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What is the New REALTOR® Cooperation Policy?

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The Realtor Cooperation Policy, announced by CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) is a new policy starting January 3, 2024, that will require residential real estate listings to be placed on an MLS® system within three days of being marketed publically, among other requirements. The Realtor Cooperation Policy is being established to ensure equity and transparency in the sales and marketing process of real estate.

Consumers have had growing concerns over the last few years about misusing marketing tactics that keep listings off MLS® systems.

The premise behind the Realtor Cooperation Policy is to ensure homeowners are aware of the value of publicly promoting their house for sale on the MLS system, realtor.ca, and utilizing third-party distribution to other websites.

What is an “Exclusive Listing”?

Exclusive listings are those where the real property is not listed on the local multiple listing system. Instead, real estate agents will leverage their personal list of contacts, personal websites and social channels to solicit a buyer for the home.

What are the Benefits of Exclusive Real Estate Listings?

This may be done for one of many reasons;

  • the seller may have a degree of concern over the privacy of their personal affairs;
  • they may be testing the waters to see if their ideal price is reasonable or out of reach, and they don’t want to go public yet;
  • and the seller’s REALTOR® may have persuaded them with selfish intent.

If you opt for an exclusive listing, additional measures will be in place for appropriate disclosures. Any seller who declines to use an MLS® system to market their property must confirm in writing that they understand the pros and cons of not promoting their property publicly.

Real Estate Coming Soon Sign

“Coming Soon” Real Estate Listings

It also brings to light issues regarding “Coming Soon” advertisements. This is a way to build interest in a home before it becomes available. The challenge becomes that while companies like our own utilize this strategy to garner a lot of attention for the property through social posts, paid ads, and signs to ensure we hit the market with a lot of activity, others have been found to use this as an opportunity to ‘double-end’ a deal, where they reap the reward of representing both the buyer and the seller.

Because some realtors are looking out for themselves instead of their clients and using that time to solicit their own buyers, it has caused problems across the industry, requiring more rules and regulations (thanks, bad apples!)

Municipal Real Estate Sign By-Laws

Regarding signage, regulations vary depending on the municipality. Even real estate boards have rules and guidelines for members to follow regarding signage. For example, Mississauga won’t allow “coming soon” signs at all.

During KT Confidential | The Real Estate Podcast, we discuss the most common bylaws realtors break regarding signage.

Right now, the rules around signage aren’t being enforced. Time will tell the repercussions and how they will be mandated around the Realtor® Cooperation Policy.

If you plan to list your house for sale in 2024, there are many benefits to hiring someone who knows the way around the industry, the changing rules and regulations, and your local market. Do your due diligence, interview a few, and hire the one you’re most confident and comfortable with; if contacting us happened to be considered, you wouldn’t be disappointed.

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