Question of the Day

#RECAQOTD

I have a Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation. Can I be exempt from RECA’s property management course and exam?

Yes. If you have a current Real Property Administrator (RPA) or Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation, you may apply to RECA to be exempt from the property management course and exam. If RECA approves your application, you will not be required to complete this course or exam.  For further information on how to apply for this Education Exemption, please contact RECA at education@reca.ca. Other licensing requirements, such as a Certified Criminal Record Check, will still apply.

Question of the Day Archive

Licensing Questions

Education Questions

RMS Questions

General Questions

Conduct Questions

 

Licensing Questions

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+ I have two legal middles name, but my Certified Criminal Record Check only shows one middle name. Will you accept it?
No. You need to submit a Certified Criminal Record Check in your full legal name prior to licensing.
+ I’m applying for my licence and accidentally answered one of the suitability questions wrong, and my broker already approved my application. What do I do?
Please contact RECA at 1-888-425-2754 or via email at info@reca.ca. You will need to explain what happened that led you to answer incorrectly, and you may be required to document it in writing.
+ My broker terminated my registration with the brokerage. Can they do that?
Yes. Industry members can terminate their own registration as can their broker. In either case, each party is to notify the other party of the action.
+ I just finished my Practice of Residential Real Estate course, and passed the exam. Can I become licensed and register with a brokerage while I wait for RECA to receive my Certified Criminal Record Check?

No. RECA must receive a certified criminal record check in your full legal name before you become licensed and register with a brokerage.

 

+ I’m a broker. Is there a limit to the number of individuals that can be registered with my brokerage?

No. RECA does not limit or otherwise regulate the number of people that can be registered with a single brokerage. However, the broker’s responsibilities remain the same regardless of how many individuals are registered.

 

+ I’m buying a brokerage, and changing the name it operates under. Can I continue to advertise under the old name until clients recognize the new name?

No. You must advertise using the brokerage’s current name, though you can include additional wording that also indicates the former name of the brokerage (i.e. Brokerage ABC, formerly operating as Brokerage 123).

 

+ I’m applying to become licensed in another province, how can I request that RECA send my licensing history to the real estate regulator in that province?

You can request an official licence history through your myRECA account. Within the Licence History tab of your myRECA account, there is a “Request Licence History” button. Click on that button and follow the steps. For more information, review pages 3-6 of the Licensing tutorial here.

 

+ I’m current licensed in residential and rural real estate, does it cost anything to add commercial real estate to my authorization?

The only cost associated with adding commercial real estate to your authorization is the cost of the Practice of Commercial Real Estate course and related fees if you have not completed it within the past 36 months. That course currently costs $850. Adding commercial real estate to your authorization after successfully completing the Practice of Commercial Real Estate course does not cost anything.

 

+ Can I pay my licensing fee in instalments?

No. Full payment is due to RECA prior to licensing.

 

+ Does it cost less to become licensed at a certain time of year?

RECA doesn’t have monthly prorated licensing fees; however, RECA does lower its licensing fees for the last three months of the fiscal year (July-September). For a current fee schedule, please click here.

 

+ How much experience do I need before becoming a broker?

In the real estate brokerage, mortgage brokerage, and property management sectors, associates need at least two years of licensed industry experience within the last five years.

 

+ Do I have to belong to a local real estate Board to trade in real estate in Alberta?

No. In order to trade in real estate in Alberta, you require a licence from the Real Estate Council of Alberta. Local real estate boards are voluntary trade associations, and are unrelated to licensing through RECA.

 

+ I’m opening a brokerage as a corporation, and I will own less than 50%. Do the officers and directors of my brokerage require a certified criminal record check (CCRC)?

No. They do not require a CCRC; however, the proprietor, or a partner, or an officer or director of the brokerage, other than the broker, must complete the Brokerage Licence Suitability Questions. For more information on opening a brokerage, click here.

 

+ Can I be licensed in real estate AND mortgage at the same time?

Yes. Industry members can have a licence in multiple industry sectors (real estate, mortgage brokerage, real estate appraisal). There is separate pre-licensing education for each sector, and separate licences and licence fees for each sector. If you want a licence in multiple sectors, it’s a good idea to talk to your broker about it too.

 

+ What happens if I don’t renew on or before September 30?

If you don’t renew by midnight on September 30, you will not be licensed and authorized as an industry professional on October 1. You must immediately cease all activities that require a licence.

 

+ My licence is restricted to residential real estate, can I assist a commercial buyer if my broker says it’s okay?

