutual release of deposit by both the buyer and the seller. Without a signed release, the Complainant must file a civil case with the District Court and have a Judge determine who is to receive the Earnest Money Deposit

7. When a complaint is filed against an Agent/Broker, are they automatically penalized?
No. When a complaint is opened, a copy of the complaint is sent to the Agent/Broker to allow them the opportunity to respond to the allegations mentioned in the complaint. Once the responses are received, the complaint is then given to one of our Paralegals for further review. At that time, the assigned Paralegal will determine what violations did occur, if any. If evidence shows a violation(s) did occur, the necessary steps are taken. If no violation(s) occurred, the complaint is closed.

8. Can I file more than one complaint against an Agent/Broker?
More than one complaint can ONLY be filed against an Agent/Broker if the complaints are for different properties. You do not need to submit multiple complaints for a single transaction related to the same property.

9. If a complaint was filed, but I no longer wish to proceed, how do I go about closing it?
Send an e-mail to mrec.brokers@maryland.gov stating that you no longer wish to move forward with your complaint for the following reasons and you will receive a letter in the mail indicating that your complaint has been closed.

10. Can a copy of the Agent’s/Broker’s responses be given to the Complainant(s)?
A complete copy of the complaint, responses included, can be given to the complainant(s) once the complaint has been resolved, but not beforehand.

11. What options do I have if my complaint is dismissed?
If a complaint is dismissed, you have the right to file an appeal in the Circuit Court within 30 days of the date of the dismissal letter.