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A few times a year, I get calls from Buyers and Sellers requesting to work with “a Real Estate Broker – not just a regular Real Estate Agent.” So what’s the difference between a Salesperson and a Broker?

In Ontario, only people registered with the Real Estate Council of Ontario are permitted to trade in real estate.

A Real Estate Sales Representative or Salesperson:

(the official titles of the job most people think of as a ‘real estate agent’):

  • Is over 18 years old
  • Is a high school graduate (or equivalent)
  • Resides in Canada
  • Has completed the pre-registration courses (5 courses)
  • Has submitted a Criminal Background check
  • Completes 2 additional courses in the first 24 months after being licensed
  • Works for a licensed real estate brokerage and has liability insurance

An Ontario Real Estate Broker:

  • Has worked for a minimum of 24 months as a Salesperson
  • Has furthered their education with:
  • One additional elective course (eg- Principles of Appraisals, Property Management, Mortgage Financing, Investment Analysis)
  • The Real Estate Broker course (focused on starting and running a real estate brokerage)
  • Can legally own and operate a brokerage and perform the role of Broker-of-Record

You can see what’s required to be a Salesperson and Broker here (including the new education path with Humber College.)

So Should You Hire a Real Estate Salesperson or a Real Estate Broker?

Truthfully, when you’re hiring someone to help you buy or sell, the Broker title and designation don’t matter nearly as much as the relevant experience and expertise of the person you choose to work with. A Broker has been registered as a Salesperson for at least two years, but there isn’t a requirement that they’ve actually sold any properties during that time. Of the two additional courses they’ve taken, only one is relevant to Buyers and Sellers; (though they have demonstrated discipline in furthering their education).

Will those things help you get a better deal when you buy a home or get better results when you sell? I can think of a few factors that are a lot more important

Related: How to Choose the Right Real Estate Agent For You

What About the Broker of Record? What Do They Do?

The Broker of Record runs a real estate brokerage. They hire, train and mentor Salespeople and Brokers. They are responsible for making sure that the codes of ethics and REBBA  2002 (the Real Estate Business Brokers Act) are adhered to. They are responsible for the trust accounts that move millions of dollars of deposits and commissions each year. And yes, many Brokers of Record also sell real estate. Brendan is the BREL Broker of Record.

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