Exclusive Listings in Ontario

Exclusive Listings in Ontario

Exclusive listings are not what they used to be. Previously real estate agents could list a property for sale exclusively, keeping it off the public MLS system and Realtor.ca while still advertising it for sale.

This exclusive listing scenario worked well for sellers who were concerned about their privacy and preferred exclusive listings to public listings. There are several reasons why a seller would want to list exclusively which we will outline below. While Exclusive listings are still common and useful in some scenarios’ there have been changes.

What is an Exclusive Listing?

An exclusive listing agreement is a contract between a seller and their real estate agent or broker. The home or cottage is listed for sale but not marketed publicly. Now, the exclusive listings are kept “in-house” meaning only the listing brokerage and their agents know the property is for sale. The listing agent is allowed to convey to other agents that the property is for sale, however, this can only be conveyed on a one-to-one basis. If the agent being notified feels they have a buyer for the property they can request more information from the listing agent, including scheduling a showing.

Are Exclusive Listings Allowed in Ontario?

Yes, exclusive listings are allowed in Ontario. You can list your property exclusively; however, the listing must be converted to an MLS, public, listing within three days of the listing agreement if the property is going to be advertised in any way. Listing exclusively initially allows your real estate agent to complete their due diligence gathering and inputting the necessary information including documents such as well certificates, septic papers, determine zoning, any easements, and so on.

This change in exclusive listings rules came into effect on January 3rd, 2024. There has been a great deal of negative criticism from real estate agents across Canada Effective immediately, if a Realtor or Brokerage advertises an exclusive listing on their website or elsewhere, a disciplinary process can result in fines and other sanctions.

Advertising exclusive listings is no longer permitted under the new Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) rules. If you signed an exclusive listing agreement with us, we cannot advertise it publicly on any media including a lawn sign, our website, our brokerages website or social media.

Some sellers who do not wish their address or other identifying information on the internet for personal or privacy reasons. Such individuals include high profile or high net worth individuals including CEO’s, head of corporations, athletes, or celebrities.

Why Were These New Rules Implemented?

When a Realtor lists your property for sale, they are contractually bound and obligated to serve your best interest. One of the biggest drawbacks to exclusive listings is a lack of exposure. When selling your home or cottage it is your agent’s job to obtain the highest and best price with the most favorable terms to you. CREA undertook a survey and determined that this need was not being met under the previous exclusive listing guidelines.  

How to Find Exclusive Real Estate Listings in Ontario

While exclusive listings are still permitted, you won’t find them on Realtor.ca or other public platform.  As exclusive listings are private, only the seller’s brokerage, and any other agents the listing agent contacts are aware of the property. The best way to learn about exclusive listings is to work with an experienced local real estate agent who has a good working relationship with other Realtors in the area.

Visit the local Realtor’s website and sign up to receive newsletters or use their contact form to request email alerts of available properties.

If you are already working with a Realtor, ask them to maintain constant contact with other area agents to find out about exclusive listings.

If you would like more information or have any questions about the new exclusive listing rules or to find exclusive listings in Muskoka, Lake of Bays, Georgian Bay, Haliburton, Kawarthas or the Northumberland, Peterborough and Quinte areas, please reach out to one of The Janssen Group Associates.

The Janssen Group Associates

The Janssen Group Associates are highly connected in the cottage country areas they serve. With vast networks and long-standing ties in their communities these knowledgeable and experienced real estate agents keep their fingers on the pulse of their real estate markets and are aware of exclusive listings.

Work With Us

Looking to buy or sell a cottage property? Let us elevate your real estate expectations. Whether it’s determining current value, crafting a competitive offer, or negotiating a win.