As of January 3rd, significant changes are reshaping the landscape of the real estate market in Canada, particularly impacting how off-market listings are marketed. These alterations, outlined by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), are set to influence the way listings are handled on platforms like BrokerPocket.Before we dive in, it’s important to note that BrokerPocket will continue to operate under the new CREA Cooperation policy. BrokerPocket will implement technological updates to help agents adhere to the changes with CREA, and operate as “business as usual”.
Firstly, it's crucial to note that the CREA Cooperation Policy exclusively applies to members of CREA. If you're not a CREA member, these changes do not directly impact you. For those affiliated with a board, membership in CREA is likely, making adherence to the new policy imperative. For further clarification, Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are certification marks owned by REALTOR® Canada Inc., a corporation jointly owned by the National Association of REALTORS® and CREA (CREA 2023).This means that you can be a real estate agent, without being a REALTOR®.
The policy mandates that REALTORS® must place listings on an MLS® System within three days of public marketing. Since the rule does not apply to all listings, BrokerPocket will not automatically remove listings after 3 days.Agents are responsible for ensuring their own compliance with the CREA cooperation policy.
One of the central components of the CREA Cooperation Policy is the definition of "Public Marketing". This term encompasses various forms of property representation to the public but excludes one-to-one direct communication with a REALTOR® unaffiliated with the listing brokerage.This includes but is not limited to flyers, yard signs, digital marketing on public-facing websites, brokerage website displays, social media posts, etc.. BrokerPocket may, under certain circumstances, fall within the scope of "public marketing," as the marketing is “one to many” but exceptions exist, which we'll explore further in the next section.
Notably, commercial property listings, new construction listings in developments, and rental property listings are exempt from the three-day MLS® System placement requirement. Listings falling under these categories on BrokerPocket remain unaffected. However, REALTORS®’ handling such listings are obligated to disclose the benefits of listing on an MLS® System to the seller in writing within three days of public marketing.
Can you post a listing for longer than 3 days? While the default is now 3 days for exclusive and coming soon, users can override this option if the CREA cooperation is not applicable to them, for example if they are a real estate agent, but not a REALTOR®. BrokerPocket does not verify whether its members are designated as a REALTOR® or not, and responsibility for compliance is ultimately up to the individual agent.
Resale Property (anything that has been built and sold previously) will be subject to the three-day CREA cooperation rule.This includes Coming soon, and all exclusive property that does not fall under the exemptions listed above. BrokerPocket will be implementing a notification system to remind agents of this, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the agent to ensure their compliance with the new rule changes.
In the event that a seller opts not to list on an MLS® System, written confirmation must be provided to the listing REALTOR®. This confirmation should include specific instructions not to engage in public marketing and an acknowledgment of potential consequences.
Boards and Associations operating MLS® Systems are tasked with adopting and enforcing the CREA Cooperation Policy in their MLS® System Rules or equivalent policies. While BrokerPocket itself is not responsible for enforcing the policy, the platform encourages all users to abide by it. To assist with compliance, BrokerPocket will introduce prompts on its platform.
BrokerPocket expressly disclaims any responsibility or liability regarding the CREA policy but underscores the importance of agents and boards ensuring compliance.
The policy is set to come into force on January 3, 2024.The CREA Cooperation Policy introduces changes that impact how listings, including those on BrokerPocket, are marketed and subsequently placed on the MLS® System.
After consulting with many clients, agents and industry stakeholders, it is the opinion of BrokerPocket that the REALTORS® Cooperation Policy has significant challenges and should be reconsidered.
Ultimately, we believe in consumer choice and that the Seller has the right to choose how and where their property is sold. This right supersedes any potential benefits of forcing all sellers to place their properties on the MLS system to gain maximum exposure. Furthermore, this policy can have serious legal repercussions and can further polarize our industry stakeholders.
There is overwhelming support from individual real estate practitioners in favour of abolishing the policy as it does not increase the level of professionalism. Instead, it limits consumer choice and creates further mistrust and suspicion between agents and clients.
Please reach out to your local board to express your concerns or complaints regarding the CREA cooperation policy and how it may affect you and your business.