REALTOR® Code of Ethics

1. Informed of Essential Facts

A REALTOR® shall be informed regarding the essential facts which affect current market conditions, such as current legislation that could affect trading conditions in the marketplace.

A REALTOR® shall be aware of appropriate financing procedures, mortgaging requirements, etc. in order to properly discuss financial obligations on any transaction

A REALTOR® shall be familiar with the contents of the most current forms commonly used in real estate transactions.

1.2 Informed of Essential Facts

A REALTOR® should attend educational programs and courses which will assist the REALTOR® in remaining up-to- date and aware of matters that could affect any aspect of a real estate transaction.

2. Disclosure of Role - Agency

A REALTOR@ shall fully disclose in writing to, and is advised to seek written acknowledgement from, his or her Clients and those Customers who are not represented by other Registrants regarding the role and nature of the service the REALTOR® will be providing. This disclosure shall be made at the earliest possible opportunity and in any event prior to the REALTOR@ providing professional services which go beyond providing information as a result of incidental contact by a consumer.

3. Primary Duty to Client

A REALTOR® shall protect and promote the interests of his or her Client. This primary obligation does not relieve the REALTOR® of the responsibility of dealing fairly with all parties to the transaction.

A REALTOR® shall fully disclose to his or her Client at the earliest opportunity any information that relates to the transaction.

A REALTOR® shall not intentionally mislead anyone as to any matters pertaining to a property. A REALTOR® shall not use any information of the Client to the Client’s disadvantage.

4. Discovery of Facts

A REALTOR® has an obligation to discover facts pertaining to a property which a prudent REALTOR® would discover in order to avoid error or misrepresentation.

This Article is not intended to increase the disclosure obligations of REALTORS® beyond those required by common or civil law or any other statutory or regulatory requirements.

The REALTOR® shall not be party to any agreement in any way to conceal any facts pertaining to a property

5. Written Service Agreements

A REALTOR® shall ensure that ail Service Agreements with consumers with the exception of Service Agreements with Buyers are in writing in clear and understandable language, expressing the specific terms, conditions, obligations and commitments of the parties to the agreement.

Written agreements should be signed at the earliest possible opportunity and in any event prior to any offer to Purchase being presented or submitted.

Before entering into a Dual Agency, a REALTOR® shall have the parties’ consent in writing to this form of representation by executing a Dual Agency agreement clearly setting out the duties owed by the REALTOR® to each Client.

5.2 Written Service Agreements

A REALTOR® shall, prior to signing, provide the necessary explanations to enable a Client to understand the terms and conditions of a contract.

A REALTOR®, on entering into a Listing or other service contract with a Seller, shall discuss and disclose to the Seller the amount of Compensation offered to co-operating brokers.

REALTORS® should make reasonable efforts to ensure that Service Agreements with Buyers are signed, and are required to do so in those jurisdictions that mandate written agreements.

6. Written Transaction Agreements

REALTORS& shall ensure that agreements regarding real estate transaction are in writing in clear and understandable language, expressing the specific terms, conditions, obligations and commitments of the parties to the agreement. A copy of each final agreement shall be furnished to each party upon their signing or initialing, and shall be dealt with in accordance with the instructions of the parties involved.

REALTORS® shall ensure that document pertaining to the Purchase or Sale of real estate are kept current through the use of written extensions or amendments.

7. Expenses Related to the Transaction

A REALTOR® shall, prior to the signing of an agreement, fully inform the signing party regarding the type of expenses directly related to the real estate transaction for which that party may normally be liable.

In explaining fees for services, the REALTOR® shall not state or suggest that the type or level of fees is based on direction from a real estate Board, Association, Institute, Society or Council to which the REALTOR® belongs.

A REALTOR® shall be fully conversant with the routine type of expenses that a Seller and/or Buyer may incur.

8. Disclosure of Benefits to Clients

REALTORS® shall:

(a) obtain the consent of their Clients prior to: (I) accepting Compensation from more than one party to a transaction, or (ii) accepting any rebate or profit on expenditures made for a Client.

