Criterias to evaluate a real estate broker

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Realizing a real estate project is a an ambitious and complex projectand the support of a real estate broker is a key factor for success. However, with the multitude of real estate brokers in Quebec and Montreal, it’s often difficult to make sure you’re making the right choice, especially for neophytes.

In this article, we delve into the essential criteria and conditions for assessing quality and validating your choice of real estate broker.

Find out more about the role of a real estate broker, the criteria for ensuring that he or she will accompany you successfully in your project, the mistakes to avoid, and the advantages of being accompanied by a real estate broker compared to other means of acquiring or selling property.

Temps de lecture 5 minutes

  • What is a real estate broker

  • Criteria for evaluating a real estate broker

  • Mistakes to avoid when choosing a broker

  • Advantages of working with a real estate broker

What is a real estate broker

A real estate broker plays a crucial role in facilitating real estate transactions, acting as an expert intermediary between buyers and sellers. This professional has in-depth knowledge of the local market, laws and regulations, enabling him to guide his customers through the complexities of real estate transactions.

For buyers, the broker acts as a guide, helping to navigate through the listings, refine searches according to specific criteria, and negotiate prices.

For sellers, he evaluates the property, develops marketing strategies and manages negotiations to ensure the sale at the best possible price.

Key competencies of a real estate broker

Real estate brokers must possess key skills to ensure their clients’ success – and their own. These skills go beyond simple market knowledge, and encompass the interpersonal and negotiating skills that are crucial to the customer experience, both for the different types of market players (buyers/sellers), and in general in our dealings with our various contacts.

Let’s take a look at the key skills to be found in a real estate broker.

For buyers :

  • Identifying needs: An effective broker will ask the right questions to understand precisely the buyer’s needs and preferences, using this information to filter and present the most suitable properties.
  • Negotiation: Negotiation skills are essential to ensure that the buyer obtains the best possible price, exploiting every opportunity to reduce costs.

For sellers :

  • Property valuation: The broker must recognize the property’s potential and suggest improvements to maximize its market value.
  • Marketing strategy: Developing and implementing innovative marketing strategies to attract potential buyers is crucial to a successful sale.
  • Sales negotiation: Ability to negotiate firmly in the seller’s favor to obtain the best possible selling price.

For all customers :

  • Market knowledge: A thorough understanding of the local market enables the broker to provide valuable advice on trends, neighborhood developments and investment opportunities.
  • Transparency and integrity: Maintaining open and honest communication with customers, ensuring that all transactions are conducted with the utmost ethics and professionalism.
  • Administrative management: Brokers take care of the administrative and legal aspects of transactions, simplifying the process for customers and ensuring compliance with all regulations.
  • Interpersonal skills: Brokers also need excellent communication skills, the ability to manage customer stress, and the empathy to understand and respond effectively to each customer’s expectations. These interpersonal skills build trust and facilitate negotiations.

In short, a real estate broker’s skills encompass both technical and interpersonal abilities, making this professional indispensable for successfully navigating the complex and often emotionally-charged real estate market.

Criteria for evaluating a real estate broker

When it comes to choosing a real estate broker, whether you’re buying or selling, there are a number of essential criteria to guide your decision. These criteria are not only a guarantee of the quality and reliability of the professional, they also ensure that your interests are well represented and protected throughout the transaction.

Discover our summary table of the essential criteria for evaluating a real estate broker.

Licensing and accreditationIn Quebec, your real estate broker must be certified by the OACIQ.
Local market knowledgeYour future broker must have an in-depth knowledge of the local market, in terms of prices, urban development and resident typologies.
Experience and referencesMake sure your real estate broker has long-standing expertise in the market.
Reputation and reviewsCompare previous customer reviews and the real estate broker’s overall rating to assess quality.
Availability and communicationMake sure your broker is available to follow up on your project, otherwise it will be a source of stress and frustration for you.
Specific skillsYour broker must have specific skills and a proven method adapted to your situation. Whether it’s a broad network or a tailor-made marketing plan for your property, its action plan is essential.
Ethics and integrityThe real estate broker with whom you do business must share the same values as you, and demonstrate integrity and transparency in his or her work to ensure a sound basis for your collaboration.
Contract conditionsCarefully examine the terms and conditions of the contract proposed by the broker. This includes commission fees, the obligations of each party, and contract termination conditions.
Feeling at the meetingThe “feeling” or personal chemistry you feel when interacting with the broker is also fundamental. You should feel comfortable with the broker, confident to discuss your needs and concerns openly.

