The Real Difference Between Agents, Brokers, and REALTORS®

If you're like me, you mix up the terms realtor, agent, and broker often when referring to people helping others buy/sell homes. But who would blame you? After all, their jobs are basically the same, right?

Well..not exactly. And knowing the difference between REALTORS®, real estate agents, and brokers can help you better understand what kind of real estate service you want when it comes to buying or selling your home. Let's dive in!

Real Estate Agents

Very simply, real estate agents represent the seller or buyer in a transaction. They have a duty to act in the best interests of their clients, all while ensuring that the transaction process runs smoothly for all parties.

For sellers, real estate agents actively work on getting a home sold by posting listings online, organizing professional photography and open-houses, etc. For buyers, they help with the home buying process every step of the way, from the home search to negotiations to signing the final documents.

In Quebec, all working real estate agents are overseen and licensed by the OACIQ. To keep their licenses up to date, they are subject to frequent examinations and courses.

Real Estate Brokers

Real estate brokers, on the other hand, are professionals who own or manage a brokerage. They are responsible for managing and overseeing all agents who work at the brokerage. To become a broker in Quebec, you must have already been an OACUQ-licenced real estate agent for at least two years. They must then complete additional training upon deciding to become a broker.

Of course, brokers do not need to be tied to another brokerage, and also have the freedom to join a real estate agency if they choose.

Real estate brokers are the ones who pay out real estate commissions to their agents and sign listing agreements with sellers. They’re also tasked with making sure that all transactions are completed accurately and are free of any errors.


Essentially, REALTORS® are real estate agents who are also members of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), which involves them paying an annual membership fee and continuous ethics training sessions. They must also promise to uphold the entity’s Code of Ethics, a program that ensures that all members of CREA maintain a certain standard when practicing real estate.

Buyers and sellers working with REALTORS® typically encounter a high degree of professionalism and integrity in their representation.


Real estate agents, brokers, REALTORS® all represent buyers and sellers throughout the real estate transaction processes. In Quebec, they are all OACIQ-licensed and have a fiduciary duty to act in your best interest at all times. While they subtly differ in terms of licenses and responsibilities, the title of the individual helping you buy/sell a home should not matter as much as the relationship you have with them and the trust you are able to place in them.

If you need to sell or buy a home, a Qube REALTOR® can help you navigate the market safely and with professional insight. Qube supports Quebec residents by providing full-service real estate experiences with incredible rewards: sellers save thousands in commission and buyers receive cash back when they purchase a home with one of our REALTORS®. Visit our website here or call 1-877-410-7823 to learn more.