Ask Joe: What is a RECO Certificate?

The next three blog posts come to us through RECO.  Joseph Richer is registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). He oversees and enforces all rules governing real-estate professionals in Ontario.

My salesperson took me to see a condo, but we were denied entry because he didn’t have his RECO certificate. What is that?

In Ontario, individuals who are in the business of trading in real estate must be registered through the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).

A RECO certificate provides proof of a real-estate professional’s registration and ensures that the person you have hired to help you buy or sell a home is indeed legally permitted to trade in real estate in Ontario. The certificate identifies the person’s complete legal name, their designation as salesperson or broker, their registration number, employer’s name, and the date the certificate expires.

Every real-estate agent should carry their certificate of ID on them should they be asked for it in order to view a property. They can carry an actual card or they can use the MyRECO Certificate app that allows them to show their certificate electronically.

The seller, or their representative, have the right to confirm that they are dealing with both a prospective buyer and their registered real-estate professional, and not someone who may be conducting business illegally.

RECO regulates and enforces the laws in the real-estate sector in Ontario, so that means when you work with a real-estate professional, you are provided with three pillars of protection.

For starters, every real-estate professional in Ontario must complete education courses before they are allowed to trade in real estate. Once they’ve entered the real-estate sector, they must complete additional courses every two years to keep their knowledge up-to-date and their skills sharp.

Second, all brokers and salespersons are required to uphold professional standards of conduct and ethics with an emphasis on conducting their business with fairness, honesty and integrity. They must follow rules and regulations under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 that are put in place to protect you.

In the rare instance that something goes wrong and you want to complain about your representative or the brokerage, RECO will investigate and take steps to hold them accountable for their actions.

Finally, real-estate reps must have deposit insurance, and that provides you with peace of mind knowing your payment will be held in trust and insured against loss, insolvency or misappropriation by a brokerage. Agents are also required to maintain errors & omissions insurance to pay claims for damages and legal costs that arise from errors, omissions and negligent acts that a rep may make while trading in real estate.

To confirm the registration of your real-estate representative, visit our website and click on the Real Estate Professional Search bar.

It’s important to remember there is value in working with a registered real-estate professional. And that an informed consumer is a protected consumer.

Joseph Richer is registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). He oversees and enforces all rules governing real-estate professionals in Ontario. Email questions to . Find more tips at, follow on Twitter @RECOhelps or on YouTube at .