Before you start comparing paint chips and tile finishes, be sure that you are protected. The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) plays an essential role in providing peace of mind for first-time condo buyers.

When shopping for a condo, you may choose to use a registered real estate salesperson or broker (commonly referred to as “agents”) to help in your search. If so, you’ll have the protection provided by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).

Established in 1997, RECO regulates real estate salespeople, brokers, and brokerages, and administers and enforces the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA), including a Code of Ethics, on behalf of the government of Ontario.  The law requires all brokers and salespersons in Ontario to be registered with RECO.

RECO establishes education standards for new salespeople, who are required to complete courses before they enter the real estate sector.  Once they are in the profession, they complete additional courses every two years to remain up-to-date with requirements to provide knowledgeable and competent services.

Brokers and salespersons are required to uphold strict standards that emphasize fairness, honesty, and integrity, as well as follow the rules and regulations that are there to protect consumers.
Protecting the public is RECO’s mandate, and when a member of the public wants to file a complaint about their representative or the brokerage, they may do so.  Complaints are thoroughly investigated, and if necessary, RECO will take steps to hold the real estate professionals accountable for their actions.

RECO also administers an insurance program which protects consumers’ deposits in the event of loss, insolvency, or misappropriation by the brokerage.

For more information, visit RECO’s website at reco.on.ca for articles and additional resources about your rights and responsibilities when buying and selling real estate.  RECO also publishes a weekly column in the Toronto Star called Ask Joe, in which additional, helpful real estate tips are discussed.