No. If your real estate licence is restricted to specific practice areas (residential, commercial, rural, or property management), you can only trade in those practice areas. If you are not licensed to trade in commercial real estate, you cannot assist buyers or sellers on a commercial real estate transaction even if your broker says it’s okay.

 

+ Do I have to be a Canadian citizen to receive a licence in Alberta as a mortgage brokerage professional?

No, but in order to enroll in the pre-licensing education you require proof of the ability to study in Canada. If you don’t have a Canadian birth certificate or a Canadian Citizenship Card/Certificate, you need either a Permanent Resident Card or a Work Permit with no study restrictions. Click here for more information.

 

+ I’m licensed to do property management, but my brokerage doesn’t do property management. Can I be registered at two brokerages?

No. You can only be registered with and providing services on behalf of one brokerage at a time.

 

+ What does my real estate associate renewal fee include?

Your real estate associate renewal fee includes the licensing fee ($475 for 2016/2017 licensing year) and your premium for the Real Estate Insurance Exchange (REIX) ($275 for the 2016/2017 licensing year).

 

+ I want to cancel my licence, can I receive a refund of some of the licensing fees I paid?

No. Licensing fees are non-refundable.

 

+ How do I find and print my licence certificate for 2017?

In the Licensing tab of your myRECA account, you can click ‘View Certificate’ from your licence information. It will create a PDF certificate for you to download or print.

 

+ Can I be licensed in Edmonton AND Calgary?

Real estate, mortgage brokerage, and real estate appraisal licensing is province-wide. If you are licensed through RECA, you can provide services in any location in Alberta.

 

+ Can I pay for my licensing fees over the phone?
No. RECA does not accept payments over the phone by credit card. Industry professionals can use the myRECA system to make a credit card payment online or can send a cheque to the RECA office. If sending a cheque, please allow 2 business days for processing.
+ Do brokers need to be the owners of their brokerage?
No, but if a broker owns 50% or less of the brokerage, there are suitability requirements that pertain to all partners, officers, directors, and shareholders of the brokerage. For more information, click here.
+ Do I need to be licensed as a property manager to manage properties I own?

No. There is a licensing exemption for individuals/companies that manage properties they own.

 

+ Can I be licensed as a real estate professional through RECA and also hold a financial advisor designation?

Yes. There is nothing preventing you from holding a licence through RECA and holding additional designations.

 

+ Will a prior assault charge prevent me from becoming licensed?

It depends on a number of factors. You may want to consider completing a suitability review before enrolling in pre-licensing education. Click here for more information.

 

+ How do I apply for an “also known as” name?

Login to the myRECA system at www.myreca.ca. The first screen you see after logging in is the “My Information” page within the “My Account” tab. There is a blue button that says “Apply” beside the words “AKA Name.” For more information, click here.

 

+ What’s the difference between a Certified Criminal Record Check (CCRC) and Vulnerable Sector Check?

A vulnerable sector check only determines if individuals have a sexual offence conviction for which they’ve received a pardon. The RCMP carries out a Certified Criminal Record Check (CCRC) using fingerprint comparison to review an individual’s entire criminal history. A CCRC is required for licensing as an industry professional in Alberta.

 

+ What documents does RECA accept to process my legal name change?

Marriage certificates, certificates of divorce, legal name change documents, and birth certificates are acceptable documents for proof of legal name change.

 

+ How can I have my licence history sent to another province?

You can request that RECA send an official copy of your licensing, education, and/or disciplinary history to another jurisdiction by going to the Licence History section of the Licensing tab within your myRECA account. Click on Request Licence History, and myRECA will prompt you to select the types of history you want: education, licensing, or disciplinary, and to what organization and jurisdiction you want RECA to send the history.

 

+ Do I need a real estate licence to sell a business on behalf of its owner?

The structure of the sale of the business determines if you require a real estate licence to sell the business on behalf of another person.

• you require a real estate licence for the portion of the sale of a business that involves the lease or sale of real property
• you do not require a real estate licence to sell a business if the sale of the business is by a sale of shares even if the sale of the shares includes real estate

For more information, click here.

 

 

Education Questions

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+ Can I complete Real Estate Update 2017 (Residential/Rural) in a classroom?

Yes, you can. There are currently three approved course providers for classroom delivery of Real Estate Update 2017 (Residential/Rural). You can find their contact information here

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+ I have a copy of my Alberta high school transcript, can I drop it off at the RECA office to expedite the education eligibility process?
No. Alberta Education must send your Alberta high school transcript to RECA directly.
+ I only have until the end of next month to complete the Real Estate Associates Program, does my exam need to be completed by then too?

