Tips for choosing a real estate broker

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Choosing the right real estate broker is crucial to successfully navigating Montreal’s dynamic real estate market. A qualified and skilled broker can transform your real estate experience, offering you local expertise, advanced negotiation strategies, and privileged access to exclusive properties and financing.

This article will guide you through the essentials of selecting the perfect broker, ensuring that your real estate project, whether buying or selling, is a complete success. Find all our advice on choosing the right real estate broker.

Information to remember in this article:

– Your real estate broker must be certified by the OACIQ and have a brokerage certificate.
– Working with a real estate broker gives you the expert support you need to make your project a success and save you precious time.
– Experience, opinions, market knowledge and project follow-up are essential when choosing a real estate broker.
– Define your needs, budget and know your rights before starting a collaboration.
– Don’t base your choice on commission rates alone.
– List all the questions you need to ask to make sure you make the right choice.
– There are different ways to pay a real estate broker.

Table of contents :

  1. What is a real estate broker?
    • Definition real estate broker
    • Differences with real estate agents
    • Real estate broker prerequisites
  2. Why choose a real estate broker in Montréal?
    • Understanding the Montreal real estate market
    • The importance of local expertise in your real estate search
    • Making a success of your real estate project with a broker
    • Save time
  3. 5 essential criteria for choosing your real estate broker
    • Experience and specializations
    • Reviews and recommendations from previous customers
    • In-depth knowledge of the local market
    • Negotiation and communication skills
    • Availability and personalized follow-up
    • Buy or sell strategy
  4. How to work with a real estate broker
    • Organize a meeting
    • List your needs
    • Know your protection
    • Define your budget
  5. The advantages of working with a real estate broker in Montréal
    • Privileged access to off-market listings and properties
    • Legal support and negotiation advice
    • Save time and increase efficiency in your search
    • Get the best financing
    • Delegate your sales or purchasing strategy
  6. 4 mistakes to avoid with a real estate broker
    • Based solely on commissions
    • Neglecting the importance of chemistry and communication
    • Ignoring the importance of references and testimonials
    • Not keeping track of actions taken
  7. Questions to ask when you first meet a real estate broker
  8. Find a good real estate broker
    • Search for real estate brokers
    • Interviewing relatives
  9. Real estate broker compensation
    • Method of remuneration
    • Real estate broker prices and commissions
  10. Choosing a Lacasse Shapcott broker

What is a real estate broker?

In the real estate landscape, understanding the role and importance of a real estate broker is crucial. Whether you’re thinking of buying, selling or investing in a property, real estate brokers are the intermediaries between property buyers and sellers, offering a range of services and expertise to facilitate real estate transactions. Above all, they are your unique partner in your real estate project, so choosing the right broker is essential.

Definition of real estate broker

A real estate broker is a licensed professional who arranges and facilitates the sale, purchase or rental of properties by acting as an intermediary between interested parties.

Equipped with in-depth knowledge of the real estate market, laws and transaction procedures, the broker offers a range of services:

  • Offer valuable advice to customers
  • Estimating value
  • Negotiating offers
  • Ensure compliance with regulations and best practices throughout the transaction process.

By providing personalized, tailor-made support, the real estate broker aims to optimize the conditions of the transaction for his customers, ensuring that their interests are protected and their real estate objectives successfully achieved.

Differences between real estate brokers and real estate agents

Originally, the terms “real estate broker” and “real estate agent” referred to distinct roles in the real estate industry.

Real estate agents worked for agencies or brokerages, acting as intermediaries between sellers and buyers, while real estate brokers, considered independent professionals, ran their own brokerage or were affiliated with a banner.

However, this distinction became obsolete in Quebec with the coming into force of the Real Estate Brokerage Act in 2010, which replaced the term “real estate agent” with “real estate broker” for all professionals in the field.

Since then, to practice as a real estate broker, you must complete a training program recognized by the Organisme d’Autoréglementation du Courtage Immobilier du Québec (OACIQ), and pass a certification exam. This measure guarantees a uniform level of competence and professionalism in the sector, thus protecting consumers.

Portrait robot courtier immobilier

Real estate broker prerequisites

To become a real estate broker in Québec, you need formal training. Since 2013, it has been mandatory to follow a training program recognized by the OACIQ. This process comprises several key stages:

  1. Training recognized by the OACIQ: Successfully complete an accredited training program.
  2. OACIQ exam: Book an exam date with the OACIQ, prepare for and pass this official exam.
  3. Licence application: Submit a licence application to the OACIQ.
  4. Operating as a broker: Receive your license and start practicing.

