Anonymous complaints are violations of Code of Ethics and MLS Rules and Regulations that, in essence, prove themselves on the face of the information submitted in the complaint. Many of these will be related to advertising and MLS data.
In addition to the form, you must provide copies of DOCUMENTARY evidence of the alleged violation with all relevant documentation, such as: REALTOR® advertisements, business cards, flyers, or newspaper clippings.
The Grievance Committee may do a limited amount of research, if needed, to verify the complaint.
If a violation is determined, a letter is sent to the agent and responsible broker. The letter requires a written response, correction of the violation, and action taken to prevent future occurrences. The Subcommittee may also decide to send the matter to Professional Standards for a disciplinary hearing.
- Example #1 of an effective anonymous complaint:
Higher sales price is reported in the MLS than the actual sales price. Data submitted might include a copy of the MLS printout showing the inflated sales price, plus a copy of the recorded grant deed showing the actual sales price.
- Example #2 of an effective anonymous complaint:
A flyer is mailed to a farm area saying the agent “sold” properties that he or she did not sell. Data submitted might include a copy of the flyer indicating which properties are in violation, plus an MLS printout showing names of the actual listing agent and cooperating agent. While an agent may advertise closed sales because they are "public record," he or she must add a disclaimer at the bottom of such advertising so as to not give the appearance that he or she was the listing/selling agent.