Yes, completing the program in the allotted timeframe includes completing the required exam(s). You have a maximum of 18 months to complete the Real Estate Associates Program from the date you enroll in the first course, the Fundamentals of Real Estate. In addition to the Fundamentals course, you need to complete at least one practice course (residential, commercial, rural, or property management) and its exam within that 18-month period.

 

+ I used to be authorized as a mortgage broker, but I didn’t renew my registration two years ago and now I want to re-instate my registration. Do I have to re-take the licensing education (Mortgage Associates Program)?

If you have been unauthorized as a mortgage broker for less than 3 years, you can re-instate your registration without re-taking the pre-licensing education. If it is three years or more since you were last registered, you will need to complete the licensing education, Mortgage Associates Program, in its entirety before becoming authorized.

 

+ I registered for the Fundamentals of Real Estate course last month, and I’ve decided I don’t want to continue. Can I have the course cost refunded?

To withdraw from a course and receive a refund, you must send a written request to education@reca.ca within 10 business days from the date you purchased the course. If your request is approved, payment will be sent to the person who paid for the course less a non-refundable amount of $300 for course administration costs. No refund will be approved after 10 business days.

 

+ What is the passing mark for a RECA exam?

The passing mark for all RECA exams is 70%.

 

+ I am enrolled in the Fundamentals of Real Estate. I’m going to be travelling for an extended period of time. Can I get a PDF version of the course so I don’t need to access the Internet while travelling?

No. Learners must have access to the internet to complete their education programs, including the course exercises, case studies, quizzes, practice exam, exam tour, etc. Learners must also view the online course content in order for the applicable activities to open and become accessible.

 

+ I failed the Fundamentals of Real Estate exam and the rewrite exam; can I try the exam a third time?

No. If you do not pass the rewrite exam, you will have to re-enroll in the program/course to continue your learning. Attempting to write an exam more than the permitted number of times is a violation of the Education Code of Conduct for Learners.

 

+ I have a Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation. Can I be exempt from RECA’s property management course and exam?

Yes. If you have a current Real Property Administrator (RPA) or Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation, you may apply to RECA to be exempt from the property management course and exam. If RECA approves your application, you will not be required to complete this course or exam. For further information on how to apply for this Education Exemption, please contact RECA at education@reca.ca. Other licensing requirements, such as a Certified Criminal Record Check, will still apply.

 

+ Can I photocopy my Canadian high school diploma as proof of education that is required for eligibility to enroll in RECA pre-licensing education?

No. If educated in Canada, proof of Canadian education includes one of the following: • High School Graduation transcript showing a graduation diploma was granted • High School Equivalency Graduation transcript from if you did not complete your Canadian high school education or your transcript cannot be provided • Post-Secondary transcript showing a diploma or degree was granted • Transcript showing a minimum of three for-credit, academic courses have been successfully completed in a for-credit degree or diploma program from a Canadian university. The university must be a member of Universities Canada. The transcript must be official, signed by the Registrar or proper authority at the issuing institution We will not accept a photocopy of your physical diploma.

 

+ How much does it cost to complete the Real Estate Associates Program?

It depends how many practice courses a learner wants to complete. The Fundamentals of Real Estate course, which all individuals must complete before becoming licensed in real estate is $1,400. After successfully completing Fundamentals, learners have to complete at least one practice course before becoming licensed. Learners who want authorization in more than one real estate practice area must complete additional practice courses. For full details on the process and costs of those courses, click here.

 

+ Does RECA accept a GED from Alberta as proof of a high school education?

Yes. Alberta’s GED tests are a way to obtain a high school equivalency diploma, and RECA accepts them. For more information about our eligibility process and requirements, click here.

 

+ I recently took education offered by my local real estate Board about commercial real estate, can I now trade in commercial real estate?

No. If you weren’t already authorized to trade in commercial real estate, completing a course through your local Board will not provide you with authorization to do so. In order to trade in commercial real estate, you must have commercial real estate listed as a practice area on your real estate authorization from RECA, which requires the completion of pre-licensing education.

 

+ My pre-licensing education access expires at the end of this month, and I’m not done my course yet – what can I do?

You have two options in order to extend your original course expiry date.

• A one-time 30-day extension, which does not require supporting documents, for a $300 fee. You can purchase your 30-day extension through your myRECA account under My Applications.
• A one-time extension for extenuating circumstances, which does require supporting documentation. For more information on this option, please contact RECA Education at education@reca.ca.

