Do You Need a Broker, A Realtor, or an Agent? Learn the Difference!


Real estate professionals come with various expertise as well as skills. But who do you contact when you want to buy a home? Things can get confusing because most people use the terms realtor, broker, and agent interchangeably – what is the difference between these terms and which real estate professional do you need?

What is a Real Estate Agent?

Commonly referred to as real estate salespersons, real estate agents are professionals that work with a real estate brokerage that processes all the deals they acquire and pull through.

Real estate agents represent both sellers and buyers. They have a fiduciary duty to care for the best interest of the client that they are representing while maintaining fair relations with all the other people involved in the transaction.

To become a real estate salesperson or agent in Ontario, an individual has to pass associated exams after taking required courses. The Real Estate Council of Ontario or RECO oversees the training and licensure of real estate agents in Ontario. After training and licensure, agents can choose to focus on industrial, commercial, or residential real estate and make sure to complete other required courses within a 2-year time frame to maintain their license.

What is a Real Estate Broker?

A professional who owns or manages a brokerage is a real estate broker. The broker is responsible for supervising all the real estate agents in his or her brokerage as well as overseeing the agents’ deals.

To become a real estate broker, an individual has to be a licensed agent for a minimum of 2 years, take required courses to maintain a license as an agent, and complete additional training.

Brokers do not need to be part of a brokerage as they can broker real estate on their own. It is up to them whether they want to join a real estate agency or not. Real estate brokers are responsible for paying commissions to their real estate agents as well as signing listing agreements with sellers. They’re the ones who must make sure that all transactions are without errors and as accurate as can be.

What Are Realtors?

Agents who are also members of CREA or the Canadian Real Estate Association are called realtors. They are required to complete an ethics training on a continuing basis plus pay an annual membership fee. Aside from these, realtors must uphold CREA’s Code of Ethics. This is in place to make sure that members maintain a certain standard when dealing with real estate transactions.

When you contact a realtor, you can expect a fair and honest professional who will display integrity throughout the time he or she is in contact with you. Only those who meet specific membership dues and training can use the term realtor to refer to himself or herself more so when marketing real estate services.

Are you looking for real estate professionals to help you buy a home? If you’re looking for low commission realtors in Toronto or low commission real estate agents in Toronto, feeDuck is the right place for you! Commission rates for real estate agents in Toronto can vary by a lot so head on to feeDuck Canada and let us help you find the exact real estate professional that you need!