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Overwhelming Support for REALTOR® Code Amendment at CREA’s AGM

More than 80% of voting delegates were in favour of a REALTOR® Code amendment at CREA’s 2023 AGM.  Effective January 3, 2024, Article 30 – Duty of Cooperation, will be an ethical obligation for all REALTORS®:

30.  Duty of Cooperation

MLS® Systems are member-to-member cooperative selling systems that benefit REALTORS® and their Buyers and Sellers.  A REALTOR® has an obligation to cooperate with other REALTORS® in the provision of professional real estate services.30.1: REALTORS® commit to participate in member-to-member cooperative selling on behalf of their Buyers and Sellers.
30.2: A REALTOR® who engages in public marketing of a property for sale shall abide by the CREA REALTOR® Cooperation Policy.

What is the meaning of obligation to cooperate and what is the Cooperation Policy in 30.2?

For members who are learning about this change for the first time, CREA’s goal is to ensure the value and efficiency of the MLS® Systems is not lessened by the misuse of limited marketing tactics.  The MLS® Systems require multiple listings from multiple REALTORS®, cooperating with one another to bring buyers and sellers together.  When it is the single source of accurate and comprehensive information, the MLS® Systems become invaluable to REALTORS® and consumers.

Limited marketing tactics like advertising on social media or other means to a select group of REALTORS® and not to others, or delaying posting of a listing with “Coming Soon” marketing, can threaten the MLS® Systems.  These tactics may be justified at times, such as when a seller has privacy concerns and does not wish to publicize the sale.  However, when misused, these tactics create exclusive-liked, pocket listings only for the well-connected, thereby undermining the value and efficiency of the MLS® Systems. 

The new ethical obligation to cooperate is CREA’s solution to cut back on the use of limited marketing while also balancing consumer choice.  It’s a two-part solution: to codify a REALTORS® duty to cooperate with other REALTORS® to maintain the value and efficiency of the MLS® Systems, and to set out the rules to the use of limited marketing in a Cooperation Policy.  The policy states “A listing must be placed on an MLS® System within three days of public marketing of a property unless an exemption applies.”  The definition of “public marketing” and the exemptions available are set out in the policy.  We encourage members affected by this policy to review it carefully with their Member-Links.

For some members, this may be the end of a saga going as far back as 2021.  It’s worth noting that CREA conducted multiple studies and consultations with industry stakeholders during this time.  But is this policy overreaching and limiting consumer choice?  Or perhaps a better solution to “Coming Soon” marketing tactics is a mandatory period before an offer can be presented to the seller?

“Only time – whatever that may be – will tell. “ – Stephen Hawking

Source: Professional Standards