Once a course has expired, you will not be able to receive an extension, as expired courses are not retained in the system. If you would like an extension, ensure you request one well in advance of your course expiry.

 

+ Is there additional education required to become a broker?

There is no additional education requirement to become a mortgage broker. To become a broker in real estate brokerage or property management, you need to:

• complete the Real Estate Brokers Program;
• score 70% or higher on the Real Estate Brokers Program final exam; and,
• be authorized for ALL real estate activities (residential, commercial, rural and property management).

 

+ Are RECA pre-licensing courses eligible for student grants?

No, we are not an accredited institution and don’t qualify for student grants.

 

+ How do I book an exam?

Once you complete a course, RECA will issue you a Permission to Write (PTW). Your PTW will include Exam Guidelines as well as a list of RECA-approved exam centres. Contact one of these exam centres to book your exam. Please note some exam centres require up to 10 days’ notice.

 

+ How long is my Permission to Write (PTW) valid for?

A Permission to Write is valid for one year from the date of issue, and a Permission to Re-Write is valid for sixty days from the date of issue.

 

+ I finished the most recent Re-licensing Education Program course, but now I want to go back into it and review something – how?

To review a completed re-licensing course, log into myRECA and click the Education tab. Next, click on “History” to find courses you have completed and then click “Access Course” to review the material. Once in the course, you can also download the course eBook. The eBook is located under the Resources tab at the top of the course screen.

 

+ I completed the Real Estate Associates Program (REAP) two years ago, but never became licensed. Can I apply for licensing now?

No. You only have one year to become licensed from the date you passed your last REAP exam. If you do not become licensed in that one-year period, you must re-do REAP, including the exams.

 

+ How can I get a copy of my RECA education history?

You can request an official copy of your education history through your myRECA account. Go to the Licence History section of the Licensing tab, click on Request Licence History, and myRECA will prompt you to select the types of history you want: education, licensing, or disciplinary.

 

+ Can I write my real estate licensing exams in British Columbia?

No. You have to write your exam in Alberta, at one of RECA’s approved exam centres.

 

+ I never finished highschool, can I become licensed as a mortgage brokerage professional?

No. To become eligible to enrol in the applicable pre-licensing education you must have a minimum of Canadian high school education or equivalent. To learn more about education eligibility and which documents RECA accepts as proof of Canadian education, click here.

 

+ I’m registered for a pre-licensing course. Can I come to the RECA office and pick up my manual rather than waiting for it to be delivered?

No. RECA course manuals are shipped to learners directly from our printer, so it is not possible for you to pick up your manual at the RECA office. You should receive your manual within 10 business days of enrolling in a course.

 

 

RMS Questions

+ What’s the correct way to measure a basement according to the Residential Measurement Standard (RMS)?
Basement space (i.e. space that is below grade) cannot be included in a property’s size according to the Residential Measurement Standard. As such, RECA doesn’t have a standard for the correct way to measure a basement.
+ My listing is a foreclosure property and I can’t access it to measure. What do I do?
If it is not possible to measure the residence (e.g. a difficult foreclosure), you can deviate from measuring the property using the RMS as long as:
• the measurements represented do not imply they are in accordance with the RMS
• you include an explanation as to why the property could not be measured using the RMS
• you disclose the measurement methodology used
+ What’s the correct way to measure a garage according to the Residential Measurement Standard?
Garage space cannot be included in a property’s size according to the Residential Measurement Standard. As such, RECA doesn’t have a standard for the correct way to measure a garage.
+ Does the Residential Measurement Standard (RMS) apply to Alberta real estate appraisers?

No. The RMS only applies to licensed real estate brokers, associate brokers, and associates when trading in residential real estate.

 

+ Do RECA’s Residential Measurement Standards define what a bedroom is?

RECA’s RMS don’t define what a bedroom is for listing purposes, though local real estate boards may require their members to only classify a room as a bedroom if it contains certain features (for example, a closet).

 

+ Does the form of property ownership (i.e. single family versus condominium) determine how a real estate professional measures it according to the RMS?

No. The ownership style of a property is irrelevant to how to measure it; what matters is whether the property is detached or attached. Real estate professionals must measure detached properties, whether they are single-family homes or condominiums, using the exterior wall at the foundation. For properties with any common walls, such as half-duplexes, townhouses, and apartments, measure the interior perimeter walls (paint-to-paint) at floor level.

 

+ I’m not an industry member, can I get RECA to certify me as someone qualified to measure properties according to the RMS?

