Who Pays for What?

It may surprise you, but many people don’t know how REALTORS® get paid when they sell a house or how a Mortgage Broker who arranges your mortgage gets paid.

It is important to know the answers to both of these questions!

REALTORS® get paid by the seller when the transaction closes. When a property is listed, the split of the commission is determined, with a portion going to the listing REALTOR® and a portion going to the selling REALTOR®.

In Nova Scotia (& Alberta) buyers that are receiving agency service from a REALTOR® are required to sign a Buyer Brokerage Agreement (BBA). This is mandated by the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission (NSREC) which exists to protect consumers in real estate transactions. Careful not to confuse NSREC with the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® (NSAR) which is the trade association for REALTORS® in Nova Scotia.

The BBA seeks to provide transparency to the consumer on their relationship with a REALTOR®. It describes how much the REALTOR® will be paid, the term of the agreement, the obligations of the buyer to the REALTOR® and the obligations of the REALTOR® to the buyer.

Mortgage Brokers on the other hand, are paid by the lending institution that the mortgage is placed with, their primary objective is to match the buyer with the mortgage product that best suits the buyer, which is usually determined by a combination of rates, terms, and conditions.

Mortgage Brokers are able to source mortgage funding from a wide variety of lenders, as opposed to going to your bank for their “Posted Rate”. They can frequently get a better rate for you at the bank that you already deal with, (strange but true).

Arial View of Lake Banook, Dartmouth Nova Scotia

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