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A New ‘Duty of Cooperation’ Added to the REALTOR® Code

New policy aims to increase integrity, transparency and comprehensiveness of real estate listings to improve home buying and selling journeys in Canada

Ottawa, ON, April 24, 2023 – Having access to the most comprehensive data is a vital part of any real estate transaction, and Canadian home buyers and sellers were given another reason to believe their interests will be better served with the adoption of a new ethical requirement aimed at increasing the efficiency, value and benefits that MLS® Systems provide.

Over the last few years, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) heard how consumers were becoming increasingly frustrated by the rising misuse of marketing tactics that were keeping listings off MLS® Systems, limiting the exposure of available properties to REALTORS® and their buyer and seller clients.

To address this growing concern, delegates at CREA’s Annual General Meeting last week voted in favour of adding a new “Duty of Cooperation” to the REALTOR® Code which is accompanied by a REALTOR® Cooperation Policy. The core element requires that residential listings be placed on an MLS® System within three days of public marketing of a property. Public marketing is any type of marketing of a listing to the public or to anyone not directly affiliated with the brokers and licensees of that brokerage.

“We engaged in many discussions and consultations with membership to help us land on this REALTOR® Cooperation Policy as a solution to growing concerns amongst consumers in the market, says Jill Oudil, Immediate Past Chair of CREA. “Cooperation is central to what we do as REALTORS® and protecting and enhancing the comprehensiveness of MLS® Systems is in the best interest of the market. The REALTOR® Cooperation Policy ensures REALTORS® have access to the most comprehensive property data for their clients, and at the same time it maximizes selling opportunities for home sellers. This exciting addition to our REALTOR® Code not only benefits REALTORS®, it’s in the best interest of Canadian home buyers and sellers.”

The revised policy also includes enhanced disclosure and consent requirements between REALTORS® and their seller clients. REALTORS® will have to disclose to the seller the benefits of listing the seller’s property on an MLS® System, including greater exposure of the property to more potential buyers, which may result in more offers and increase the likelihood of receiving the best offer in terms of price or other terms and conditions of sale.

The policy also recognizes there are many different types of buyers and sellers, and that not every seller wants their property to be advertised. Under this new requirement, exclusives are permitted as an option for an exclusive marketing approach for sellers with privacy concerns who do not want broad exposure of their property to the public. Any seller who then declines to use an MLS® System to market their property would have to provide confirmation they understand the disadvantages of not using an MLS® System and confirm in writing their decision not to market the property publicly.

The new policy, which will come into effect on January 3, 2024, is focused on the purchase and sale of residential properties, which form the bulk of real estate transactions on MLS® Systems. This timeline will provide real estate boards and associations time to review their current rules and ensure they are compliant with the policy.


About the Canadian Real Estate Association

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry associations, representing more than 160,000 REALTORS® working through 75 real estate boards and associations.

For more information, please contact:
Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460

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