No, RECA doesn’t provide education or certification to non-industry members in the Residential Measurement Standard. If you want to operate a property measurement business, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the RMS using the materials available on RECA’s website, and make sure you are able to demonstrate your experience and competence in residential property measurement using the RMS.

 

+ Do I have to hire a professional measurement company to measure my listings?

No, RECA does not require you to hire a measurement company to measure your listings. You can take the measurements yourself, but you must ensure you are using the Residential Measurement Standard.

 

+ Is the registered size of a condominium unit the same size as its RMS area?

No. The registered size of a condominium unit is found on the condominium plan that is filed with Alberta Land Titles. A condominium unit’s registered size may include areas such as parking stalls, garages, below grade areas, balconies and storage areas. The RMS area of a property is the sum of its above grade living space.

 

+ Can I use measurements completed by a measurement company in a listing without physically measuring the property myself?

Yes as long as you ensure the person is able to competently measure the property using the RMS.

 

+ When listing a single-family detached home, can I use the size indicated in the builder’s blueprints?

If the property is not built yet, you are permitted to calculate the size by applying the RMS to the blueprints provided by the builder, and you must disclose that you’ve done so. However, if the property is built, you must measure it using the RMS. It is not acceptable to simply use the size indicated in the blueprints.

 

 

General Questions

+ Can I share RECA’s materials via social media?

Yes, RECA encourages industry professionals to follow it on social media and to share its consumer resources.

 

+ How do I become a Council member?

The Real Estate Act sets out the specific composition of Council, and stipulates who is responsible for appointing Council members. Review RECA’s website for more information on Becoming a Council Member.

 

+ I’m a real estate associate. Can I incorporate and have commissions paid to my corporation?

Associates are permitted to incorporate. In order for a brokerage to be able to pay commissions to an associates’ corporation, the associate must own no less than fifty percent (50%) of the shares issued by that corporation.

 

+ Can I pay a referral fee to an unlicensed individual?

A brokerage can pay a referral fee to an unlicensed person if the activities of that person did not require a licence under the Real Estate Act. For more information, click here.

 

+ Can someone from RECA review and formally approve my advertising?

No. As all of your advertising is done on behalf of the brokerage with which you are registered, your broker is responsible for reviewing it and ensuring it complies with the advertising rules in place.

+ I’ve received various industry certifications, such as Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), can I include them on my business cards?

Licensed industry professionals can include professional designations and certifications in their advertising as long as they are current.

 

+ How long is my CCRC valid for?

Your CCRC must be no older than 6 months at the time you submit an application for licensing.

 

+ My myRECA account has been temporarily disabled, who do I call?

If your account becomes temporarily disabled because you had 5 failed login attempts, please call RECA during regular business hours at 1-888-425-2754.

 

+ What piece of legislation governs RECA’s operations?

The Real Estate Act and the Real Estate Act Regulations govern the Real Estate Council of Alberta’s operations. RECA derives its authority to set, regulate, and enforce standards for real estate brokerage, mortgage brokerage, property management, and real estate appraisal professionals in Alberta from the Real Estate Act.

 

+ Can we access the myRECA system on weekends to process licensing transactions?

Yes. The myRECA system is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, for licensing transactions and education course access. Remember, though, that RECA’s office hours are 8-4:30 p.m., Monday-to-Friday, if you require additional phone or email assistance.

 

 

Conduct Questions

+ I’m a broker. One of my associates declared bankruptcy. How do I notify RECA?

Your associate is the person who is required to notify RECA of the bankruptcy, not you as broker. To do so, they need to login to their myRECA account. On their “My Account” page, they need to click on “notify the Executive Director” and follow the on screen steps. Full details are available at https://www.reca.ca/industry/publications/PDF/myRECA-tutorial-Notify-Executive-Director.pdf.

 

+ I’m a real estate broker and considering filing for bankruptcy, what will happen to my licence?
Brokers are not eligible to be licensed while in bankruptcy proceedings, which includes consumer proposals. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, please contact RECA at info@reca.ca or 1-888-425-2754.
+ I declared bankruptcy 5 years ago, during my renewal, do I have to advise RECA of this?

No. As long as you previously advised RECA of this event, you do not need to notify RECA of it again. The renewal process requires you to advise RECA of events that have occurred since your last application or since your last notification to the executive director under section 40 of the Rules.

 

+ A client has filed a civil claim against me in connection with services I provided, do I have to disclose this to RECA?

No. The notification requirement is in the case of a judgement being rendered against you, not simply upon the filing of a civil claim.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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