(b) disclose to their Clients any financial or other benefit the REALTOR® or his/her firm may receive as a result of recommending real estate products or services to that party. E.g lending institutions, title insurance companies, lawyers, appraisers, moving companies, etc

9. Disclosure of Benefits to Customers

REALTORS® shall disclose to Customers: a) any financial or other benefit the REALTOR® or his/her firm may receive as a result of recommending real estate products or services to that party. b) any rebate or profit accepted by the REALTOR® or his/her firm for expenditures made for that party.

The REALTOR® should not recommend or suggest to a party the use of services or products of any other organization or business in which the REALTOR® has a direct or indirect interest without disclosing such interest in writing at the time of the recommendation or suggestion.

10. Outside Professional Advice

The REALTOR® shall encourage parties to a transaction to seek the advice of outside professionals where such advice is beyond the expertise of the REALTOR®.

Outside professional advice would include, without limitation, lawyers, appraisers, home inspectors, surveyors, accountants, insurance agents or brokers, mortgage consultants, land use planners and environmental consultants.

11. Personal Interest in Property

A REALTOR® shall not buy or sell, or attempt to buy or sell an interest in property either directly or indirectly for himself or herself, any member of his or her Immediate Family, or any entity in which the REALTOR® has a financial interest, without making the REALTOR®’s position known to the buyer or seller in writing.

Disclosure of the REALTOR®’s position shall include the fact that the REALTOR® is a licensed real estate practitioner, the nature of the interest held (when selling), the relationship of the REALTOR® to the Immediate Family member, and/or the fact that the REALTOR® has a financial interest in the buying or selling entity

12. Skilled and Conscientious Service

A REALTOR® shall render a skilled and conscientious service, in conformity with standards of competence which are reasonably expected in the specific real estate disciplines in which the REALTOR® engages. When a REALTOR® is unable to render such service, either alone or with the aid of other professionals, the REALTOR® shall not accept the assignment or otherwise provide assistance in connection with the transaction.

A REALTOR® shall not provide an Opinion of Value if it is outside the REALTOR®’s field of expertise to do so unless this fact is disclosed in writing to the Client or assistance is obtained from another Person who has experience in this area.

13. Advertising - Content/Accuracy

All Advertising and promotion of properties shall accurately reflect property and other details and prominently display the name of the brokerage and any additional information required by provincial regulation

REALTORS® shall not advertise or permit any person employed by them or otherwise affiliated with them to advertise real estate services or property without disclosing the name of the REALTOR® brokerage in a readily apparent fashion. If disclosing the name of the REALTOR®’s brokerage is impractical because of the nature of the display (e.g. text message, tweet, etc…) then no such disclosure is required, provided there is a link to a display that includes all of the required disclosures.

13.2 Advertising - Content/Accuracy

The Internet website of a REALTOR® is an Advertising vehicle. All properties displayed and all representations made on a website must comply with the REALTOR® Code as well as applicable provincial, federal and any other requirements regarding Advertising

The advertised or offered price shall not be other than that which was agreed upon in writing with the Seller.

14. Advertising Listings of Other REALTORS®

REALTORS® may only advertise a property if such Advertising has not been restricted at the request of the Seller and is in accordance with provincial and federal regulations.

Listing brokerages may permit the Advertising of their properties by other brokerages when authorized in writing by the Seller to do so.

15. Advertising Claims

Claims or offerings in Advertising must be accurate, clear and understandable.

Representations of performance (e.g. “#1 top-selling,” etc.) must include the geographical area referred to, the relevant time-frame (e.g. January-June 2004) and the source or basis on which the claim is based (e.g. based on the number of sales on the MLS® system of the relevant Board for the specified time period).

A condition, restriction, limitation or additional charge shall be considered “significant” if it would likely affect a consumer’s decision to retain the REALTOR®/brokerage

15.2 Advertising Claims

Advertising of programs, initiatives or guarantees (e.g. “Buy a house with 0% down, “If I don’t sell your house, I will buy it from you,” ) must clearly set out all significant details of how the program works, including, but not limited to, exceptions and time frames.

