If I help my brother or a friend to buy or sell their house at no charge, am I still subject to REBBA 2002? Isn’t it just a private deal?

Brokers and salespeople are regulated, just like doctors and lawyers. You wouldn’t expect a “private surgery” or “private legal services” that aren’t subject to rules of professional conduct. The same applies to the real estate services that you provide.

If you are registered under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA 2002), any real estate trade you are involved in is subject to REBBA 2002. Therefore, for a registrant, there is no such thing as a “private” real estate deal.  Even if you’re not being compensated, your conduct in relation to that trade is subject to the provisions of REBBA 2002, including the Code of Ethics.

Here are some key requirements:

    • A broker or salesperson can only trade in real estate on behalf of the brokerage that employs them. Their employing brokerage is responsible for their conduct in all trading situations. When they are involved in a trade, they must provide their employing brokerage with copies of all documents relating to the trade.
    • Brokers or salespersons can accept commission or other remuneration for a trade in real estate only from the brokerage that employs them
    • A registrant  must disclose any personal interest they have in the real estate transaction, this would include:
      • When a registrant is the buyer or seller
      • When a relative of the registrant is the buyer or seller
      • When a registrant or their relative is a shareholder of a company that is buying or selling, or has another role in the transaction that is not evident to a consumer

For information about this disclosure, see the Registrar’s Bulletin titled Disclosure: personal interest and knowledge.

Other requirements might also arise depending on the specific circumstances of the transaction. If you are unsure, consult the regulations or seek the advice of your Broker of Record.

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