Trading in Real Estate as a Real Estate Broker

Purpose: This bulletin explains when a person needs a licence from the Real Estate Council of Alberta to trade in real estate.

This bulletin applies to real estate brokerages, brokers, associate broker, associates and any person who wishes to trade in real estate on behalf of others.

Does a person need a licence to trade in real estate?
A person who trades in real estate on behalf of another and for compensation, or holds oneself out as a real estate broker, must obtain a real estate broker licence from the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA), unless they are exempt by the legislation.  

The Real Estate Act (Act) does not apply to a person who purchases or sells real estate on their own behalf. 

The Act defines real estate. It includes real property, leasehold property and portable dwellings (e.g. mobile home) used for residential purposes.

What is a “trade in real estate”?
A trade in real estate includes:

You require a real estate broker’s licence from RECA to conduct the above activities. 

A person is not trading in real estate if they carry out the following activities:

What is a purchase or sale of real estate?
A purchase includes an exchange, option, lease or other acquisition of an interest in real estate.

A sale includes an exchange, option, lease, or other disposition of an interest in real estate. A lease includes residential tenancy agreements under the Residential Tenancies Act.

Who is a buyer and who is a seller?
A buyer is a person acquiring or attempting to acquire an interest in real estate by purchase.  A seller is a person disposing or attempting to dispose of an interest in real estate by sale and. 

What is property management?
Property management includes:

What does “holding oneself out” mean?
A person who advertises they are a real estate broker, or acts in any manner that leads the public to believe they are a real estate broker, is “holding oneself out” as trading in real estate.  

“Holding oneself out as a real estate broker” can include using the term “real estate broker” to describe oneself, advertising a property for sale to attract buyers, holding open houses, showing properties to potential buyers and negotiating purchase contracts on behalf of a seller or buyer. For more information, please see RECA Information Bulletin: Holding Oneself Out.

When a licence is not required?
A licence to trade in real estate is not required for the following:

A substantial interest means an ownership interest in real estate of not less than 25%.

Certain persons do not require a licence under the Real Estate Exemption Regulation. 

Review the Exemption Regulation for more clarification.

RECA has adopted the definition of “employee” in the Alberta Employment Standards Code.

Unlicensed assistants     
In real estate brokerages, unlicensed assistants must not trade in real estate.

Examples

Related information

Legislation

Information bulletins

 

 

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