Q: If a person has a complaint against a real estate firm, are there any organizations he or she can contact in Las Vegas to report it prior to any civil action? — Martin S., Las Vegas
A: The short answer to your question is yes. You can contact the Nevada Real Estate Division and the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors to report any complaints.
First, you can contact the Nevada Real Estate Division at 486-4033 or at www.red.state.nv.us. As its Web site states, “The mission of the Nevada Real Estate Division is to safeguard and promote public interest through timely and capable assistance, fair and balanced regulation and sound and effective education.” The site offers instructions on filing a complaint with the state. You’ll find information about completing a “statement of fact,” including all relevant documents, dates, times, names and other details needed to support a complaint.
In addition, the professional standards section of the GLVAR’s Web site has information to help the public file a complaint involving a GLVAR member. You can also use the site to determine if someone is a member.
Visit lasvegasrealtor.com/professionalstandards, or call the GLVAR professional standards department at 784-5052. The Web site has GLVAR forms and the entire code of ethics that all our members swear to uphold. This code was first adopted in 1913 by the National Association of Realtors, which continually updates these standards to keep up with the times.
Locally, GLVAR prides itself on educating and (when necessary) policing members of the association and enforcing our ethical standards. Complaints against members can result in ethics or arbitration hearings, depending on the nature of the dispute. The complaint form can be downloaded from the association’s Web site anytime. Complete instructions are included. Once a complaint is completed and submitted to the GLVAR, it is reviewed by a committee that determines whether a hearing is warranted. Complainants are required to attend the hearing to present their case.
Keep in mind that the GLVAR does not offer legal advice to the public. Please contact the State Bar of Nevada’s Lawyer Referral Service at 382-0504 to be referred to a Nevada attorney.
With 15,000 GLVAR members in Southern Nevada, some complaints are inevitable. Unfortunately, experience tells us that there can always be “bad apples” in any profession, or at least people working in that profession who make mistakes.
It’s important the public knows GLVAR and its members are committed to doing the right thing, to protecting the public and maintaining the ethical standards and reputation of our profession.
Patty Kelley is the president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors and has worked in the real estate industry for more than 30 years. GLVAR has nearly 15,000 members. To ask Kelley a question, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.