REALTOR® Code of Ethics
CREA’s Code of Ethics and Standards
of Business Practice has been the measure of professionalism
in organized real estate for over 40 years. The first code
was approved in 1913 at the convention of the National Association
of Real Estate Boards held in Winnipeg. The first Code of
Ethics specifically prepared for members of The Canadian Real
Estate Association was approved by members in 1959.
The Code establishes a standard of conduct, which in many
respects exceeds basic legal requirements. This standard ensures
that the rights and interests of consumers of real estate
services are protected. As a condition of membership,
all REALTORS® agree to abide by the Code.
Some of the requirements of the Code include:
- REALTORS® must disclose in writing whom they are representing
as an agent in the transaction. Parties to a transaction
must be told what their agency relationship is to the REALTOR®.
- Definitions, terminology and presumed agency relationships
vary from province to province. Most jurisdictions have
their own forms for complying with disclosure requirements,
which have been drafted to accommodate agency relationships
as they exist in your province or territory.
- All financial arrangements between REALTORS® and others
(e.g. referral fees, compensation from more than one party,
rebates or profits on expenditures) must be fully disclosed
- REALTORS® cannot acquire an interest in property (either
directly or indirectly) without disclosing the fact that
they are real estate professionals;
- REALTORS® cannot use the terms of an agreement of purchase
and sale to negotiate commission.
While the Code of Ethics establishes obligations that may
be higher than those mandated by law, in any instance where
the Code of Ethics and the law conflict, the obligations of
the law must take precedence.
A REALTOR®’s ethical obligations are based on moral
integrity, competent service to clients and customers, and
dedication to the interest and welfare of the public. The
Code has been amended many times to reflect changes in the
real estate marketplace, the needs of property owners and
the perceptions and values of society. For more than forty
years, through a variety of updates, the CREA Code of Ethics
is unchanged in demanding high standards of professional conduct
to protect the interests of clients and customers and safeguard
the rights of consumers of real estate services.
REALTOR® Code (pdf) - Effective December 2011