These steps ensure that all real estate brokers in Quebec have the necessary knowledge and skills to provide quality brokerage services, in compliance with the standards and laws governing the real estate industry in the province

Information on the specific steps involved in becoming a real estate broker, including details of training and exams, is available on the official OACIQ website.

Why choose a real estate broker in Montréal?

Choosing a real estate broker in Montreal isn’t just an administrative matter or a formality; it’s a strategic step in navigating one of Canada’s most vibrant and complex markets.

A skilled broker can be the catalyst that turns your real estate aspirations into tangible reality, guiding you through the nuances of the local market with expertise and insight.

Understanding the Montreal real estate market

Montreal’s real estate market is unique and dynamic, with specific features that set it apart from other major cities.

The diversity of neighborhoods, ever-changing prices and complex local regulations require a thorough understanding of the market to navigate effectively and succeed in your real estate ambitions.

With their up-to-date knowledge of the market, real estate brokers can provide invaluable insights into current trends, fashionable neighborhoods and bargains to be snapped up.

To keep up to date with market statistics and news, read our articles on the subject:

The importance of local expertise in your real estate search

The local expertise of a real estate broker is invaluable, especially in a city as diverse as Montreal.

Whether you’re looking for a property in Old Montreal, Plateau-Mont-Royal, or a family neighborhood like Outremont, a broker with intimate knowledge of these areas can greatly influence your decision.

He can advise you on the best neighborhoods for your needs, whether in terms of proximity to services, quality of schools, or property appreciation potential.

At Lacasse Shapcott, we’ve designed neighborhood fact sheets to help our customers evaluate and choose the neighborhood that’s right for them:

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Making a success of your real estate project with a broker

Whether your real estate project involves buying your first home, investing in a rental property, or selling a property, using a real estate broker significantly increases your chances of success.

The broker acts on your behalf to :

  • Negotiating the best terms
  • Helping you avoid potential pitfalls
  • Ensuring your needs are met
  • Ensure that all steps in the transaction process are followed correctly
  • Provide strategic advice based on market analysis to maximize your investment.

Nous livrons régulièrement de précieux conseils pour naviguer avec succès sur le marché immobilier :

Save time

The process of buying or selling a property can be extremely time-consuming, especially if you’re trying to do it all yourself.

By choosing to work with a real estate broker, you delegate many of these tasks:

  • Search for properties or buyers
  • Tour organization
  • Preparation of legal documents
  • Coordination with notaries, inspectors and other professionals involved.

This allows you to concentrate on your day-to-day activities while making progress on your real estate project with the assurance that everything is being handled professionally.

In short, choosing a real estate broker in Montreal is a wise decision that can bring you peace of mind, substantial savings, and success in your real estate project.

5 criteria for choosing a real estate broker – Advice

Choosing your real estate broker should not be taken lightly. Here are the essential criteria to consider when making the right choice.

Experience and specializations

A real estate broker’s experience, both in terms of the number of years in the field and the type of transactions carried out, is a guarantee of competence and reliability.

Look for a broker with a specialization that matches your specific needs, whether in residential, commercial or investment real estate. A broker with relevant experience will be better able to anticipate challenges and maximize opportunities.

Reviews and recommendations from previous customers

Testimonials and reviews from previous customers are excellent indicators of overall satisfaction and can give you an insight into the experience of working with the broker.

A positive reputation, built on sincere recommendations, is often synonymous with quality services.

Don’t hesitate to consult the Google reviews of different brokers, or contact former customers to share their experiences.

At Lacasse Shapcott, our Google rating has been 5/5 for the past 4 years, with over 80 reviews collected!

In-depth knowledge of the local market

In-depth knowledge of the local real estate market is a must. A good broker needs to be up to date on market trends, average property prices in different neighborhoods, and future forecasts. But it doesn’t stop there. Your broker must also have a good knowledge of the shops and life in the various neighbourhoods, so he can advise you on the one that’s right for you!

This local expertise is crucial to our ability to advise you effectively, whether you need to set a selling price for your property or make a judicious offer to purchase.

Our team regularly takes to the streets of Montreal to help you discover the city’s neighborhoods. Discover it on video!

Negotiation and communication skills

The ability to negotiate effectively can make all the difference to the final outcome of your real estate transaction. A broker with negotiating skills will be able to defend your interests, obtain the best possible price, and facilitate agreements between the parties.

In addition, clear and regular communication is essential to maintaining a good relationship and ensuring that all your questions and concerns are addressed promptly. Your broker must be available to meet your needs and accompany you every step of the way.

A personalized approach, attentive to your specific needs, will contribute to a more positive and less stressful experience.