Significant conditions, restrictions, limitations and additional charges shall be fully and prominently displayed in the body of the advertisement near the claim or offering in easily readable form and shall comply with all applicable laws.

16. Discrimination

The REALTOR® shall not deny professional services to or be a party to any plan to discriminate against any Person for reasons of race, national or ethnic origin, religion, colour, sex, family status, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation, marital status or disability.

17. Compliance with Board/ Association Bylaws

Add a little bit of body textThe REALTOR® shall abide by the By-Laws, Rules, Regulations and policies established by the REALTOR®’s Real Estate Board, Provincial/Territorial Association, and The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

18. Compliance with Statutory Requirements

The business of a REALTOR® shall be conducted in strict accordance with all statutory and regulatory requirements. A board may only charge a REALTOR® under this Article once he or she has been found to have violated a statute or regulation by the body duly authorized to make such a determination.

A certificate of conviction or other proof of non-compliance issued by a duly authorized body may be relied on by a board as evidence of noncompliance with this Article.

19. Discrediting another Registrant

The REALTOR® shall never publicly discredit any other Registrant. If the REALTOR®’s opinion is sought, it should be rendered with strict professional integrity and courtesy.

Where any REALTOR® is asked to comment on a specific transaction or the business practices of another Registrant, such comments should be given with strict professional integrity, objectivity and courtesy.

20. Respecting Contractual Relationships

Prior to the expiry or an existing listing/buyer agency agreement, a REALTOR® may enter into a Listing agreement with a seller for the same property or a buyer agency agreement with the same buyer provided the following conditions are met: (a) Any communication with the seller/buyer: (i) may be initiated by the seller/buyer; or (ii) if initiated by the REALTOR® must comply with Board Bylaws/Rules; and (b) any new Listing agreement for the property or buyer agency agreement with the buyer shall not commence until the expiry of the current Listing/buyer agency agreement.

21. Conduct Unbecoming

A REALTOR® shall not engage in conduct that is disgraceful, unprofessional or unbecoming of a REALTOR®.

This Article is intended to deal with conduct that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is egregious in nature and goes beyond simple error.

“Conduct” in this Article is not restricted to conduct in the course of providing real estate services.

22. Principal (Broker) Responsibility

The principal of a brokerage is required to supervise and control the activities of the REALTOR® and other personnel for whom he/she is responsible.

In determining the adequacy of supervision, all relevant factors may be considered, including, but not limited to: (a) whether the brokerage had established written policies and procedures which were provided to all REALTORS® and other personnel; (b) whether office activities were regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that the policies and procedures were current and were being properly implemented; whether each transaction was reviewed by the principal, including trust deposits, sales record sheets, Listing and sales contracts.

23. Cooperation with Board/Association

Should a REALTOR® be asked to co-operate in any way in connection with a disciplinary investigation or proceeding, the REALTOR® shall place all pertinent facts before the proper Committee of whichever real estate board or association is conducting the investigation or proceeding.

Where a REALTOR® has reasonable and probable grounds to believe: (a) that another REALTOR® has apparently breached the REALTOR® Code, and (b) that a person will likely suffer serious damage as a consequence of the apparent breach, the REALTOR® should immediately report the apparent breach to the appropriate Board in writing with the reporting REALTOR®’s name, address and telephone number. The report should be made bona fide without malice or ulterior motive.

24. Arbitration

In the event of a dispute between REALTORS® associated with different brokerages of the same local Board/Association regarding the Compensation earned or to be earned in connection with a real estate transaction, the dispute shall be submitted for arbitration in accordance with the By-Laws, Rules and Regulations of their local Board/Association.

25. Inter-Board and Inter-provincial Arbitration

In the event of a dispute between REALTORS® associated with different brokerages and belonging to different local Boards/Associations, regarding the Compensation earned or to be earned in connection with a real estate transaction, the dispute shall be submitted to arbitration in accordance with the By- Laws and Rules and Regulations of the appropriate Provincial/Territorial Association. Should the REALTORS® belong to different Provincial/Territorial Associations, the dispute shall be arbitrated in accordance with the By-Laws and Rules and Regulations of The Canadian Real Estate Association

26. Avoid Controversies

Any REALTOR® who is aware of or involved ina controversy with another REALTOR®, resulting from the alleged misconduct or impropriety of that other REALTOR®, should place such matters before the appropriate Committee for resolution in order that the matter may be resolved in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Board, Association, Society or Council to which the REALTOR® belongs.

