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REALTOR® Cooperation Policy Does Not Ban “Exclusives”

Ottawa, ON, January 9, 2024 – The REALTOR® Cooperation Policy, which came into effect on January 3, 2024, maximizes opportunities to bring together property buyers and sellers, without affecting a REALTORS®’ ability to offer exclusive representation.

Canadian home buyers and sellers are almost always better served by the broader exposure offered by listing on an MLS® System.

Under the policy, once a residential property is publicly marketed, a REALTOR® must place the property on an MLS® System. Public marketing is defined as “one-to-many”, for example, flyers, yard signs, digital marketing, and newsletters. “One-to-one” marketing does not trigger the policy.

The policy recognizes not every seller wants their property to be advertised. Under this new requirement, “exclusives” remain as an option for sellers who do not want broad exposure of their property to the public. REALTORS® can still market these exclusive listings within their own offices or in one-to-one direct communications with other REALTORS® outside their offices.

“Limited marketing practices can be misused to hype interest and drive a sale before many REALTORS® and their buyers even had the chance to submit a bid. These practices may not be in the client’s best interest, and diminish the efficiency, value and benefits that MLS® Systems provide to REALTORS® and Canadian consumers,” said Janice Myers, CREA CEO.

The new “Duty of Cooperation” in Article 30 of the REALTOR® Code, requires REALTORS® to cooperate with other REALTORS® in the delivery of real estate services as outlined by the REALTOR® Cooperation Policy.

If public marketing occurs, the policy requires REALTORS® to place the residential listing on an MLS® System within the timeframe adopted by their board or association, unless an exemption applies. The policy provides that this timeframe may be up to a maximum of three days.

CREA recognizes the REALTOR® Cooperation Policy represents a change for REALTORS®, and we think it is a responsible [and ethical] change of benefit to both the REALTOR® community and their clients.

If you have any questions, please contact CREA’s Member Experience Centre by calling
1-888-237-7945 or emailing

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