CREA’s REALTOR® Code has been the measure of professionalism in organized real estate for over 40 years. The first code was approved in 1913; members approved the first code of ethics specific to CREA members in 1959. The Code has since been amended many times to reflect changes in the real estate marketplace, the needs of property owners and the perceptions and values of society.
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 REALTOR® Code, by setting high standards of professional conduct for REALTORS®, helps to protect Canadians' rights and interests. It also creates a level of trust between REALTORS® and their clients.
A Strict Standard of Conduct
The REALTOR® Code establishes a standard of conduct, which in many respects exceeds basic legal requirements. This standard ensures the protection of the rights and interests of consumers of real estate services. As a condition of membership, all REALTORS® agree to abide by the Code.
Some of the key items of the Code include:
- REALTORS® must disclose in writing whom they are representing as an agent in the transaction, and explain to parties in a transaction the details of the agency relationship; and
- REALTORS® can’t acquire an interest in property (either directly or indirectly) without disclosing the fact that they’re real estate professionals.
The Code and the Law
The REALTOR® Code establishes obligations that may be higher than those mandated by law. However, in any instance where the code and the law conflict, the obligations of the law must take precedence.