- More than 82% of voting delegates voted in favour of ammending to the Realtor Code to include th new Realtor Cooperation Policy.
- Under the new policy, which comes into force in January 2024, realtors must place their listings on MLS within three days of publicly marketing a residential property.
- The policy defines public marketing as representation or marketing of a listing to anyone not directly affiliated with the listing brokerage/office in a business capacity, but direct one-to-one communication with an individual or agent is not included.
The Realtor Cooperation policy received overwhelming support from voting delegates at CREA’s annual general meeting in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon.
According to sources, more than 82 per cent of voting delegates from the country’s boards and associations voted in favour of the amendment that will limit how exclusive listings can be marketed.
The policy, which will come into force on Jan. 3, 2024, will make it an ethical obligation for realtors to place their listings on MLS within three days of publicly marketing a residential property.
Christian Twomey, chair of the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB), confirmed his board voted against the amendment, adding CREB viewed it as CREA stepping into Alberta’s jurisdiction.
“Concerns (from CREB members) were specific to, number one, how are we going to enforce it and the challenges around enforcing it and ensuring that realtors have the ability to continue with their business practices.”
Under the new policy, if a seller decides to forego placing their listing on MLS, they must provide written confirmation of this decision to the listing agent, including a specific instruction not to engage in public marketing of their property.
Paul Baron, president of the Toronto Regional Regional Real Estate Board, previously expressed his board’s intention to vote in favour of the policy.
He explained, “When an agent goes in to do a listing presentation, the consumer can absolutely choose to list it exclusively or choose to list it on MLS. They don’t have to opt-out. They have that choice. The choice is not taken away.”
Public marketing vs. one-to-one
The Realtor Cooperation Policy explains public marketing as the representation or marketing of a listing to the public or anyone not directly affiliated with the listing brokerage/office in a business capacity but does not include direct one-to-one communication with an individual or agent outside of the listing brokerage.
Commercial property listings, new construction listings in developments with multiple properties or units and rentals are exempt from the policy.
Tuesday’s vote comes after months of consultations with boards and associations. The original policy, proposed last fall, received significant pushback from the industry.
CREA’s board of directors approved a revised version of the policy in March.
Twomey explains, “The policy today is better than it was in the fall in that it still does allow for exclusive listings provided they are marketed through one-on-one communication.”
Toronto-based real estate agent Penny Dutkowski shared her worries in a comment on a previous article. She stated that if a private listing cannot be marketed publicly, it is highly likely to fail.
She continues, “The decision to back this fails to recognize that not all sellers want their property’s listing broadcast widely. The purpose is to force sellers onto the MLS—there is no justifiable reason otherwise for this unfortunate, myopic, industry-selfish move.”
Enforcement will fall to local boards and associations, Twomey says. When asked if eight months is enough time to create new rules and guidelines on a local level, the CREB chair says, “We’ll do our best.”
He adds, “The Realtor Code continues to be an important standard for our members. We’ll back what the voting delegates have decided.”
Editor’s note: This article has been updated from its original version to include additional information and updated details.
A dark day for REALTORS and their clients today in terms of being in control of how to best market a property. CREA should have focused on making MLS so valuable that virtually every REALTOR and member of the public insisted on using it, but here we are.
I’m going to cal this
B u l l s h I t.
As everything else in real estate these days
We are putting ourselves
O u t O f B u s I n e a s
82% is an astonishing level of support. I’m not sure how to rationalize that as Realtors I spoke to did not like limiting consumer choice. We all see value in the MLS and appreciate its benefits; taking a Seller’s option effectively off the table is not path I would have chosen but that said; we have a process, it was passed and we’ll work with it.
Read it carefully
That is 82% of our board delegates
Again everyone who was supposed to represent us is selling us all down the river we will be out of business soon
It seems to me that there sure were not very many seats filled at the webinar-type communications for the general realtors to understand the decision that has been made. I was quite shocked when there were only approximately 200 of the RAE when I attended.
I think as agents we should all be able to vote on something as important as this and how it will affect our sellers. How were our delegates able to vote if some agents wanted to say no and some wanted to say yes? None of the agents I have spoken to were in favour of this, including myself. The consumer should ultimately be able to decide how they want their property marketed. This new rule will potentially push sellers away from licenced, regulated Realtors to alternate marketing options.
Typo. It comes into effect on 2024 not three months ago.
The public will make us pay for this treachery.
Did TRREB consulted with its Memebers before casting votes? No.
Over 80% of agents are against this policy… just check the comments and facebook groups to sober up.
There is no way 83% voted in favor of this overstep.
Was the voting process fair and legit? Who really knows. Something sounds fishy!