Explore each criterion in more detail:

Licensing and accreditation

Importance of certification: Make sure the broker has a valid license issued by the Organisme d’autor√©glementation du courtage immobilier du Qu√©bec (OACIQ). This license is obtained after rigorous training and an examination, guaranteeing the broker’s competence.

Pro tips: Never deal with a broker who can’t show you his or her OACIQ diploma.

Local market knowledge

A good broker must have in-depth knowledge of the sector you are looking to buy or sell in. This local expertise is crucial to properly evaluating properties and advising on the best market strategies, whether in terms of current trends or peculiarities such as schools, neighborhood development, and other socio-economic factors.

Pro tips: Before presenting your desired neighborhoods to your broker, ask him which neighborhood he would first recommend, given your situation and budget.

Experience and references

Look for a broker with solid experience in the type of transaction you’re considering. Whether you’re looking to buy homes similar to those you’re targeting, or to sell comparable properties.

Pro tips: Ask to see examples of previous transactions, and don’t hesitate to contact former customers for testimonials of their experience.

Reputation and reviews

Take a look at online reviews and service ratings, such as Google reviews, social networking pages or the broker’s website, to gauge the online reputation of your future real estate collaborator.

A good reputation, often validated by positive customer feedback, indicates a high level of professionalism and customer satisfaction.

Pro tips: Compare and read Google reviews, subscribers on social networks, quality of posts, website… choose the one with the professional image that suits you.

Availability and communication

Broker availability is particularly important in busy markets, where speed can be of the essence. Also check his ability to communicate clearly and regularly, which is essential for maintaining trust and minimizing stress during negotiations.

Pro tips: Expect your broker to arrange follow-up meetings or calls with you. If this is not the case, impose these follow-up points at regular intervals.

Specific skills

Depending on whether you’re buying or selling, and whether you’re a family or on your own, your broker should have the right skills for your situation.

For buyers, this includes the ability to quickly identify your needs and negotiate effectively.
For sellers, it’s crucial that the broker can add value to your property and implement a dynamic and effective marketing strategy.

Pro tips: During your meeting, judge the broker’s ability to identify your needs and propose a tailor-made action plan, rather than a generic strategy without personalization.

Ethics and integrity

Make sure your broker acts with integrity, respecting all OACIQ rules of ethics. A broker must always act in the best interests of his clients, avoiding conflicts of interest and offering total transparency in all transactions.

Pro tips: Pay close attention to the broker’s discourse and the values that flow from it. If you sense a discrepancy and don’t approve of his approach, then turn to another broker.

Contract conditions

It is crucial to read and understand the terms of the contract proposed by your real estate broker. This includes commission fees, the responsibilities of each party, and how to terminate the contract. A clear understanding of these clauses will avoid misunderstandings and ensure that cooperation is fair and transparent.

Pro Tip: Before signing, ask the broker to review the terms of the contract. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification on specific points, especially regarding hidden fees or commission payment terms.

Feeling at your meeting

The personal feeling or connection you experience in your dealings with the broker is essential. You need to feel comfortable discussing your expectations and concerns freely and frankly.
A good broker is a good listener, with empathy and an active commitment to meeting your needs in a personalized way.

Pro Tip: At the first meeting, pay attention to how the broker answers your questions. A good broker should not only listen to you, but also ask pertinent questions that show his interest in your specific needs and his willingness to understand your situation in depth.

We have identified a number of essential criteria for assessing the quality of a real estate broker, in terms of both personal and professional skills.

A real estate broker is first and foremost a partner in bringing your real estate project to fruition, and making the right choice is essential to making your project a success.

See all our tips for doing business with a real estate broker:

Mistakes to avoid with a real estate broker

Choosing a real estate broker is a crucial step in the process of buying or selling a property. However, mistakes can happen and jeopardize your transaction.

Here are the main mistakes to avoid when choosing your real estate broker, along with practical advice to guide you.

1. Do not check qualifications

Mistake: Choosing a broker without checking his qualifications and license to practice.

Make sure your broker is licensed and in good standing with the Organisme d’autor√©glementation du courtage immobilier du Qu√©bec (OACIQ). Consult the OACIQ website to check the broker’s status and any disciplinary mentions.

