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Real Estate as a Professional Career



The Decision to Purchase
    Is this the right career for you
    Real Estate Today and Tomorrow

Being a Real Estate Professional
    The Role of the Registrant
    What is the Commission?
    Protecting the Public Interest

Being a Real Estate Professional
    How to Become Licensed
    Criminal Record Check
    Inter-Provincial/Jurisdictional Licensing
    Change of Registration Status
    Requirements
    Continuing Professional Development
    Time and Money

Brokerages
    Choosing a Brokerage


Is this the Right Career for you?

So you’re thinking of taking on a career in real estate. There are many opportunities for individuals that are interested in pursuing a career in the real estate industry. It is a fast-paced and constantly evolving profession and very rewarding. It is an essential element of Canada’s economy and influences the financial side of life for all Canadians. Real estate offers an extremely wide variety of specialties such as residential, commercial, farm, property management, leasing, investment real estate, land development, counselling and research. Each day and in every corner of our country, thousands of real estate deals worth millions of dollars are negotiated by educated, qualified and experienced real estate professionals (registrants).

However, your decision to undertake a career in real estate, as with the choice of any career or profession, merits very careful consideration. It is a field in which you may easily misjudge your future. Each year many individuals expend time, effort and money to enter the real estate industry only to discover that they cannot complete the required licensing/registration courses and examinations or, having done so, that they are unsuited to the work. Being a registrant in Saskatchewan requires a broad base of specialization in real estate. It isn’t easy and isn’t expected to be, given the depth of knowledge required in regards to the legal, technological, marketing and other complex issues particular to the profession of real estate. Each of the above mentioned specialized areas require a unique understanding of the issues, and generalized and specific legislation and governance involved.

The Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission (the Commission) is the provincial legislative body which governs and directs the licensing, education and continuing professional development (CPD) of all soon-to-be and existing registrants. As such, we provide a variety of educational tools to achieve success. If you have the drive and determination required, you can count on getting the training, knowledge, guidance and support you require to apply for registration in Saskatchewan.


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Real Estate Today and Tomorrow

The world is driven by many things; real estate is at the heart of it all. What property do I own? How much land do I have? What can I do with this property? What is my property’s value? What does my property say about me personally or professionally? Individuals everywhere want to buy or sell property. In many cases, a home is the largest single asset a person will ever own and, for many, real estate equity forms the foundation of their personal wealth and prescribes their lifestyle.

Corporations, like individuals, come in many sizes and shapes but the one thing most have in common is real estate. Their holdings can range from manufacturing facilities and corporate offices to retail outlets. Whatever their size or use, a corporation’s real estate assets always have a profound effect on the balance sheet and bottom line. Today’s professional real estate registrants do much more than simply list and sell property. They alter destinies and make dreams come true for Canadians from every economic stratum. They help create jobs and fuel business development in communities from coast to coast. Put simply – in a profession where there is seldom such a thing as a ‘simple’ real estate deal, they make real estate work for people and enterprise. And by so doing, they come to enjoy professional success along with the emotional and financial satisfaction that is a part of every successful real estate transaction.


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The Role of the Registrant

The real estate market is dynamic – and never more so than now. Legislation changes constantly. Technology evolves at the speed of thought. Marketing strategies succeed through laser-like precision. The one constant in the real estate marketplace is this – knowledge is power. Not long ago, real estate was a paper-based activity. But today’s professional must go well beyond simple paper forms and into the new realms of integrated databases, PDAs, GPS units, and virtual house tours. Completing your required registration education is just the beginning – be prepared to make multifaceted learning an integral part of your professional future. And, be prepared for personal sacrifice too. Your time is your clients’ time. You’ll be constantly in and out of the office, obtaining listings, showing homes, and negotiating agreements with buyers and sellers who often have little regard for the time of the day, or day of the week.

Of course, there’s good news, too. A real estate career is never routine. Every transaction is different. Every day offers personal freedom, professional fulfilment, and satisfaction. It takes effort, but if you thrive on opportunity and challenge, this could be the perfect profession for you – today and tomorrow.