Don’t believe me? Do a anonymous survey to agents and post the results…
Decisions like this make us REALTORS seem pathetic and weak in eyes of public.
the 83% is misleading – that is not 83% of members, that is 83% of the weighted voting system of Boards – TRREB alone carries 40+% and they cast one yes vote. Add in a few more Boards and you get up to 83% pretty quick. I was at a RE/MAX Broker group meeting in January and 100% of brokers in the room were against. A recent poll on the Vancouver Board closed Facebook group has 92% against
All the members are against it.
It is the local board leadership who proposed this and voted for it.
Think about it.
Why didn’t they just add it into the bylaw in the local board if they have the support? AGM, vote, BOOM & DONE!
THEY DID NOT HAVE THE SUPPORT. So the only way for that to happen is if they go around the members by using CREA as the medium.
They can use CREA to write the policy without the consent of majority of the members because they are the only ones who can vote on them.
JOKE on you and me thinking we ever had a say in this!
Members at large was never properly consulted with. That’s why the opposition is so strong.
They knew they wouldn’t have the support if they ACTUALLY consult the majority or ask for a vote at local boards’ AGMs.
They use CREA to write the policy instead of executing a policy at local board level because they know they are the only ones who will be voting it.
So CREA makes a stupid rule and wants the boards to enforce ?!? How?
Matter of time before they start to lose brokerages and boards and an alternative to a realtor.ca is created.
There is NO requirement to.be part of CREA if you want to practice real estate in Canada. They dug their own grave!
Not sure why so many commentators on here are upset.
It is explained that the consumer still has the choice to list on MLS or to list exclusively. So what is the problem?
Also, listing exclusively implies that you have your own Buyer. What is the point of listing exclusively and then posting it on some platform outside of MLS?
When a property is listed exclusive it can be for a number of reasons. Marketing it to neighborhood Facebook groups, Instagram and other social media would now be banned. An exclusive listing does not imply you have your own buyer. If I have my own buyer there will be no listing at all. Taking away choice and forcing this is wrong. We will pay for it with the general public and in our commission rates.
I am quoting from above:
“Under the new policy, if a seller decides to forego placing their listing on MLS, they must provide written confirmation of this decision to the listing agent, including a specific instruction not to engage in public marketing of their property.”
Wait a minute… Whose choice is taken away? The consumer’s or the Realtors’?! Is that way everyone is so upset?
Unless I am reading the amendment incorrectly, if someone lists exclusive, the agent will not be able to advertise it anywhere, no social media, no signs, nothing. What Seller is going to agree to that. I use exclusive listings prior to changing it to MLS to protect me while I organize professional photos and staging which can take more than 3 days to coordinate.
You can’t market but the exclusive listing protects you. The Seller won’t enter into a listing agreement with someone else while you are coordinating photos and staging.
Where is the problem?
The approach to marketing real estate and implementation of going to MLS should be a decision made between the real estate agent and the client. Not all situations are the same, and not all approaches are the same. Mandating an approach and setting timelines from the date of marketing to when a property goes on MLS is not up to a committee of delegates from CREA, it’s up to the agent and client. Seriously why is this even something being voted on?
35 years as a realtor and this mls policy is absolutely in the wrong direction. Indeed we have just created an economic opportunity for private non mls board brokerages, we will see a host of 0% sb commissions and “buyer to pay sb commissions, plus I expect a lot of “do not post or publish sold prices.
The mls system was working fine and if agents did exclusive listings well that was up to the agent and seller . I deal with a number of clients who for reasons of their own do not want their property on the mls so now we have a policy list on mls or we can not do a job we hold a licence for ??????
This should have required a vote by the members of each board at the local level and the the boards would have casted a weighted vote eg if 40% opposed then the board vote at CREA would be a 40% opposed portion and 60% for.
Forcing clients to be put in the mls to allow us to market the property sure strikes me as trying to create a monopoly and a refusal to provide services we are legally authorized by our licence to provide.
This is about as smart as the TREB efforts to stop “help you sell “ agents from listing on TREB.
I agree making listing information available to agents is a significant issue however CREA has not addressed the real problem – which is availability of mls listings to memberships. We have far too many local boards protecting their own turf at the expense of significant numbers of out of board mls listings not showing up on the local board mls systems.
I recently handled a buyer in Hamilton and and found there were a large number of TREB agent listings posted on the TREB system which were not in the RAHB mls data feeds.
I found many of these after cross referencing the realtor.ca data against my RAHB data but if CREA and the boards want to really make a positive change – make it compulsory all boards post the full realtor info package for each listing into the realtor.ca site and have a members entry code that allows us to have a realtor.ca public site and the realtor.ca members site. It is about time we terminate the local board mls access systems for a provincial /national realtor based system.
We know TREB and some other boards are zealous to protect their information economic fiefdoms however we would all be far better off if all agents would have a one data based mls system providing all the mls listing information in a geographic area then forcing mandatory mls listing by clients only to have the agent use out of town mls boards.
