How do I handle a complaint about a Realtor?


Dear David,

I feel like a real estate agent may have broken some professional rules. Can I file a complaint? I’m not sure what to do. – SPEAKING OUT

DEAR SPEAKING: If you’re concerned by the actions of a real estate professional, there are steps you can take to make things right. Start by having an honest conversation with your agent, so they’re aware of the concerns. If the issue stems from a communication breakdown or a simple misunderstanding, a heart-to-heart may be all it takes to solve the problem.

Failing this, you can reach out to the manager or Broker of Record at the agent’s brokerage. Businesses want to keep their customers happy, so if there’s a chance to resolve things at the brokerage level, they’ll likely do what they can.

If you still don’t feel like you’re being heard, you may need to consider filing a complaint with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). RECO is the industry’s consumer protection organization and is responsible for investigating complaints about the conduct of real estate agents. Consumers and industry professionals can submit complaints through the RECO website ( using the form provided. When doing so, it’s best to provide as many details as possible, and back up your explanation with any supporting documents you have.

Once submitted, RECO will review your complaint and request more information if necessary. They’ll give the agent in question a chance to respond to your concerns. If RECO determines that the agent has violated the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA), appropriate action will be taken, and you’ll be notified of the result.

Be patient. Depending on the nature of your concern, it may take some time to move through the review process. If the issue falls within RECO’s jurisdiction and is supported by strong evidence, the Council may respond with a penalty that ranges from educational requirements to a significant fine.

If RECO has ongoing concerns about an agent’s ability to act according to the law with honesty and integrity, they may take steps to suspend or revoke that agent’s registration, though that would be a rare outcome. In certain cases, violations may also be referred to the Ontario Court of Justice.

PRO TIP: The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) exists to protect the public interest. They cannot release you from a legally binding contract and can’t award damages. Issues like those need to be settled in court, and if that’s the type of resolution you’re after, you’ll need to talk to a lawyer. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.