TRESA Code of Ethics: Courtesy Obligation

Now that the TRESA Code of Ethics is in force, there are some changes.

Let’s look at a few of the provisions.

Honesty and Integrity

The Old Code stated:

Fairness, honesty, etc.

          3.  A registrant shall treat every person the registrant deals with in the course of a trade in real estate fairly, honestly and with integrity. 

The NEW Code says:

Integrity, honesty, good faith, etc.

1. In carrying on business, a registrant shall act with courtesy, honesty, good faith and integrity in relation to every person the registrant deals with.


The manner of expression is slightly different, but the message seems to be the same. However, there is one added word, namely “courtesy”. Just exactly what does that mean? What does it add?

Other professional organizations do not use the word “courtesy”. We will have to look up the definition, and from dictionary sources:


  • behavior marked by polished manners or respect for others 
  • courteous behavior. a courteous and respectful act or expression
  • a polite speech or action, especially one required by convention
  • courteous behavior
  • a courteous and respectful act or expression
  • consideration, cooperation, and generosity in providing something (such as a gift or privilege)

So, you will notice that the added words appear to be: respect, politeness, polished manners, cooperation and generosity.

The CREA Code of Ethics

This Code applies to the 96,000 members of organized real estate. There are a total of approximately 110.000 registrants. So, by and large, this Code applies to most of those who are active in the business.

The Preamble includes the following:

As REALTORS®, we accept a personal obligation to the public and to our profession. The Code of Ethics of The Canadian Real Estate Association embodies these obligations.

As REALTORS®, we are committed to:

▪ Professional competent service

▪ Absolute honesty and integrity in business dealings

▪ Utmost civility

▪ Co-operation with and fairness to all

▪ Personal accountability through compliance with CREA’s Standards of Business Practice.

To meet their obligations, REALTORS® pledge to observe the spirit of the Code in all of their activities and conduct their business whether personally or through employees, associates or others in accordance with the Standards of Business Practice and the Golden Rule —

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”


You will notice the reference to “utmost civility” and “cooperation with all”. To a certain extent, perhaps that means “courtesy” or is an extension of that expression.

There is certainly no doubt, that the addition of the word “courtesy” was intended to increase registrants’ responsibilities.

It is an obligation owed to all, so that means clients, SRP’s and the general public.

In due course, we will have to see if the Courts impose any additional responsibilities to the “fairness, honesty and good faith” obligations, already in place.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

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