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What is the Commission?

Real estate is a regulated profession. When preparing for a career in real estate, it’s important to understand both the value of professional regulation and your obligations as a registrant. The Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission (SREC; the Commission) is responsible for regulating the activities of the real estate industry and its registrants in Saskatchewan. The Commission administers The Real Estate Act, and associated Regulations and Bylaws.

The Commission's Mandate
The mandate of the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission covers the following:

Registration: The Commission is charged with the responsibility of registering all real estate and property management brokerages, brokers, branch managers and salespeople.

Education: To maintain high professional standards, the Commission ensures that all mandatory educational requirements are met. To this end, the Commission has contracted to the Saskatchewan Real Estate Association to administer all pre-registration courses that allow salespeople to initially begin to trade in real estate and brokers to open their own company.

IBTA: The Real Estate Act stipulates that all brokerages are required to maintain an Interest Bearing Trust Account for monies received in trust for any trade in real estate. The Commission audits these accounts to ensure compliance. Interest received is used to promote continuing education for registrants and to sponsor, support and promote research.

Special Projects: For the overall enhancement of the industry, the Commission is empowered to develop specific projects relating to real estate matters and for educational purposes for all registrants within the province. This is made possible through the monies collected from interest earned through a brokerage's interest bearing trust account.

Investigations: The Commission is charged with investigating all complaints from within the industry and from the general public as well as handling any discipline through a hearing process as set out in the Act, Regulations and Bylaws.

REAF: The Real Estate Assurance Fund is designed to provide financial protection to the general public for claims that qualify. Individuals who have lost monies through a deposit that was not placed into a brokerage's interest bearing trust account may make application for recovery of the loss through the Real Estate Assurance Fund.


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Protecting the Public Interest

The Commission regulates the activities of brokerages, brokers, and salespeople trading in real estate in the public interest. The individual and collective interests of consumers and real estate registrants must always be balanced to ensure that the broader public interest is served. Protecting the public interest is achieved through many activities, including:
  • Enforcing standards required to obtain and maintain registration as a brokerage, broker, or salesperson and delivering the duties of the registrar
  • Establishing minimum requirements for preregistration and continuing education
  • Conducting routine inspections of brokerage office to ensure compliance with The Real Estate Act, the Regulations and Bylaws, and to educate brokers
  • Addressing inquiries, concerns, and complaints about the conduct of registrants received from all sources and taking appropriate action to protect the public interest
  • Establishing and administering insurance requirements, which include consumer deposit protection
  • Promoting ongoing education, and competent, knowledgeable, and professional service.


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How to Become Licensed

Becoming a licensed registrant in Saskatchewan requires a time and effort commitment on behalf of interested individuals. The real estate industry maintains a high standard in licensing by requiring individuals to fulfill comprehensive, demanding education and experience requirements. Though no one is excluded from applying to become a licensed professional in real estate in Saskatchewan, it is required that all applicants successfully meet our comprehensive requirements as per Commission guidelines.

There are a number of levels of licensing and registration that can be achieved during a career in real estate. The following diagram illustrates the paths open to registrants.



Once licensed, an individual’s licence level and/or category may be upgraded with further education. A number of choices exist for licence upgrades. Most individuals selling real estate or managing property in Saskatchewan are representatives licensed to provide trading services or property management services, however, they may choose to become an associate broker or managing broker. Should a licensee wish to upgrade to become an associate or managing broker, they must successfully complete the Broker’s Licensing Course. In order to change your registration status to that of broker, a registrant must have been practicing for at least 2 years over the last 5, and have successfully completed the required education (Phase 3, above).

The Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission regulates education and registration for the real estate profession in the province. The Association for Saskatchewan REALTORS® (ASR) delivers this education on behalf of the Commission. You can register for courses through ASR’s website, here.


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Criminal Record Check

The Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission Bylaws require that applicants for a licence/registration submit a criminal record check by fingerprint comparison. The criminal record check is reviewed along with any criminal convictions and charges, which must be disclosed, including if any conditional or absolute discharges were granted. Current policy is that these are not necessarily a bar to registration/licensing, depending upon circumstances and recent record.

