Selling Real Estate in Calgary
When a non-resident sells Canadian real estate, he/she is required to pay the appropriate amount of taxes on any capital gain. The normal Canadian tax rates will be applied to 50% of the gain. However, a non-resident is required to pay an estimate of the tax before the sale, an amount equal to 25% of the gain. This amount is to be retained by the seller’s lawyer until such time as a clearance certificate is received from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in connection with the sale of the property. Upon payment, the CRA will issue a clearance certificate to the seller, but not until there has been a contract of purchase and sale with all subjects (conditions) removed. The wait for the certificate is usually 6-8 weeks. If the certificate is not obtained, the purchaser is required to withhold from the sale proceeds, a percentage of the selling price (usually 25-50%).
On or before the closing date, the mortgage money is transferred to the seller’s lawyer and then to the seller and the title is transferred to the buyer’s name.
The non-resident seller should file a Canadian income tax return for the year in which the sale occurs and should expect to receive a refund of a portion of the taxes paid. The taxation of Canadian real estate depends on whether the use of the property is for a principal residence, an active business or as a rental property. If it is used as a rental property, a 25% non-resident tax must be paid on the gross rent a tenant pays. However, if you use a professional property manager, the manager will, by law, withhold 25% of the gross rental revenue at source to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency. Then on or before March 31 of the following year, the property manager issues an NR4 form and you then have the right to file a Canadian tax return. The tax return is due before June 30 and enables you to claim expenses against that income and potentially request a refund.
Many countries, such as the U.S., have tax treaties with Canada that prevent you from being taxed in both Canada and your home country. It is advisable to contact a tax accountant in your country for more information.
From A Seller’s Standpoint
Marketing is just one of the benefits of using a REALTOR®. Using a REALTOR® gives your property more exposure than you could ever get on your own. We utilize the internet through our own personal websites as well as MLS®, one of the most frequently hit websites in the world. Most agents also use other forms of marketing such as the REALTOR® Showcase, take advantage of the opportunity to hold open houses, and do in-house marketing with other agents.
The other great advantage when you are selling your home is having a professional to guide you in pricing your home. The general public knows what a home is listed for, but it is harder to know what a house actually sells for. You may be leaving money on the table by not using a professional. Sure you save in not having to pay commissions, but the hassle and the possibility of not getting the most you can for your home in the current market should balance out and make using a Real Estate Agent a no-brainer.
REALTORS® have the advantage of weekly meetings and can preview new listings during these meeting so that each agent in attendance of the meeting can preview your home. This is an advantage to get your home instant exposure and is a great way to have your home showcased to other agents in our company.
Branding is also a key component, and using a REALTOR® gets you attention.
From A Buyer’s Standpoint
As a buyer, if you see a property that has a sign in the window, in the newspaper, or online that is being sold by its owner, do not hesitate to ask me about the house. I have the ability to do additional research on the house for you, as well as contact the seller on your behalf and negotiate the terms for you. We can work my commissions into the price so that I am compensated for my work with you on all houses previously shown, and it will not make much of a difference on your payments. Commissions will need to be discussed on a case by case basis.
With a market as busy as our real estate market, there are a lot of “For Sale By Owner” homes on the market. As a buyer you need to be aware of potential risks with buying privately. From a buyer/seller perspective, you as the buyer are the one taking all of the risk in the deal. By working with a REALTOR® you are protected, as all of our forms are legal and we make all sellers fill out and sign a Property Condition Disclosure Statement which gives you ALL the information they are aware of; if it doesn’t, you are protected under the contract, and your lawyer has the ability to fight on your behalf. If a vendor refuses to sign this form, there may be a reasonable explanation (ie: revenue property, therefore they don’t know as much about it). We, as agents, will do research on the property, as research is essential.
So, beware of FSBO’s. As buyers and as sellers you are not professionals, so why not use our experience and resources to do the job for you? It IS the largest investment of your lives. Would you use someone other than a professional to fix your car, perform surgery, etc?