A REALTOR® should not disrupt or obstruct a disciplinary investigation or proceeding relating to the alleged misconduct of another REALTOR®.

27. CREA Trademarks

A REALTOR® shall not use any of CREA’s Trademarks in domain names or e-mail addresses unless specifically authorized to do so by CREA policies.

REALTORS® are responsible for ensuring that buyers and sellers, for whom they are providing any service, as well as any other third parties in any way involved in transactions, do not use CREA’s Trademarks in any unauthorized manner. This obligation includes the requirement to contractually protect CREA’s Trademarks as set out in CREA’s Policies.

28. Intellectual Property Rights of Boards/ Associations

REALTORS® should not infringe the copyright or other ownership interest of another REALTOR® in his/her Listing

A REALTOR® shall not use the trade names or trademarks or confusingly similar trade names or trademarks of any firm, franchise, or other organization other than those with which the REALTOR® is affiliated or otherwise authorized in writing to use. This restriction includes but is not limited to, unauthorized Internet uses such as domain names, e-mail addresses and metatags.

29. REALTOR® Acting as Principal

A REALTOR®, when acting as a principal in a real estate transaction, remains obligated by the duties imposed by the REALTOR@ Code.

A REALTOR® is acting as a principal when he or she is buying or selling or attempting to buy or sell an interest in the property either directly, on his or her own behalf or through any entity which the REALTOR® holds any direct or indirect interest

The exclusive designation for a member of The Canadian Real Estate Association is the trademark REALTOR®. It symbolizes a commitment to competence, service and professional conduct.

In the quest for these high standards, REALTORS® in Canada have been bound together by a Code of Ethics since 1959.
As REALTORS®, we accept a personal obligation to the public and to our profession. The Code of Ethics of The Canadian Real Estate Association embodies these obligations. As REALTORS®, we are committed to:

  • Professional competent service
  • Absolute honesty and integrity in business dealings
  • Utmost civility
  • Co-operation with and fairness to all
  • Personal accountability through compliance with CREA’s Standards of Business Practice.

To meet their obligations, REALTORS® pledge to observe the spirit of the Code in all of their activities and conduct their business whether personally or through employees, associates or others in accordance with the Standards of Business Practice and the Golden Rule:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Click the image above for a PDF of the REALTOR® CODE

Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. Through the REALTOR®, the land resource of the nation reaches its highest use and private land ownership its widest distribution. The REALTOR® is instrumental in moulding the form of his or her community and the living and working conditions of its people.

Such functions impose grave social responsibilities which REALTORS® can meet only by diligent preparation, and considering it a civic duty to dedicate themselves to the fulfillment of a REALTOR®’s obligations to society.

The REALTOR® Code of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is universally recognized by real estate professionals and consumers alike as the measure of professionalism in real estate. The REALTOR® Code is intended to define the high standard of performance the public has a right to expect from those licensed to display the REALTOR® trademark.

In the same manner that the real estate marketplace is a dynamic, demanding environment, so the REALTOR® Code is, has been, and will continue to be a demanding document; a plan for professionalism in real estate, capable of including and accommodating every change, challenge and controversy which arises.

Since 1913, when the first Code of Ethics was approved by the National Association of Real Estate Boards, it has bound REALTORS® together in a common continuing quest for professionalism through ethical obligations based on honesty, integrity, fairness, accountability and professionally competent service.

The REALTOR® Code has been amended many times over the years to reflect the changing needs of the public and the values of society, and to act as an assurance of higher professional standards.

Any charge filed shall read as a violation of the REALTOR® Code and/or one or more of the Articles of the Standards of Business Practice. An Interpretation may only be cited in support of the charge or the defense. Penalties for violation of the REALTOR® Code shall be established by the local board or other body authorized to conduct discipline proceedings.