The broker’s ability to offer regular follow-up and to make himself available for visits or discussions is an important aspect.

Buy or sell strategy

Finally, discuss the buying or selling strategy with your potential broker.

A good broker should have a clear strategy that’s adapted to your objectives, whether you want to maximize your property’s visibility on the market or find that rare gem.

This strategy must include :

  • A marketing plan for sales
  • A search method for purchasing
  • Wise use of technology and professional networks
  • A step-by-step action plan for real estate success

Choosing the right real estate broker is a decision that greatly influences the success of your real estate transaction.

Take the time to consider these criteria to find a professional partner who will meet your expectations and help you realize your real estate projects in Montreal.

We have designed guides for every need:

Buyer's guide
Seller's guide

How to work with a real estate broker – Tips

Working with a real estate broker requires preparation and collaboration to ensure the success of your real estate project.

Whether you’re buying or selling a property in Montreal, here’s how to make the most of this collaboration.

Organize a meeting

The first step is to arrange a meeting with your real estate broker.

It’s an opportunity to :

  • Getting to know each other
  • Express your expectations
  • Discuss working methods.

Prepare for this meeting by listing your questions, needs and objectives. Good communication from the outset lays the foundations for a trusting and productive relationship.

List your needs

It’s crucial to clearly define your needs and priorities so that your broker can offer you the most appropriate services.

Whether you’re looking for a house with a certain number of bedrooms, in a specific neighborhood, or with a defined budget, every detail counts.

Among the main criteria to consider, make sure you know :

  • Your budget and financing capacity if purchasing
  • Your target price if selling
  • Your target districts
  • Your target property types
  • Number of rooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Other special features (garage, garden, etc.)

The more precise your criteria, the more efficiently your broker will be able to target the properties that are right for you.

Know your protection

In Quebec, real estate brokerage is regulated by the Organisme d’Autoréglementation du Courtage Immobilier du Québec (OACIQ), which ensures public protection.

Your broker should inform you of the various protections available to you, such as the Fonds d’indemnisation du courtage immobilier. Understanding these mechanisms will help you feel more secure throughout the process.

To find out more about the protections to which you are entitled, please consult the page dedicated to protections on the OACIQ website.

Define your budget

An essential aspect of your real estate project is defining your budget.

Your real estate broker can help you evaluate your purchasing capacity or the optimal selling price for your property, taking into account the current market. He can also guide you towards the best mortgage products and advise you on the financial aspects of the transaction.

By following these steps and working closely with your real estate broker, you’ll maximize your chances of success, whether you’re looking for the home of your dreams or want to sell your property on the best possible terms.

At Lacasse Shapcott, we benefit from a network of partners who can help you obtain the best financing by comparing different competitive rates.

The advantages of working with a Montreal real estate broker

Working with a real estate broker in Montreal offers multiple advantages that can transform your real estate experience, whether you’re buying or selling a property. Here are some of the key benefits.

Privileged access to off-market listings and properties

Real estate brokers have access to extensive listings, including properties that are not officially on the market. This exclusivity gives you a considerable advantage, enabling you to discover unique opportunities before they become widely available. For sellers, it also means that your property can be presented to serious, qualified buyers quickly, thanks to your broker’s network.

Legal support and negotiation advice

Real estate brokers offer invaluable legal support, helping you navigate the complexities of real estate contracts and regulations.

Their negotiating expertise ensures that you get the best possible terms, whether you’re buying or selling. This expert advice can save you from potential legal and financial unpleasantness.

Save time and increase efficiency in your search

Searching for a property or a buyer can be extremely time-consuming. By delegating this task to a professional, you can considerably reduce the time and effort required.

Your broker will take care of :

  • Filter properties
  • Organizing visits
  • Conducting negotiations

All this allows you to focus on your needs and preferences without the stress of day-to-day management.

Obtaining the best financing

A real estate broker can guide you towards the best financing options by putting you in touch with reliable, competitive lenders. Thanks to their knowledge of the financial market and their network of contacts, they can help you find advantageous loan conditions that match your financial situation.

Delegate your sales or purchasing strategy

A real estate broker doesn’t just manage transactions; he also develops a personalized strategy to meet your specific objectives.

Whether you’re looking to maximize the profit from the sale of your home or to buy a property under the most favorable conditions, your broker will develop a customized plan to achieve these goals efficiently.

At Lacasse Shapcott, every request for a sale or purchase is subject to a precise evaluation and a rigorous method for defining the best strategy to adopt.

