Principles of Competition

These are the specific terms of the Principles of Competition approved by the member Boards and Associations of The Canadian Real Estate Association at the Annual General Assembly in 1999, still in effect today. It is provided with interpretations of some of the key points in the application of the Principles of Competition.

The purpose of a listing service operated under the MLS® trade mark is the orderly correlation and dissemination of listing information to its members so that through cooperation in the marketing of property REALTORS may better serve the buying and selling public. Member real estate boards and associations shall not undertake any activity or enact or enforce any rules which run contrary to these guidelines subject to any applicable laws, government statute, ordinance or regulation, and to any final decree of any court or administrative agency.

Therefore member Boards and Associations must not:

  1. Fix, establish, suggest, maintain or control the commission rates or fees for MLS® or other listing services or any services to be rendered by members.

  2. Fix, establish, suggest, maintain or control the division of commissions or fees between cooperating members or members and non-members.

  3. Require financial support of the Multiple Listing Service® operation by any formula based on commissions charged for the provision of real estate services.

  4. Finance a Multiple Listing Service® by any formula based on sales price, unless that fee does not exceed $400.00 per transaction. That limit may be increased in accordance with any increases in the Consumer Price Index as published by Statistics Canada and experienced since January 2000.

  5. Require or agree with a publisher or publication in which the board or association has no financial interest to refuse any type of advertising from members or non-members including refusals based on the commission rate or fees contained therein or recommend the type of advertising to be accepted by such publishers/publications.

  6. Prevent or restrict advertising by members of commission rates or fees, or advertising of for sale by owner or other consultative services, or offering or advertising of inducements, incentives, gifts, prizes, refunds or rebates.

  7. Generally restrict advertising by members or non-members unless the advertising is:
              i. False or misleading,
              ii. Prohibited by law, or
              iii. Restricted at the request of the vendor.

  8. Prohibit or discourages cooperation with non-members.
  9. Limit or interfere with the terms of the relationship between members.

  10. Require brokers or salespersons work full time in real estate sales, brokerage or related industries as a condition of membership although membership may be terminated based on complaints that member(s) are proven not available to serve the public on a regular and consistent basis and/or in accordance with standards of competence and integrity necessary to serve the public.

  11. Refuse membership in a Board or Association to any broker or salesperson unless they fail to meet uniform and reasonable financial and educational criteria or standards of competence, integrity and character that are reasonably necessary for the protection of the public.

  12. Reject a listing submitted to the MLS® system by a member on the basis of price, commission rate or fees contained in the listing.

  13. Prohibit or discourage a member from accepting a listing from a vendor preferring to give “office exclusive”.

It shall be the duty and obligation of member boards of The Canadian Real Estate Association to examine their Rules and Regulations to assure that they conform to this policy. The right of real estate boards and associations, to use the certification and design marks of CREA, may be terminated in the event of a failure to adhere to the Principles of Competition.