Buying or selling a home may be one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make, so if you decide to use a real estate agent for the purchase or sale of your property, choose wisely. The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) is the state agency that licenses real estate brokers and salespersons. The California DRE also investigates complaints and disciplines practitioners who violate the law. The California DRE website provides useful information for home buyers, borrowers, and mortgage loan professionals and offers a helpful online booklet titled Finding the Right Real Estate Agent. The California Department of Business Oversight also offers consumer guides on home ownership and useful information about mortgage loan services.
You can verify whether a real estate broker or salesperson is licensed or has been subject to any disciplinary action by visiting California DRE's Public License Information webpage or by calling the California DRE’s Public Information Line at (877) 373-4542.
If you have a complaint against a licensed real estate agent or business, visit California DRE’s website for details on How To File A Complaint, or call the California DRE Public Information Line at (877) 373-4542. The California DRE administers a victim's fund, known as the Consumer Recovery Account, that enables consumers to recover monetary compensation when they have been defrauded or had their funds misused by a real estate licensee. Visit California DRE’s Consumer Recovery Account webpage for more information.
The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) licenses and regulates a variety of financial services including mortgage loan brokers and escrow agents. Visit the DFPI webpage for information about mortgage-related issues and how to file a complaint against mortgage brokers or other licensees.
If you suspect criminal activity by a real estate agent, such as fraud, theft or embezzlement, you should also notify the consumer protection division of your local district attorney’s office. You may also file a complaint online with the Attorney General’s office by visiting the Consumer Complaint Against A Business/Company page