THE CANADIAN REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION’S DUTY OF COOPERATION POLICY – TRANSPARENCY VIA THE MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE
During their Annual General Meeting in April of 2023, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) voted in favor of adding a policy of a “Duty of Cooperation” to be added to the Realtor Code. This duty of cooperation requires realtors to put residential listings on its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) within three days of publicly marketing a property. The policy will shortly come into force on January 3, 2024.
The CREA defines public marketing as any type of marketing of a listing to the public or to anyone not directly affiliated with the brokers and licensees. Therefore, if a realtor takes any steps to market the property to the public, he or she is automatically required to post the same property on MLS after three days of doing so. Some examples of public marketing then would be flyers, yard signs, and digital marketing or social media.
This policy aims to address marketing tactics that kept the listings off MLS which made it more difficult for other realtors to be notified of available properties. The policy also includes additional disclosure requirements. CREA hopes to increase the opportunities for sellers by ensuring that the information is made available on MLS.
CREA acknowledges that there are different situations for each buyer and seller, and that in some instances privacy must be considered. As such, exclusives are permitted with the caveat that the seller who declines to use the MLS needs to confirm their decision in writing and that they understand the disadvantages of not using MLS.