It has become apparent that the public is a little confused as to the different real estate designations which are being used in Alberta. I’ll try and clear up the confusion to the best of my ability.
Individuals who wish to trade in real estate in Alberta as real estate brokers are required to obtain an authorization from the Real Estate Council of Alberta.
Here are a list of some common designations
Real Estate Associate – Means that the individual is licensed to trade in real estate
Real Estate Associate Broker – This individual is licensed to trade in real estate and also holds the same educational requirements as a Real Estate Broker and qualifies to be licensed as a broker with their own real estate brokerage.
Real Estate Broker – Is authorized to trade in real estate and is accountable for the actions of all Associates and Associate Brokers in their Real Estate Brokerage of which services have not been contracted out of.
Real Estate Associates, Associate Brokers and Brokers are governed by the Rules & Regulations set out in the Real Estate Act in the province of their jurisdiction.
REALTOR® – Only members of the Canadian Real Estate Association may call themselves REALTORS®. To become a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association one must also be a member in good standing of their local Real Estate Board. in Calgary, it is the Calgary Real Estate Board. In addition to conducting their business under the guidelines set out in the Real Estate Act of Alberta, REALTORS® must also act in accordance with the code of ethics of the Canadian Real Estate Association and the Rules and Regulations set out by their local real estate board.
Only REALTORS® have access to the Multiple Listing Service and are authorized to hold out the trademarks REALTOR® in association with their name and designation. The terms MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and REALTOR® are trademarks of the Canadian Real Estate Association. REALTORS® may only be licensed under a Brokerage who is also a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association and their local real estate board.
All licensed industry members must only practice their trade in under the name of the brokerage to which they are licensed.
To determine if someone is licensed to trade in real estate in Alberta, one may consult this Real Estate Council of Alberta’s website. The Real Estate Council of Alberta also administers licensing for Alberta Mortgage Brokers, Alberta Property Managers, Alberta Appraisers and in future, Alberta Home Inspectors. The authorization to Administer the Act is granted to the Real Estate Council of Alberta by an act of the Parliament.
“trade” includes any of the following (Subject to change)
- (i) a disposition or acquisition of, or transaction in, real estate by purchase or sale;
- (ii) an offer to purchase or sell real estate;
- (iii) an offering, advertisement, listing or showing of real estate for purchase or sale;
- (iv) property management;
- (v) holding oneself out as trading in real estate;
- (vi) the solicitation, negotiation or obtaining of a contract, agreement or any arrangement for an activity referred to in subclauses (i) to (v);
- (vii) collecting, or offering or attempting to collect, on behalf of the owner or other person in charge of real estate, money payable as
- (A) rent for the use of the real estate, or
- (B) contributions for the control, management or administration of the real estate;
- (viii) any conduct or act in furtherance or attempted furtherance of an activity referred to in subclauses (i) to (vii).
None of the following constitute an offering, advertisement, listing or showing of real estate
- (a) the provision of information, forms and signs;
- (b) the creation of a web page to market properties;
- (c) the publication of a list of properties for disposition or acquisition.
No person shall
- (a) trade in real estate as a real estate broker,
- (b) act as a real estate appraiser, or
- (c) advertise himself or herself as, or in any way hold himself or herself out as a real estate broker
unless that person holds the appropriate authorization for that purpose issued by the Council, is the owner of the real estate or is employed by the owner. Fines for trading in real estate without a license are substantial.
For a more complete understanding of the rules, one should consult with the Real Estate Act of Alberta which is available from the Alberta Queen’s Printer.