Mere Postings in Alberta – Must be Licensed
| May 03, 2011
Just when you thought the issues between the Canadian Real Estate Association and the Competition Bureau were resolved, some discount brokerages are again asking the Bureau to intervene in their fight to use MLS® to list properties nationally.
These discount brokerages believe they should be allowed to offer Canada-wide “mere postings” on MLS® for their clients, irrespective of whether they are licensed to trade in real estate in all of the jurisdictions in which they wish to list properties. For more information, see RECA Information Bulletin: Trading in Real Estate – Jurisdiction and the Real Estate Act.
RECA is aware some discount brokerages have made such a request to the Competition Bureau; however, RECA’s review of “mere posting” services has concluded that a person involved in providing a “mere posting” service in Alberta for a seller is trading in real estate and requires an authorization pursuant to the Real Estate Act.
CREA has stated that in order for properties to be placed on MLS®, the licensed real estate practitioner placing them must assume responsibility for the accuracy of the posted information (listing). The Real Estate Act Rules also have provisions regarding real estate industry professionals providing services to sellers and/or buyers. Section 42 of the Rules states: “Industry members must not make representations or carry on conduct that is reckless or intentional and that misleads or deceives any person or is likely to do so.” When providing “mere posting” listing service(s), reasonable care and skill must be exercised. Some examples of exercising reasonable care and skill are; conducting a review of title to ensure the parties have a legal right to sell the property; confirming property tax information being posted on the board’s MLS® System.
As such, using MLS® for a “mere posting” is more than simply placing an ad, and not subject to the Real Estate Act s.1(2), which states that the creation of a web page to market properties is not a trade in real estate nor is publication of a list of properties for disposition or acquisition.
For more information on the Consent Order, see RECA Information Bulletin: Mere Postings.
Do you think the existence of “mere postings” has fundamentally changed the way real estate is practiced in Alberta?