In the past 2 months there have been boards outside of TRREB in Ontario that have voted to create an alignment or amalgamation with TRREB. More have indicated that they are intending to follow this lead. It is obvious that the intent is to create 1 Provincial Real Estate Board. Barrie, Brampton, and others have indicated or have already voted to ‘join’ TRREB. My suggestion is to check with your Board of Directors as to their intent.
CREA has effectively eliminated Exclusive listings. Unless a Realtor has a pocket buyer he/she can call directly, what would be the point? If you tell a client ,’ok, you can list exclusively but I can’t advertise it or even put up a sign,’ … what do you think they’d say?
More regulations for REALTORS, and still NONE for the PUBLIC.
The public have little respect for realtors already, and this “grey area” that is getting created will further diminish their trust in the real estate people.
Why can’t the government make solid rules for the PUBLIC so that they can’t walk all over us as they please anyway?!
This new rule will result in an increase in the realtors’ in-fighting, because some agents will find a way to immediately report any exclusive listing that they see. The root cause of our problem is that any person can obtain a licence these days and become an agent with little to no education. Sometimes I deal with agents who have a hard time with the English language, and try to bend or break the rules any chance they get. Do you think that these agents will understand or abide by this new rule?
We already have a mountain of rules that we need to obey and work with but in many instances those rules are not enforced exactly anyway. This will be a biggie and will potentially force some to go completely “underground” and do deals that nobody can find out about…
How exactly does this benefit or protect the consumer? There are many instances where an Exclusive Listing is necessary. The two boards I belong to did not consult with their members.
Can’t wait for our regulator (BCFSA) to get their hands on this. Perhaps the Competition Bureau would have a say as well. If a client doesn’t want their home on MLS, so be it, we work for the consumer, NOT CREA.
What gets me is that our various boards have done this previously they have decided what was best for their members without consultation. How do we change that? How do we send a message that we are not happy with their representation…. FIRE them, as long as we sit back and take it change will not happen. In BC we saw this with the Regulator, now we are getting it from our boards and associations. We just sit back and take it!
When a *Seller* wants to list exclusively, they generally “don’t want public to know they are selling” thus they usually don’t want a For Sale Sign;
A Realtor(R) has a bonafide buyer. There are also forms “commision for property not listed on MLS.
Third point, as Realtors(R) we are “Professionals” and sometimes need to be reminded of this and act accordingly.
Finally, point Four our board members on all levels are voted for by members, US! And represent US as Real Estate Professionals.
My opinion ONLY, not intended to offend anyone.
It’s time us realtors have our voice in all decisions that involve us, not only the boards and associations. Its 2023 it’s about time we have a say. The boards are walking all over us, and we are letting it happen. TRREB says it’s not taken away, no they are correct but its diminished to the point where its no longer effective, or useful to have it implemented. I wonder if they will give more voice in the final copy to the consumer to choose the length of time, and will those boards be able to override it who are appose to it.
Does public marketing include a for sale sign with a tag “exclusive listing” considered public marketing?
Yes, as it is Public facing.
Lot of people complain about this, why not run for your board and change things
When you have a client who wishes to sell but the home requires a lot of work then coming soon works really well. Buyers and agents can then make a choice about seeing the home as is and there is more understanding. Just my 2¢. My board voted no but I guess this makes no difference.
I don’t agree with the decision but at least they do allow a provision to list exclusively: Under the new policy, if a seller decides to forego placing their listing on MLS, they must provide written confirmation of this decision to the listing agent, including a specific instruction not to engage in public marketing of their property.
I am completely against the new rule. Seller choice has been limited, which is contrary to the new TRESA. I disagree with the delegates from my board. Had they included this question in the very lengthy survey that i recently completed, i would have answered with a solid NO.
I just got off a town hall held by LSTAR (London St. Thomas). 3 “delegates” voted on this issue without consultation from the membership. A rather impactful issue to let 3 voices represent 2200 members after a hype session supporting it from CREA. 80% + approval is definitely not a reflection of the membership at large.
Delegates should have voted based on a vote from all members, unfortunately, we were not consulted on this crucial matter. It’s very disheartening and further confirms that our boards are not looking after our best interests.
The question is how do we reverse this decision, or do we wait for the competition bureau to investigate? We are supposed to be offering consumers more options not less.
Is it possible that one way around this idiotic policy would be to list exclusively for three days, terminate the listing for 10 minutes, then re-list for another three days, then rinse and repeat?
Real estate agents left to decide would end in anarchy… good thing we have boards and associations to do what’s right… the dissent here, lack of understanding and ridiculous comments from members is astounding and the exact reason agents generate such poor public perception. Rules change and have to be enforced, because brokers, brokerages, brands and agents are constantly trying to cheat the system to their own benefit… Either use the MLS as its indended and by the rules… or don’t use it! It’s your clients best interest, not yours and you can’t have it both ways. Kudos to CREA.