Real estate is a regulated profession in Ontario, so all real estate agents must be registered with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). RECO regulates the real estate brokerages and agents who trade in real estate in Ontario.

If you are interested in becoming a real estate agent, the information below will help you understand how to become registered as a real estate salesperson – the first step in your career in real estate.

Here are the key steps to becoming registered as a real estate salesperson.

If you want to become a registered salesperson or broker, you must meet all of the requirements for registration under the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2002 (TRESA). 

You must be a least 18 years of age to apply.

When assessing suitability for registration, RECO considers whether:

  • the applicant can reasonably be expected to be financially responsible in the conduct of business;
  • the applicant will carry on business in accordance with law and with integrity and honesty; 
  • the applicant has made any false statement in an application for registration;
  • the applicant has carried on or is carrying on activities that are, or will be, if the applicant is registered, in contravention of the legislation;
  • the applicant is in breach of a condition of the registration;
  • the applicant meets all requirements for registration;
  • the applicant has complied with any request for information made by the registrar; and
  • granting the registration would be contrary to the public interest.

If you are concerned your past conduct might prevent you from becoming registered (for example, a criminal record, charges, or discipline history with another regulatory body), you can read the Registration Policy: Applicant/Registrant Criminal History to help you self-assess your eligibility.

RECO’s education programs ensure Ontario’s real estate professionals have the required knowledge, skills and competencies to help buyers and sellers navigate a real estate transaction. In Ontario, real estate professionals must follow a defined learning path to become registered and to maintain registration.

The Real Estate Salesperson Program, delivered by Humber College, is your first step towards becoming a real estate professional in Ontario.

The Pre-Registration Phase of the program is comprised of 5 courses, 4 exams and 2 simulation sessions which must be completed sequentially. You will have a maximum of 24 months to complete pre-registration. This includes up to 21 weeks per course for your first four courses and 4 weeks to complete course 5.

You must apply for registration with RECO within one year of completing the Pre-Registration Phase.

In order to be registered in Ontario, you must be employed by a real estate brokerage. Each brokerage is unique, so you should ask each of them what makes them different from the others. A phone call or email to brokerages might be a good first step in approaching them.

Contact several real estate brokerages to find one with a compensation structure and environment that is the best fit for you. You may also want to ask about training and other professional development the brokerage provides for its agents.

When you apply for registration, you must provide the name of the brokerage you will work for. Remember, you cannot trade in real estate unless you are registered and employed by a real estate brokerage.

One of the key elements of consumer protection is to review and assess any criminal record history that applicants may have. As such, we rely on a Criminal Record & Judicial Matters Check (CRJMC), also known as a level 2 Check, to assess an applicant’s suitability for registration.

Obtain a CRJMC well in advance (3-4 months is recommended) of applying for registration as some services experience a high volume of requests and it may take many weeks or more to issue the report. Keep in mind, the CRJMC must be dated within six (6) months of the date your application is received by RECO.

Most local police services offer online options to obtain your CRJMC. Visit your local police service online/in-person, or an RCMP accredited fingerprinting agency (if fingerprint verification is required). If you have a criminal record, fingerprint verification will likely be required.

You will need two pieces of identification to verify your identity. Both forms of identification must confirm your name, date of birth and address, and one piece of identification must include a photo. Check the website of your local police service to confirm their particular requirements. Fees may also vary between police services and accredited facilities.

Completion of an application for a CRJMC is typically required. The application forms will vary between police services. Make sure you are clear that you are seeking a level 2 Check, a CRJMC. Specify your request is for employment and a vulnerable sector search is NOT necessary.

RECO cannot process your application for registration without the CRJMC. To avoid unnecessary delays, please submit the CRJMC to RECO as soon as possible and ensure that it is sent by a traceable method such as courier or registered mail. If you are providing an electronic report, it must be verifiable as an original document and emailed to RECO in the format received from the police service.

After successfully completing the Pre-Registration Phase of the Real Estate Salesperson Program, finding a brokerage to work for, and obtaining your CRJMC, you can apply for registration with RECO.

You cannot start trading in real estate until your application is approved, you have purchased in the insurance coverage (see Step 6), and you are registered with RECO.

You must complete the application for new salesperson registration in MyWeb. MyWeb is RECO’s online portal that is available to all applicants. It’s free to sign up and it’s easy to use.

All real estate salespersons and brokers in Ontario must participate in RECO’s professional liability insurance program. It provides essential protection for you and your clients through its errors and omissions insurance, consumer deposit insurance and commission protection insurance.

Insurance coverage must be purchased when you apply and is renewed on an annual basis once you are registered. Insurance renewal payments are normally due on or about August 15 of each year. What you are required to pay when you apply is the pro-rated portion of the annual premium. The policy period runs from September 1 to August 31 of each year.

You will be notified by email once your application for registration has been reviewed by RECO. You will make the required payment for your insurance coverage through MyWeb.

Education requirements before your first renewal

To be eligible to renew your registration at the end of your initial two-year registration cycle with RECO, you must complete the Post-Registration Phase of the Real Estate Salesperson Program.

During the Post-Registration Phase, you can choose two of five electives in addition to the mandatory Compliance course as you complete the final phase in the Real Estate Salesperson Program learning path.

It’s important to make sure you have completed the required courses well before your registration expiry date to avoid any problems. Give yourself time – don’t leave it until the last minute.