The Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS® continues to receive complaints regarding unauthorized access to listed real estate.  Many of these complaints are processed under the CABR voluntary citation program.  Others are addressed by a full due-process hearing, upon request by the respondent.  The Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing has publicized that it continues to receive complaints on the issue, as well.

Whether it’s arriving early or late, not making an appointment or waiting for a confirmation, leaving the property with buyers or others not authorized to be in the property unsupervised, allowing a non-real estate licensee to access the property without express written consent from the seller, providing a lockbox code to a person not authorized to have it, failing to secure the property, not following showing instructions, allowing pictures/videos to be taken, etc., you could be found to be in violation of license law and/or the Code of Ethics.

The Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing imposes penalties for violations.  And, CABR has also been imposing penalties that may include a fine (up to $15,000), education requirement, warning, reprimand, suspension of membership or expulsion from the Board.

The ODRE has authority over licensees in the state of Ohio.  CABR can process complaints against REALTOR® members of CABR or the Multiple Listing Service of Greater Cincinnati.

If the complaint is against an unlicensed assistant or a non-member licensee (someone who is licensed, but has not joined a board) under a member broker, the complaint could be processed against the broker and/or any management-level member with the responsibility of supervising the agent or unlicensed assistant.  It should be noted that the broker and/or management-level licensee can be joined in a complaint as a respondent, even if the agent is a member.

Being provided access to someone’s property is a privilege that should not be taken for granted.  Make sure you – and those you have a duty to supervise – are following the rules.

Click on the links below for related articles from CABR and the Ohio Association of REALTORS®.

And, remember….if something is amiss at the property, contact the listing agent.

CABR Appointments and Showings

Don’t grant unlicensed or unsupervised individuals access to a home.

Lockbox access to buyers…a BIG NO-NO!

COVID-19 isn’t a reason to allow buyers/tenants into property alone.