Choosing your broker and your property

Identifying your needs will help you look for a broker who will be able to help you find a property that meets your priorities.

Real estate agency, agency executive officer, real estate broker: there is a difference

  • A real estate agency: a legal person or a company that carries out a brokerage transaction through a real estate broker.
  • Agency executive officer: When you do business with a broker who is affiliated with an agency, you are also doing business with the agency’s executive officer (AEO). The AEO is responsible for making sure your transaction goes smoothly. He can act as mediator in case of disagreement with your broker, or refer you to other resources if necessary. Do not hesitate to contact the AEO if you wish to clarify something, if you can’t get a hold of your broker, or in case of emergency.
  • A real estate broker: the person who will handle your transaction, working on his own account or on behalf of an agency.


A broker’s rate or percentage of remuneration is not set by the Real Estate Brokerage Act or the OACIQ, or by any other legislation.

A broker’s remuneration is based on free competition. It is generally set as a percentage of a property’s selling price and normally paid out at the signing of the deed of sale. It can also be a lump sum or an hourly rate, and paid as soon as the services are rendered. It all depends on your broker’s business model. This is something you will discuss with him, as this information must be spelled out right from the start in your contract.


The broker undertakes to collect any remuneration due to him by another agency or broker. This amount is then deducted from the remuneration payable by you under your brokerage contract to purchase. It is possible, therefore, that you will not have to pay the remuneration indicated in your brokerage contract to purchase!

Choosing a broker

  • Does the broker have a valid OACIQ licence?
  • Does his record contain administrative notes or has he been the subject of disciplinary action?
  • Is he available?
  • What costs should you expect to pay?
  • Does he specialize in the type of property you are looking for?
  • How do his services differ from those of other brokers?
  • Is he knowledgeable about the area or sector where you wish to purchase?
  • Does he work alone or as part of a team?


To help you choose a broker, verify the validity of his licence and his history using the tool Check a broker’s record. There you can check his areas of expertise and whether he has been the subject of disciplinary action or a licence suspension.

Choosing your property

Here some questions to ask in order to define your needs. This exercise will help you look for a property that meets your priorities:

What type of property are you looking for?

(Single-family, income property, co-ownership property, new, resale)

What is your preferred environment?

(City, country, suburb, newer neighbourhood, older neighbourhood)

What nearby services are a must for you?

(Schools, public transit, hospital, fire or police, shopping mall, close to work, etc.)

What are your priorities inside the property?

(Number of rooms/bedrooms/bathrooms, type of heating [electric, gas, oil, dual energy], storage space, brightness)

Are you willing to do some renovation work?

(Kitchen, layout, exterior finish, etc.)

What exterior aspects are important to you?

(Parking, garage, yard, pool)

Do you plan to operate an office or business in the property?

(Accounting firm, psychologist’s office, hairdresser’s, etc.)

Will your parents be living with you?

(Intergenerational property)