We can help you with financing options, help you locate potential properties, provide you with objective information about the property and the area in which it is located, negotiate on your behalf with things such as price, financing, inclusion/exclusion of repairs, furnishing, fixtures, etc., and all of the final closing procedures such as communicating with the lenders, lawyers, vendors, and so on.
A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch help real estate sellers put their best foot forward and make prospects feel welcome. So does a freshly painted – or at least freshly scrubbed – front door. If it’s autumn, rake the leaves. If it’s winter, shovel the walkways. The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of the real estate seller’s home, the better.
Invest a few hours for future dividends
Here’s your chance to clean up in real estate. Tidy the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor touch-ups and redecorating. Real estate sellers can benefit from updating the hardware on kitchen cabinets, adding new slipcovers to sofas and keeping a vase of fresh flowers in the entryway. These are some of the simple touches that can go a long way. If you’re worried about time, hire professional cleaners or painters to help get your house ready. Remember, prospects would rather see how great the real estate seller’s home really looks than hear how great it could look “with a little work.”
Check faucets and bulbs
Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks, and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned-out bulbs or faulty wiring leave prospects in the dark. Don’t let those problems detract from what’s right with your home.
Don’t shut out a sale
If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a prospect’s mind. Don’t try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily plane them away. A little effort on the real estate seller’s part can smooth the way toward a closing.
Real estate sellers learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller blades on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low-hanging overhead lights. Make your residence is as safe as possible for visitors.
Make room for space
Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They’re looking for storage space, too. Real estate sellers should make sure attics and basements are clean and free of unnecessary items.
Consider your closets
The better organized a closet, the larger it appears. Now’s the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity.
Make your bathroom sparkle
Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, real estate sellers should display the best towels, mats and shower curtains.
Create dream bedrooms
Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms. For a specious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colorful bedspreads and fresh curtains are a must if real estate sellers want buyers to be able to imagine relaxing there.
Open up in the daytime
Let the sun shine in! Real estate sellers should pull back curtains and drapes so that prospects can see how bright and cheery the home is.
Lighten up at night
Turn on the excitement buy turning on all your lights – both inside and outside – when showing your home in the evening. Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.
Avoid crowded scenes
Potential buyers often feel like intruders when they enter a home filled with people. Rather than giving your house the attention it deserves, they’re likely to hurry through. Real estate sellers should keep the company present to a minimum.
Watch your pets
Dogs and cars are great companions, but not when real estate sellers are showing their homes. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. So do everybody a favor: keep Kitty or Spot outside, or at least out of the way.
Rock-and-roll will never die. But it might kill a real estate transaction. When it’s time for a real estate seller to show the home, it’s time to turn down the stereo or TV.
It’s best if you’re not there when your home is being shown. However, if that’s not possible, be friendly – but it’s not necessary to force conversation. Prospects want to view the home with minimal distraction from the real estate seller.
No matter how humble your abode, never apologize for its shortcomings. If a prospect volunteers a derogatory comment about your home’s appearance, let your experienced Real Estate Associate handle the situation.
Keep a low profile
Nobody knows a home better than the real estate seller. But your Real Estate Sales Associates know buyers – what they need and what they want. Your Real Estate Associate will have an easier time articulating the virtues of your home if you stay in the background.
Don’t turn your home into a second-hand store
When prospects come to view your home, don’t distract them with offers to sell those furnishings you no longer need. You may lose the biggest sale of all.
Defer to experience
When prospective buyers want to talk price, terms or other real estate matters, let them speak to an expert – your Real Estate Sales Associate. As the real estate seller, you might feel tempted to weigh in, but your two cents could cost you much more.
Help your agent
Real Estate Associates have an easier time selling homes if showings are scheduled through their offices. And real estate sellers appreciate the results.
- It is in poor condition.
- The house is priced too high.
- There exists a poor housing market.
If your property isn’t sold within 30 days, a price adjustment should be made!
Percentage of Homes
1 Month 40%
2 Months 7%
3 Months 7%
4 Months 20%
5 Months 10%
6 Months 7%
7 Months 9%
Statistics are based on National average of homes sold.