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5 Main Costs Of Selling a House in Canada

Are you planning to sell your home in Canada? Brace yourself for an exciting journey in the world of real estate! However, before diving into this adventure, you must familiarize yourself with the costs of selling a house you’ll encounter along the way.

So, how much does selling a house cost? Selling a house involves more than just the transaction itself. Let’s delve deeper into the fees, rules, and participants that are part of selling a home in Canada.

how much does selling a house cost

Distribution of Funds and Financial Considerations

On the closing date, your attorney will handle the financial side of the transaction. They will disburse the funds, including the commission, lawyer’s fees, and closing costs, such as land transfer taxes. However, it’s essential to be aware of additional costs that you need to consider. Let’s break them down further:

1. Mortgage Pre-Payment Penalties

Do you still have a mortgage on your property? You may encounter pre-payment penalties if you plan to sell your home before the mortgage term ends. The penalty amount depends on the terms of your mortgage contract. Generally, you can expect it to be either three months of interest or the interest rate difference (IRD). The IRD is calculated based on the variance between your current mortgage rate and the new rate offered by your lender.

Apart from the mortgage pre-payment penalties, it would help if you also accounted for legal fees and realtor commissions. 

Did you know?
Legal fees typically range from $500 to $2,500.

Remember that real estate agent commissions can vary based on several factors. These expenses are subject to GST/HST, so allocating a couple of thousand dollars for your closing costs is advisable.

3. Home Inspection Fees

In a buyer’s market, it’s common for homebuyers to request a home inspection before finalizing the deal. While buyers usually cover the inspection costs, there may be circumstances where you, as the seller, are responsible. 

Did you know?
Home inspection fees typically range from $300 to $1,000. 

It’s essential to be aware of this potential expense. Some sellers opt to complete a home inspection before listing their house for sale to enhance transparency and give potential buyers more confidence. In such cases, they make the inspection report available to interested parties.

4. Rental Costs

Surprisingly, your home may have associated rental contracts, such as a rented furnace or air conditioning system. When purchasing a home, buyers often assume water heater rental contracts but might be hesitant to take on the monthly payments for an HVAC system. As a result, buyers may request full payment as a condition of the purchase.

5. Staging Your Home

Gone are the days when a fresh coat of paint and tidying up would suffice. Nowadays, home staging has become a crucial aspect of selling a house. While not necessary, industry experts suggest that home staging can significantly increase the value of your home. It’s all about presenting your home in the best possible light and creating an inviting atmosphere that captures potential buyers’ hearts.

Did you know?
The cost of home staging can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the extent of the work required. 

You can also take into account the time it will take you to sell a property. After all – Time is money! You might save some money by doing the staging yourself but be prepared to invest in things like storage space if needed. Some real estate agents even offer staging as part of their services.

If staging isn’t your preference, don’t worry! You can still enhance your home’s appeal without breaking the bank. Invest a few dollars in garbage bags, paper towels, window cleaners, Lysol wipes, and room fresheners. These simple touches can make your place look and smell nice while decluttering the spaces.

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Buying and Selling a Home in Canada: A Pricey Endeavor

Let’s face it: the Canadian real estate market is notorious for not being budget-friendly. Buying or selling a home here is a significant financial undertaking. From saving up for a down payment to covering mortgage costs, it can strain your finances. That’s why buyers and sellers must comprehensively understand the long list of expenses involved.

Before embarking on your journey to sell your property or achieve the dream of homeownership, take the time to acquaint yourself with all the costs. Create a budget that considers these additional expenses. It’s better to be prepared than caught off guard.

Remember, selling a house in Canada isn’t simply about signing on the dotted line. It’s a process that involves various fees, obligations, and negotiations. By understanding the costs involved, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the Canadian real estate market like a pro.

main costs of selling a house


Are there any additional fees besides the ones mentioned in the article?

While the article covers the most common fees involved in selling a house in Canada, it’s important to note that there may be other costs depending on the specific circumstances of the sale. Consulting with a real estate professional can provide you with more tailored information.

Can I negotiate the real estate agent’s commission?

Yes, real estate agent commissions are negotiable. Discussing the commission structure and rates with potential agents before making a decision is advisable. Negotiating the commission can help you find a mutually beneficial agreement.

Do I need to hire a home stager, or can I do it myself?

The decision to hire a home stager or do it yourself depends on your personal preferences, budget, and home condition. While professional home stagers bring expertise and experience, you can still enhance your home’s appeal by following simple decluttering and cleaning tips mentioned in the article.

Can I avoid pre-payment penalties on my mortgage?

Pre-payment penalties can usually be avoided by selling your home after the mortgage term ends or by arranging a portable mortgage that allows you to transfer it to a new property without penalties. However, it’s crucial to review the terms and conditions of your mortgage contract to understand your specific situation.

Should I have a home inspection before listing my house for sale?

A home inspection before listing your house can provide transparency and instill confidence in potential buyers. It allows you to address any issues beforehand and present a well-maintained property. However, the decision ultimately depends on your preferences and market conditions.

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Costs of Selling a House – Final Words

Selling a house in Canada requires careful consideration of the costs and fees associated with the process. And also, think about the time it will take you to sell the house, as well as the best time (in general) to sell the property. Understanding and accounting for these expenses ensure a smoother transaction and avoid unexpected financial burdens. 

Remember to work with professionals such as real estate attorneys and agents who can guide you through the process. You can navigate the Canadian real estate market confidently with proper preparation and knowledge.

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