Real Estate 101... "CREA"

Canadian Real Estate Association

Organized real estate in Canada has three levels. The real estate board in general operates at a local level; the provincial or territorial association operates within a province or territory; and the national perspective is the mandate of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

The real estate board is the primary point for processing membership, and the recording and collection of dues. It also operates a Multiple Listing Service® system that in turn, provides data for display on The local board develops and implements the regulations that support CREA's national policies, and is responsible for the enforcement of the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Business Practice.

The board also provides an arbitration service to resolve disputes between members, and determines membership prerequisites, including the planning of seminars and workshops. The board also ensures local industry representation, and works in liaison with provincial associations and CREA.

The association at the provincial or territorial level handles membership processing in non-board areas, and is the facilitator for the maintenance of board jurisdictions, or for resolving disputes between boards or members from different boards in the same province. The association is also responsible for provincial or territorial licensing and education, and for the development and implementation of political action activities at the provincial level.

The members of the national association (CREA) include those of boards and associations. The responsibilities of The Canadian Real Estate Association include national and international representation of the industry, and the maintenance, protection and standards for certification marks and trademarks.

CREA also develops and maintains a national Code of Ethics, Privacy Code, and Standards of Business Practice, which are implemented at the local board level. The national association also provides arbitration services for disputes between provincial or territorial associations, or between members from different provinces.

CREA owns the MLS® and REALTOR® trademarks, which signify a high standard of service and identify members of CREA.

Not every real estate practitioner is a REALTOR®. Only real estate professionals who are members of their local real estate board and of CREA, and subscribe to the ethical standards of the REALTOR® Code, are allowed to call themselves REALTORS®.

For more information about CREA, their public website is

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