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CREA REALTOR® Cooperation Policy Took Effect January 3, 2024

In case you missed it, on January 3, 2024, the REALTOR® Cooperation Policy came into force, putting into effect the new “Duty of Cooperation” in Article 30 of the REALTOR® Code. As an ethical obligation under the REALTOR® Code, REALTORS® will be required to cooperate with other REALTORS® in the delivery of real estate services as outlined by the REALTOR® Cooperation Policy.

Why was the Policy introduced?

The policy was introduced to reinforce the importance of cooperation amongst the REALTORS® and increase the level of professionalism, to better service the consumers and strengthen the benefits of the MLS® system for both the REALTORS® and consumers. Efficient and effective cooperation through MLS® Systems maximizes opportunities for REALTORS® to bring together home buyers and sellers, while promoting the value of REALTORS® as trusted real estate professionals.

What does this mean for you the REALTOR®?

This changes the way in which REALTORS® may utilize the Exclusive Listing Contract.

REALTORS®will be required to place all listings on the MLS® system within three (3) days of publicly marketing the property unless an exemption applies. For example, if the listing is first publicly marketed on a Monday, the listing must be placed on the board/association MLS® System by end of day on Thursday. The term “day” in the policy does not mean a business day, but rather all days of the week, including weekends and holidays.

Does the Policy ban exclusive listing contracts?

No, the Policy does not impact the ability for REALTOR® to exclusively represent a buyer or seller in a transaction. Exclusive listings that are marketed only to REALTORS® within the listing brokerage office do not trigger the Policy as this is not considered a “public marketing”. However, if the property does become publicly marketed at any point, then it must be placed on a board/association MLS® System.

What is considered “Public Marketing”?

Public marketing is “mass” marketing to the public such as: flyers, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing website, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), onsite brokerage promotion, digital communication such as email blasts, newsletters, or social media posts, and includes, but is not limited to multi-brokerage listing sharing networks and applications available to the general public.

Public marketing does not include one-to-one direct communication between the listing REALTOR® and a REALTOR® from another brokerage/office. In other words, “one-to-one” marketing does not trigger the policy, but “one-to-many” marketing will trigger the policy. For more detailed information on this visit CREA’s Complete Policy and FAQs.

Exemptions to the Policy

The Policy is focused on residential properties and provides exemptions for certain other property types. These exemptions include:

  • Commercial property listings (e.g. business, agriculture)
  • New Construction listings in developments with multi properties or units (e.g. Residential and Condo development projects)
  • Rental property Listings

Are any disclosures required?

Yes, REALTORS® must disclose the benefits of listing a property on an MLS® System to their seller clients in writing, and must include, at a minimum, that MLS® Systems:

a) provide greater exposure to more potential buyers;

b) may result in more offers received; and

c) may result in better offers, in terms of price, terms and condition of sale.

When do the disclosure requirements need to be provided to the seller?

REALTORS® must provide the disclosure requirements to the seller in writing prior to the start of any marketing of the property. It is recommended that this disclosure happen early, such as at the time of entering into a listing contract.

Are there any additional requirements if a seller decides they do not want to place their listing on an MLS® System?

If the seller decides NOT to place their listing on MLS® System, the seller must provide written confirmation of such decision to their prospective REALTOR®. This written confirmation from the seller must include a clear instruction not to engage in public marketing of their property, and an acknowledgement that declining to place their property on an MLS® System may:

a) result in reduced exposure to the pool of potential buyers;

b) result in a lower number of offers received; and

c) limit the seller’s ability to receive the most favourable offers in terms of price, or other terms and conditions of sale.

Adoption and Enforcement

The FVREB has adopted the Policy. The Rules of Cooperation have been revised to accommodate enforcement of the Policy, with the changes taking effect on January 3, 2024. Compliance will be enforced through the FVREB Professional Standards Department in conformance with the established complaint procedures.

For more information on the CREA REALTOR® Cooperation Policy please see CREA’s Complete Policy and FAQs.

Originally run on December 6, 2023.