Standards of Business Practices

Standards of Business Practices
Accompanying the CREA Code of Ethics are these Standards of Business Practices for REALTORS in Canada.

REALTORS shall endeavour to be informed regarding the essential facts, which affect current market conditions in order to be in a position to counsel their clients and/or to assist customers in a responsible manner.

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 in writing to, and is advised to seek written acknowledgment of disclosure from, all parties to a transaction regarding the role and the nature of service the REALTOR will be providing to the client versus the customer or other party to the transaction. The REALTOR shall also disclose his or her role to other REALTORS involved in the transaction.

A REALTOR has an obligation to discover facts pertaining to every property for which the REALTOR accepts an agency which a reasonably prudent REALTOR would discover in order to fulfil the obligation to avoid error, misrepresentation or concealment of pertinent facts.

REALTORS should ensure written representation agreements whenever possible in order to avoid misunderstandings with their clients and customers.

REALTORS shall ensure that agreements regarding real estate transactions 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.

The REALTOR shall, prior to the signing of any agreement, fully inform the signing party regarding the type of expenses for which he/she may be normally liable.

A REALTOR shall not accept compensation from more than one party to a transaction without the written consent of his or her client(s).

REALTORS shall disclose to a client or customer if there is any financial benefit the REALTOR or his/her firm may receive as a result of recommending real estate products or services to that party.

A REALTOR shall not accept any rebate or profit on expenditures made for a client without the client's consent or accept any rebate or profit on expenditures for a customer without the customer's knowledge.

The REALTOR shall not discourage parties to a transaction from seeking legal counsel.

The REALTOR shall not knowingly permit any property in his or her charge to be used for unlawful purposes.

A REALTOR shall not present an offer or acquire 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 seller in writing. In selling/leasing property owned by the REALTOR, or in which the REALTOR has an interest, the interest shall be revealed to the buyer/tenant in writing.

In providing an opinion of value of real property, a REALTOR shall not undertake to provide such an opinion if it is outside the REALTOR's field of experience to do so, unless this fact is disclosed to the client or unless assistance is obtained from another person who has experience in this area. A REALTOR shall not perform an appraisal contrary to the terms and conditions of any designation the REALTOR holds through The Canadian Real Estate Association. In all other circumstances, the REALTOR shall not provide an opinion of value on property in which the REALTOR has a present or contemplated interest without first disclosing this fact to the client. Fees charged for providing an opinion of value shall not be based on the amount of value reported.

A REALTOR shall present all written offers and counter-offers as objectively and as quickly as possible.

A REALTOR shall not advertise a property if such advertising has been restricted at the request of the seller/landlord. In any advertisement, the advertised or offered price of a property shall not be other than that which was agreed upon with the seller/landlord. (Also applies to Article 25.)

A REALTOR is obliged to 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 REALTORS, the REALTOR should not accept the assignment or otherwise provide assistance in connection with the transaction.

REALTORS shall ensure a true presentation in all advertising. Properties and services shall not be advertised without identifying the firm or, where applicable, the individual practitioner, in accordance with provincial licensing legislation.

The REALTOR shall not deny professional services to any person for reasons of race, creed, colour, sex, familial status, age, or national origin. The REALTOR shall not be party to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, creed, colour, sex, familial status, age or national origin.

The REALTOR shall observe the By-Laws, Rules and Regulations established by the REALTOR's Real Estate Board and/or Association, in addition to the regulations, terms and conditions associated with any designation that the REALTOR may hold through membership in The Canadian Real Estate Association.

The business of a REALTOR shall be conducted in strict accordance with all statutory and regulatory requirements that apply to that business.

The REALTOR shall never publicly discredit a competitor. If the REALTOR's opinion is sought regarding a specific transaction, it should be rendered with strict professional integrity and courtesy.

The agency or other contractual relationship of a competitor shall be respected by all REALTORS. Negotiations concerning exclusively listed property or with any party who is exclusively represented shall be carried on with the client's agent and not with the client directly, except with the consent of the client's agent.

A REALTOR shall not seek information about a competitor's transaction to be used for the purpose of closing a transaction himself or herself, or for the purpose of interfering with any other contractual undertaking.

Signs in respect of the sale, rent, lease, development or exchange should not be placed on any property by other than the listing broker unless authorized by the seller/landlord. REALTORS shall not interfere with another real estate broker's sign.

Should a REALTOR be asked to co-operate in any way in connection with a disciplinary investigation or proceeding pertaining to alleged unethical practice, the REALTOR shall place all pertinent facts before the proper Committee of the Real Estate Board or Association to which the REALTOR belongs.

In the event of a dispute between REALTORS associated with different firms of the same local Board/Association regarding the fee or commission 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.

In the event of a dispute between REALTORS associated with different firms and belonging to different local Boards/Associations, regarding the fee or commission 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.

The business of a REALTOR shall be conducted so as to avoid controversies with other REALTORS.