2. Ignore the broker’s experience

Mistake Choosing a real estate broker without considering his experience in the type of transaction you are considering.

Select a broker who has solid experience in selling or buying properties similar to the one you’re targeting. Ask for references and examples of recent transactions.

3. Do not evaluate local knowledge

Mistake: Hiring a broker who is not familiar with the geographic area of your interest.

Choose a broker with in-depth knowledge of the local market, including schools, amenities and real estate trends in the desired area.

4. Ignore advice and recommendations

Mistake: Ignoring online reviews, recommendations or previous testimonials.

Read previous customer reviews on independent sites and ask the broker for references you can contact directly to discuss their experience.

5. Underestimating the importance of feeling

Mistake: Neglecting the importance of getting along with your broker.

Make sure you get on well with the broker during the first few meetings. Good communication and mutual trust are essential for effective collaboration.

6. Do not discuss contract conditions

Mistake: Not discussing the terms of the brokerage contract in detail before signing.

Examine the terms and conditions of the contract, including commission fees, obligations of the parties, and termination terms. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification or adjustments if necessary.

7. Choosing a broker based on price alone

Mistake: Selecting a broker because they offer the highest selling price for your property.

Beware of overly optimistic assessments. Choose a broker who provides you with a realistic appraisal based on a thorough market analysis.

8. Ignore broker availability

Mistake: Not taking into account the broker’s availability to answer your questions quickly and manage your file efficiently.

Make sure the broker is available to handle your file and respond to your needs in a timely manner, especially in busy markets.

To prepare for your meeting with a real estate broker, consult our article on questions to ask when preparing for your interview with a real estate broker.

Why use a broker for your real estate projects?

When it comes to carrying out a real estate transaction, whether buying or selling a property, using a real estate broker offers many advantages.

Here’s why it’s a good idea to work with a professional broker to bring your real estate project to fruition.

1. Expertise and market knowledge

Real estate brokers have in-depth knowledge of the market and the legal and financial intricacies involved in buying or selling a property. This expertise guarantees you won’t make any costly mistakes.

2. Negotiation and pricing

A real estate broker plays a crucial role in negotiating the terms of sale or purchase. He is equipped to establish the right price for a property, taking into account market conditions, and can often obtain a better price thanks to his negotiating skills.

3. Transaction process management

The real estate broker manages all stages of the transaction, from marketing to closing, including the often complex paperwork. This frees you up to concentrate on other aspects of your move or investment.

4. Access to a wide area network

Real estate brokers have access to a vast network of contacts, including other brokers, potential customers, inspectors, notaries and financial institutions. This can greatly speed up the sale or purchase process, or even your financing, and give you options you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

5. Save time and money

A broker can save you time and money by quickly finding advantageous loan offers and reducing the costs associated with the transaction thanks to his or her negotiating skills.

6. Legal protection

By using the services of a broker regulated by the Organisme d’Autor√©glementation du Courtage Immobilier du Qu√©bec (OACIQ), you benefit from additional protection. Brokers are bound by strict ethical standards, and you have access to recourse in the event of a problem.

Using a real estate broker for your real estate transaction isn’t just a matter of convenience;it’s a prudent strategy that maximizes your chances of success and minimizes your risks. Whether you’re buying or selling, a skilled broker can turn a complex project into a smoother, faster and potentially more profitable process.


Navigating the world of real estate can be complex and intimidating. This is where the expertise of a real estate broker becomes invaluable.

Whether buying or selling, a broker not only offers you in-depth market knowledge, but also acts as a trusted advisor who can negotiate on your behalf, manage the paperwork and connect you with an extensive network of professionals.

By taking into account the essential criteria for choosing the right broker and avoiding common mistakes, you can greatly increase your chances of a successful real estate transaction. Using a real estate broker isn’t just a convenience; it’s a strategic decision that protects your interests and optimizes your investment.

To be accompanied by professional real estate brokers who are experts and passionate about Montreal, contact our team.

Discover even more analysis and advice on the real estate market:


Valérie Lacasse

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Val√©rie has been a real estate broker for over 10 years. Passionate about the industry and Montreal, she is one of Montreal’s most influential brokers, guaranteeing expertise and comprehensive support for her customers.