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Frequently Asked Questions - Investigations

  1. Who can request an investigation?
  2. Can the Commission/Board help me get my money back?
  3. An appraiser appraised my property for the wrong value. Will the Board investigate and determine correct value?
  4. How long will the investigation take?
  5. Will I be notified of the outcome of the investigation?
  6. Can I find out who filed the complaint?
  7. Can I have a copy of or information about the findings in an investigation?
  8. Am I allowed to be present at the Commission or Board meeting when my case is presented?
  9. If I surrender my license/classification during an investigation, when can I get my license/classification back?
  10. If I surrender my license during an investigation or it is revoked, can I still collect commissions on sales contracts
    completed prior to signing the form?
  11. If I have to go through the administrative hearing process, do I need any attorney?
  12. Can travel time to and from an appraisal assignment be counted on the experience log toward hours needed?

Q. Who can request an investigation?

A. Anyone may initiate an investigation by filing a sworn, written request for investigation with the Commission/Board. The links below provide access to the investigation request form:

Q. Can the Commission/Board help me get my money back?

A. No. The law limits the Commission/Board's investigative authority solely to issues related to the real estate license law and appraisal act. The Commission/Board's investigations do not determine whether a violation of any other area of the law has occurred. For example, the Commission/Board cannot settle such issues as disputes regarding earnest money, repairs to property, or payments of fees to licensees or appraisers. The law of contracts controls these issues. If the parties cannot resolve such issues themselves, they should consult an attorney or the small claims court of their county for assistance.

Anyone who files a request for investigation with the Commission/Board and has suffered a financial loss should not wait for the results of a Commission/Board investigation before consulting an attorney or the small claims court. The Commission/Board cannot replace a financial loss. The law allows the Commission/Board only to reprimand, suspend, or revoke a license/classification and/or impose fines, education requirements, and/or require reports from an independent accountant.

Q. An appraiser appraised my property for the wrong value. Will the Board investigate and determine correct value?

A. No. The law limits the Board's investigative authority solely to issues related to the Appraisal Act. The Board does not determine value or conduct its own appraisal.

Q. How long will the investigation take?

A. Many investigations are completed within three months. However, some may take as long as a year.

Q. Will I be notified of the outcome of the investigation?

A. Yes. Both the Requestor of the Investigation and the Respondent will be notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation.

Q. Can I find out who filed the complaint?

A. No. That information is confidential.

Unless the Commission/Board orders a formal hearing, the name of the person requesting the investigation and all other materials in the Commission/Board's investigative file remain confidential and closed to the public as required by law [O.C.G.A.ยง 43-40-27(d) and 43-40-39A-22(d)].

Q. Can I have a copy of or information about the findings in an investigation?

A. Only if the investigation resulted in a sanction. Closed investigative files (that is, cases which did not result in the Commission/Board's bringing formal charges) remain confidential by law and are not available to the public. In cases which resulted in the Commission/Board's bringing formal charges, only the Notice of Hearing, the Administrative Law Judge's initial Decision, the Final Order or Consent Order are public information and can be obtained upon written request at a cost of $5.00.

Q. Am I allowed to be present at the Commission or Board meeting when my case is presented?

A. No. If the Commission/Board decision is not in your favor, you have the right to request a hearing before an administrative law judge.

Q. If I surrender my license/classification during an investigation, when can I get my license/classification back?

A. You can re-apply at any time. However, the Commission/Board will weigh the fact of your surrender in deciding whether to issue you a new license/classification.

Q. If I surrender my license during an investigation or it is revoked, can I still collect commissions on sales contracts completed prior to signing the form?

A. Yes. However, You cannot participate in further brokerage activities.

Q. If I have to go through the administrative hearing process, do I need any attorney?

A. An attorney is not mandatory, but strongly recommended.

Q. Can travel time to and from an appraisal assignment be counted on the experience log toward hours needed?

A. Yes.