In short, working with a real estate broker in Montreal allows you to benefit from professional, personalized service that optimizes your chances of success in the real estate market. Whether you’re buying or selling, the benefits of such a partnership are undeniable, offering you peace of mind and optimum results.

4 mistakes to avoid with a real estate broker

When looking for the ideal real estate broker for your project in Montreal, there are some common mistakes that can jeopardize the success of your transaction. Here are the pitfalls to avoid:

Based solely on commissions

Opting for a broker based on the lowest commission rate may seem economical in the short term, but it doesn’t guarantee quality of service or the best results.

A broker who offers comprehensive, personalized services can justify a higher commission with better added value, such as a faster sale or a better price.

Don’t rely on commissions alone when choosing your broker.

Neglecting the importance of chemistry and communication

The relationship between you and your broker is based on trust and communication.

It’s essential to choose a professional with whom you feel comfortable and who understands your needs and objectives. Good chemistry facilitates open communication, which is essential for navigating the real estate market effectively.

Ignoring the importance of references and testimonials

The experience of previous customers is a valuable indicator of a broker’s competence and reliability. Ignoring these testimonials can deprive you of crucial information about the broker’s working style, efficiency and commitment to his customers. Take the time to read reviews and, if possible, talk to former customers.

Not keeping track of actions taken

It’s important to regularly monitor and evaluate your broker’s actions. This includes the way it markets your property, the updates it provides, and its responsiveness to opportunities and challenges. A good broker must be proactive, transparent in his working methods, and always ready to adjust his strategy to meet your objectives.

By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll increase your chances of finding a Montreal real estate broker who will not only meet your expectations, but exceed them, ensuring a positive and successful buying or selling experience.

Questions to ask when you first meet a real estate broker

When you first meet a real estate broker, it’s essential to ask the right questions to assess their compatibility with your needs and objectives. This will help you choose a partner you can trust for your real estate project. Here are the key points to address and a guide on how to structure your questions:

  • On experience and past transactions: Discussing the broker’s experience gives you insight into their expertise and ability to handle transactions similar to yours.
  • Check the broker’s qualifications: Understanding the broker’s qualifications and training ensures that he or she has the skills needed to represent you effectively.
  • Certifications and professional licenses in Montreal: Ensuring that the broker is duly certified and licensed to practice in Montreal guarantees that you are working with a recognized professional.
  • On the proposed buying or selling strategy: Discussing the strategy helps you understand how the broker intends to achieve your objectives.
  • On the marketing tools and media used: This tells you how your property will be presented on the market, or how the broker searches for properties for buyers.
  • Check expertise: Question the broker’s specific expertise in key areas such as the local market, negotiations, etc.
  • Market knowledge: Understanding how the broker analyzes and interprets the Montreal real estate market can give you confidence in his or her recommendations.
  • Marketing strategy: Knowing how the broker intends to promote your property or help you find that special someone is crucial to a successful collaboration.

Here is a summary table of the questions you can ask:

Subject of questionPurpose of the questionSample questions
Experience and past transactionsEvaluating broker competence and success“Can you tell me about some recent transactions similar to my project?”
Broker qualificationConfirm broker expertise and training“What training did you undergo to become a real estate broker?”
Certifications and licensesVerify legitimacy and adherence to professional standards“Do you have all the licenses and certifications required to practice in Montreal?”
Buy or sell strategyUnderstanding the broker’s approach and methods“What specific strategy do you propose to sell my property / find the ideal property?”
Marketing tools and materialsJudging the modernity and effectiveness of marketing tools“What marketing tools and media do you use to attract buyers/sellers?”
Broker expertiseAssessing the broker’s specific skills and experience“How can your expertise benefit my real estate project specifically?”
Market knowledgeGauge understanding of the local real estate market“How do you analyze the current Montreal real estate market for my needs?”
Marketing strategyUnderstand how the broker intends to promote your property“What’s your marketing strategy for bringing my property to market?”

To help you prepare your questions, read our article on the subject!

Find the right real estate broker

To find a good real estate broker, it’s essential to adopt a methodical approach that combines online research with the use of personal recommendations. Here are some enriched strategies to guide your search:

Search for real estate brokers

In-depth online analysis :

  • Consult specialized sites: Platforms such as Centris or offer lists of brokers by region and specialty. These sites can also display reviews and ratings.
  • Explore professional social networks: LinkedIn and other professional social networks allow you to view brokers’ profiles, recommendations and publications, offering insight into their expertise and commitment to the field.
  • Evaluate online presence: A broker who is active online, via a professional website or social networks, demonstrates a modern approach and commitment to its customers.

