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The Code of Ethics And Standards of Business Practice of the Canadian Real Estate Association

Royal LePage State Realty, Brokerage
905.525.3737 Bus. / 905.570.2500 Cell
mark@instantpage.org and vivian@instantpage.org

Code of Ethics Privacy Code Pledge & Principles of Competition


Canadian Real Estate Associations (CREA) 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 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 to clients;
  • 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 of Ethics Effective July 1st 2006

©2007 The Canadian Real Estate Association - All Rights Reserved.

CREA's Privacy Code - Privacy and REALTORS®

In the usual course of real estate transactions, REALTORS® may require from buyers and sellers, personal and property information. Some of this information may be considered private. Collecting and sharing this and the real estate transaction information is an essential part of the buying and selling process.

At the same time, few things are more important to individuals than their privacy. REALTORS® recognize the rights of buyers and sellers to protect and control their personal information. REALTORS® are committed to using fair information practices when dealing with your personal information.

The federal government and three provincial governments now have laws in place dealing with how companies can collect and use your personal information. In British Columbia and Alberta, businesses abide by the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) of each province; in Québec, it is the Act Respecting the Protection of Personal Information in the Private Sector.

In all other provinces and territories, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), the federal legislation, applies.

The basic concept of all of these laws is protection of consumer privacy. The laws require that consumers consent to the collection of their personal information, and provide restrictions on how that information may be used, disclosed, and kept. They allow consumers to access any of their own personal information that companies may have collected, and they provide for remedies in the event that the information on file is incomplete or inaccurate.

The CREA Privacy Code is based on the 10 principles of PIPEDA, the privacy legislation. Our Code has been in place since 2001, and is the declaration of organized real estate to the public that we respect the privacy rights of individuals and have adopted policies and procedures to protect those rights.

The Privacy Code of The Canadian Real Estate Association sets out the commitment of REALTORS® make regarding the privacy of your personal information. We will:

  • Obtain your consent when we collect, use or disclose your personal information
  • Only use the information for the purposes we discussed with you
  • Allow you access to your information
  • Have privacy policies that are clear and understandable

Privacy Code

Members are responsible for the proper management of all personal information under their control, and shall designate one or more persons to be accountable for compliance.

Members shall identify the purposes of collecting information before or at the time the information is collected.

The knowledge and consent of the consumer are required for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information except where inappropriate.

Members shall limit the collection of personal information to that which is necessary for the purposes identified.

Members shall use or disclose personal information only for the reason it was collected, except with the consent of the consumer or as required by law.

Members shall keep personal information as accurate, complete, current and relevant as necessary for its identified purpose.

Members shall protect personal information with safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information.

Members shall make readily available to consumers specific information about their policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.

Upon request, members shall inform a consumer of the existence, use and disclosure of his or her personal information and shall give the individual access to that information.

A consumer shall be able to address a challenge concerning compliance with the above principles to the designated accountable person or persons in the member office.

Frequently Asked Privacy Questions (FAQs)

1. What is personal information?
Personal information is any information about an identifiable individual. This does not include information which is publicly available such as a phone directory listing your name, address and telephone number.

2. How do REALTORS® collect personal information?
Most information will be obtained directly from you, the client. REALTORS® may also collect information from other sources such as credit bureaus and government agencies, as needed. At the time information is collected, you will be told what uses will be made of it, and your consent to that collection and use will be obtained.

3. What do REALTORS® do with my information?
Your information is used to facilitate the real estate transaction. Effectively marketing your house involves advertising the property in any medium, including electronic media (newspapers, real estate publications, Internet web sites) and will also disclosing property information to other salespersons and prospective buyers. If the listing is on MLS®, the property information will be given to the real estate Board or Boards operating the Multiple Listing Service(s)®. The listing information will be distributed through the MLS® system to any persons authorized to use the service (which may include other REALTORS®, appraisers, government departments and others) and may be marketed by the Board in various media, including the Internet. Property information, including sales data, is kept in the MLS® database following the completion of the transaction and is available to users of the system for comparative market analysis and valuation purposes. Both current and historical data is essential to the operation of the MLS® system and by placing your listing on the MLS® system, you are agreeing to allow this ongoing use of listing and sales information.

4. How do I find out what personal information a REALTOR® has about me?
You should be able to see your personal information held by a realty firm or real estate Board/Association by calling, writing or visiting the organization in person. There may be specific procedures you have to follow or forms you have to fill out, and the firm or Board/Association has the right to charge a minimal fee for the service.

5. Can I correct my personal information that is wrong?
Yes, you can. Contact the particular firm or Board/Association, explain the correction you are requesting and why. If you can show the information is inaccurate or incomplete, you can request that a document or record with the corrected information be included in the file.

6. Is there a review process?
Yes. If you have any questions or concerns about the way your personal information has been collected, used or disclosed or if access to your personal information has been improperly refused, or if the company has refused to correct erroneous information, try to settle the matter directly with the firm. It has procedures in place to respond to complaints. If you're not satisfied, you can contact the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, at info@privcom.gc.ca or by calling 1-800-282-1376.

©2007 The Canadian Real Estate Association - All Rights Reserved.

The Canadian Real Estate Association
The Canadian Real Estate Associations (CREA) Pledge and Principles of Competition

Pledge of Competition
Member Boards and Associations of The Canadian Real Estate Association support free and open competition. We believe in the principles embodied in the Competition Act of Canada. Therefore we adhere to a Code of Conduct which includes the following standards:
  • Commission rates or fees members charge for services offered to the public, and the division of those fees among cooperating members, are solely the choice of those providing the services.
  • A brokerage may offer any variety of services e.g. exclusive, open, MLS® listings etc. Boards and real estate Associations accept MLS® listings regardless of the price, commission rates or fees, or the division thereof.
  • Advertising by members and non-members is subject to the discreti on of the individual, as long as it is honest and lawful. We encourage creative, competitive choice in the services advertised to the public.
  • The business relationships between Broker members, their salespersons and non-members is theirs to determine. With regard to Board and Association membership, members may choose for themselves to work full or part time, as long as they remain available to serve the public on a regular basis and provided provincial enabling legislation does not otherwise authorize a limitation of such choice.
  • All members are required to meet uniform and reasonable financial and educational standards. They are required to demonstrate integrity and character necessary to protect the public.

By using the MLS® and REALTOR® trademarks, all member Boards and Associations of The Canadian Real Estate Association proclaim adherence to these principles, designed to preserve free and open competition.

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® trademark 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. enerally restrict advertising by members or non-members unless the advertising is:
    • False or misleading,
    • Prohibited by law, or
    • 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.

©2007 The Canadian Real Estate Association - All Rights Reserved.


©Copyright 1999 - 2016. Mark DeBruyn-Smith.

Mark DeBruyn-Smith B.A., Salesperson / Vivian DeBruyn-Smith Hons. B.A., Broker
Royal LePage State Realty, Brokerage
905.525.3737 Bus / 905.570.2500 Cell
1122 Wilson St. W., Ancaster - 987 Rymal Rd. E., Hamilton - 115 Hwy#8, Stoney Creek
www.royallepagestate.ca / www.hamiltonhomes.ca

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Royal LePage State Realty, Brokerage - 1122 Wilson St. W., Ancaster Ontario Canada - 905.525.3737 office, 905.570.2500 cell www.royallepagestate.ca
Real Estate Sales – Homes for Sale. Listing and selling homes in Hamilton, Ancaster, Dundas, Burlington, Flamborough and surrounding areas. Residential, Rural and Condominiums. Over 25 years of experience helping clients and friends buy, sell, mortgage, inspect, stage and renovate properties.