This week on Les Oranges Pressées sur CIBL, we’ll be drawing comparisons between working as a real estate broker in Quebec, France, and the United States. Among the 58 real estate brokers at Via Capitale du Mont-Royal, Sylvie Rovida first started as a real estate agent in France. With her expertise, she created a blog that featured an article on the differences between real estate transactions in France and Quebec.

France’s real estate brokerage system

In terms of real estate transactions, operations in France differ greatly from those in Quebec. The belle province is a distinct society in regards to real estate brokerage. Its pillar is based on the principle of collaboration and the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Collaboration implies that buyers and sellers can choose their brokers. The Multiple Listing Service ensures that the property for sale is listed under only one price.

On the contrary, in France, to sell a property you must contact at least four real estate agencies, if not more. Unlike in Quebec, the brokerage contract is non-exclusive, which means that several prices may be associated with the same property. This property may also be featured on different websites simultaneously. In other words, in France a buyer or seller chooses a broker who has access to all the agencies, while in Quebec, everyone can freely access the MLS bank themselves via the Centris website. This platform compiles all the properties from every agency in Quebec. Each property featured is verified by brokers to ensure the accuracy of the information provided.

Operations in the United States

In the United States and Canada, regulators are provincial. Thus, there are as many laws regulating real estate transactions as there are states or provinces. In some states, it is prohibited to represent both seller and buyer, which is why specialized real estate brokerages companies exist. If their services are intended for buyers, no marketing of properties is allowed. These real estate brokers are called “Buyer’s Agents.” They only work with buyers, guided by the same principle of collaboration and the MLS.

In Quebec, within the same agency, brokers may represent the buyer or seller, as necessary. They perform their duties according to a code of ethics for real estate brokers that is comparable to the code for Buyer’s Agents. Only here, brokers are called “writers” when defending the interests of sellers, and “collaborators” when they are on the side of buyers.

Compared to France or the United States, stakeholders in real estate transactions are better represented and protected in Quebec. For such an important transaction, it is therefore advised to use the services of a liable professional. Stay away from companies who claim to provide real estate coaching, since they are not governed by laws as are real estate agencies, and therefore cannot ensure the best conditions for your transaction!

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