A REALTOR earns his / her livelihood on a commission basis. They are self employed. In Ontario, the Seller pays one fee (i.e. commission) to list their property for sale. This is shared between the listing agent and the buying agent. The nature of the industry is such that a Realtor is not paid until the transaction closes, creating a common interest in collaborating with lawyers and the other agent to see that your home sale is finalized. There is no direct cost to the Buyer in 99% of cases, when using the services of a Realtor.