We adhere to the guidelines and regulations set forth by organizations such as CREA, NAR, and various government and real estate licensing bodies. The issue we encounter revolves around the interpretation of the term “Exclusives” within the industry. To many residential salespeople, it signifies a listing kept in one’s back pocket or a property not open to cooperation. However, it can also encompass anything not listed on the MLS, which is generally well-understood. If a property isn’t on the MLS, it’s considered exclusive. Moreover, there’s a distinction between signed exclusive listings and networking information that lacks an address or property identification, both of which can be categorized as exclusive. However, CREA’s policy specifically pertains to publicly advertising signed exclusive listings, which must be listed on the MLS.

We align our practices with the guidance provided by the ICIWorld Association of Real Estate Brokers and Salespeople. We concur with RECO’s stance that, when disclosing an address or identifying a property for sale, written consent from the owner is imperative. On ICIWorld, we refrain from disclosing addresses or identifying properties for members who don’t possess a signed listing agreement, even for signed listings. For instance, our communication might read: “Toronto downtown restaurant $750,000, profitable.” We share this information without revealing the address. When someone expresses interest, we explain that we need to establish a listing agreement before disclosing further details. The same principle applies to residential properties. We network them on ICIWorld without divulging the address. The broker may compile a list of 3-4 interested parties and informs them that they’ll be among the first to view the property once a signed listing is in place. Any such listing must be added to the MLS within three days. We advise all our Realtor members to adhere to the guidelines established by CREA and their respective real estate boards.

Regarding property signage, as soon as a sign is placed on a property, it constitutes property identification, necessitating written consent from the owner. Failing to obtain such consent goes against RECO’s requirement for written owner consent.

One important point to note is that this rule primarily arises due to brokers who retain signed listings without sharing them with others. It’s important to emphasize that on ICIWorld, we do not engage in such practices. Instead, broker members actively share their information with the real estate industry, in the spirit of the founding principles of MLS itself. It’s the property owners who value their privacy, which can be compromised by the requirement to list on the MLS. Realtors are professionals who regularly conduct Comparative Market Analyses (CMAs). If a broker can establish a price through a CMA and find a buyer, it raises the question of why the owner should be compelled to endure numerous showings, including nosy neighbors, as seen in Toronto. Some owners simply prefer confidentiality for various legitimate reasons, as articulated by Barry Leboa in an article in REM magazine.

If all real estate boards adopted ICIWorld’s platform and IDX for their members, everyone would have access to information beyond MLS listings. This would provide brokers with more options to offer the public, and because they are all trained in consumer protection, they would ensure public security. Information can be misused, and it’s preferable for individuals to work with licensed brokers and salespeople rather than navigating social media and intermediaries for real estate transactions. Utilizing a Realtor simplifies the process.

In the commercial real estate sector, this approach has been successful for the past two decades. In fact, ICIWorld has facilitated over $1 billion in real estate transactions since 1994, all conducted in a logical, compatible, safe, and professional manner.

Please consider inviting us to contribute to future discussions or to speak at meetings. We are eager to share our expertise and insights.