Personal recommendations:

  • Ask for detailed opinions: When asking those around you for recommendations, encourage them to share specific details about their experience: communication with the broker, proposed strategies, problems encountered, etc.
  • Participate in local forums and groups: Facebook groups or forums dedicated to real estate in Montreal can be valuable resources for opinions and recommendations on specific brokers.

First contact :

  • Prepare a list of questions: Before meeting with brokers, prepare a list of questions about their experience, their sales or buying strategies, and how they plan to meet your specific needs.
  • Ask for references: A broker confident in the quality of his service will not hesitate to provide you with references from previous customers.
  • Listen to your gut feeling: Your gut feeling is the key to choosing a broker you can trust.

Verification of qualifications :

  • Confirm OACIQ registration: Make sure the broker is registered with the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec, guaranteeing that he or she complies with professional standards and requirements.

Analysis of the proposed approach :

  • Assess your understanding of your needs: A good broker will actively listen to you and propose a personalized strategy based on your objectives and situation.
  • Consider compatibility: The relationship with your broker is crucial. Make sure his personality and communication style match your expectations.
  • Judge the strategy and the method: Once your broker has explained the buying or selling strategy, evaluating your feelings and the chances of success can help you compare and make the right choice.

By adopting these approaches to finding and evaluating a real estate broker in Montreal, you’ll maximize your chances of selecting a professional who can effectively guide you through your real estate project, combining expertise, communication and strategies tailored to your needs.

Discover also our essential criteria for evaluating a real estate broker.

Real estate broker compensation

Understanding a real estate broker’s compensation is essential for evaluating the costs associated with buying or selling a property in Quebec.

Method of remuneration

The commission is the basis of the real estate broker’s remuneration, directly reflecting the success of the real estate transaction.

  • Sales commission: Main source of revenue, calculated as a percentage of the final sales price.
  • Commission rates are around 4-5%.

Real estate broker prices and commissions

The costs associated with a broker’s commission can vary and have a direct impact on the seller’s expenses.

  • Fees paid by the seller: Include commission and applicable taxes, increasing the total cost of the sale.

Additional compensation for agency brokers

Some brokers may charge additional fees for specialized advisory and trading services.

  • Brokerage fees: Represent the additional services provided by the broker, over and above simple introductions.

Choosing a Lacasse Shapcott broker

Choosing a broker from the Lacasse Shapcott team means choosing experience and real estate expertise recognized in Montreal. Here’s why it makes sense to call on their team for your real estate projects:

Combined expertise and impressive results

The Lacasse Shapcott team has over 20 years of experience in the real estate field, with over $400 million in sales volume and over 1,000 successful transactions. This extensive experience ensures in-depth market knowledge and unparalleled expertise to serve your real estate needs.

A diverse and specialized team

With Valérie Lacasse and Kyle Shapcott at the helm, the team is made up of professionals specializing in different aspects of residential real estate. Whether you are looking for a first home, a real estate investment, or wish to sell a property, the team offers tailor-made support adapted to each project.

Eloquent testimonies

Lacasse Shapcott clients regularly share their satisfaction with the support received, highlighting the dedication, organization and determination of the team. These testimonials reflect the team’s commitment to providing exceptional service at every stage of the real estate process.

A multi-channel marketing approach

Through an elaborate marketing strategy, the Lacasse Shapcott team uses various communication channels, ranging from social media to real estate listing sites, including sponsored campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, to effectively promote properties.

Resources and tools at your disposal

Our team provides buying and selling guides, as well as decision-making tools, to provide you with all the information you need to successfully navigate the real estate market.

By choosing a Lacasse Shapcott broker, you benefit from recognized expertise, an extensive network, and personalized support. Their professional and human approach ensures that each real estate project is carried out with care and precision, from start to finish. To find out more or to start your real estate project, visit


The success of your real estate project in Montreal largely depends on the choice of your real estate broker. Considering the various aspects covered, from the importance of choosing a broker with in-depth local expertise to the specific benefits offered by the Lacasse Shapcott team, it becomes clear that the right broker can transform your real estate experience.

The selection criteria, the questions to ask during the first meeting, and the strategies for finding a competent broker are all keys to establishing a fruitful collaboration. With Lacasse Shapcott brokers, you have the assurance of working with dedicated, experienced professionals with intimate knowledge of the Montreal real estate market.

Kyle blog

Kyle Shapcott

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Kyle Shapcott, co-founder of the Lacasse Shapcott team, brings a wealth of knowledge and an undeniable passion for real estate in Montreal.

With a specialization in market analysis, investment advice, and a macroeconomic view of the real estate market, Kyle stands out for his ability to decipher market trends and offer sound investment advice.

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