In the case of summary conviction offences unrelated to employment, an application for licensing/registration will not be considered until the completion of sentence, parole, probation or payment of fine. Where summary conviction offences are related to real estate employment, application for licensing/registration will not be considered until at least two years after completion of sentence, parole, probation or payment of fine.

Longer waiting periods are imposed for white collar crimes and for indictable offences whether related or not related to employment. If you require further information with respect to a criminal record, please contact the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission.

The Commission’s policy with respect to a criminal record check may be found here.


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Inter-Provincial/Jurisdictional Licensing

Reciprocity is the recognition and acceptance of licensing or registration status from outside of the province. If you are presently, or have been previously licensed/registered outside of Saskatchewan (within the past 2 years), and you wish to become registered as a real estate professional within Saskatchewan, please read and follow the directions on our License/Registration Reciprocity Guidelines document.


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Change of Registration Status

Registrants who hold a current Certificate of Registration and who seek to change brokerage or registration status (i.e., from broker to salesperson, salesperson to broker, salesperson to branch manager, branch manager to broker, etc.), must fill out the Commission’s form, “Termination of Certificate of Registration” and include the brokerage’s signature as well. The registrant must also complete an application form to represent the new brokerage and the applicable registration fee must be paid.


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Requirements

It is important to note that in order to enrol in our pre-licensing courses, you must also meet the following eligibility requirements:
  • Minimum of 18 years of age
  • Minimum of a Canadian high school diploma (or equivalent), or a post-secondary diploma/degree from a recognized institution
  • Proven proficiency in English language through the successful completion of the Language Proficiency Requirement
  • Be a Canadian citizen or have a permanent resident card or work permit
  • Submit a criminal record check by fingerprint comparison, including full disclosure of any criminal conviction or charges.


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Continuing Professional Development

Registrants are required to complete mandatory CPD, or continuing professional development, every year within the registration year (from July 1 to May 30). This is a mandatory condition for continued registration within the province of Saskatchewan.


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Time and Money

It requires a serious commitment of time and resources to achieve registrant status in Saskatchewan. Though the licensing and education provided for real estate is inexpensive in comparison to other professional education, it nevertheless requires an output of funds to acquire. Serious consideration needs to be given by each individual as to how much time they have to dedicate to their education as much of it is self-guided. Will you hold a full-time job, be a stay-at-home parent, or be taking other classes during the course of your education? How much of your time is truly flexible? How much money can you put into acquiring the necessary courses, exams and materials to complete the requirements?

In addition to considering the time and money required to become licensed, have you considered post-licensing compensation? For all intents and purposes, a career in real estate means you will be self-employed, though will belong to a brokerage for oversight. The compensation structure is commission-based and as such, you will have little or no guarantee of income. Income is affected by your abilities, people skills, hard work, market conditions, property types, and commission structure of your brokerage. You need also take into account the costs of running your own business (computer costs, printing, advertising, taxes, re-licensing fees, brokerage fees, etc.). It will take time, patience and hard work to establish a practice and build up an income to meet your personal requirements. You should have sufficient capital available to support yourself as you work to meet your personal goals.


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Choosing a Brokerage

Whatever your career aspirations, in order to be a registrant licensed to practice in Saskatchewan, you must be registered by the Commission and engaged by a brokerage. When choosing a real estate brokerage, you may want to consider brokerages in the geographical area in which you intend to conduct your business. Talk to the managing broker at several real estate brokerages to find one with a fee structure and corporate environment that best suits you.

All brokerages have their own ways of operating, so you should ask each of them what makes them different from the others. A phone call or email to brokerages might be a good first step in approaching them. When you apply to the Commission for licensing, you must provide the name of the brokerage with whom you intend to work.

You may change brokerages at any time once you are licensed, but the Commission will need to be informed in order that your licence can be amended.

Remember! You cannot conduct any business unless you are engaged by a brokerage, and any business that you do conduct must be done in the name of, and on behalf of, the brokerage with which you are engaged.


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