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The costs of buying and selling a home

The costs of buying and selling a home

Buying and selling your home isn't just a simple "sales" transaction, there are a lot of costs associated with the process. These costs can add up quickly and be a surprise to many buyers, particularly first time home buyers. Below we've put together a sample of these costs based on the price of an average home in Victoria, B.C. for both sales and purchases. Please note that these prices can vary depending on the value of your home and it's condition.   

Buying a new home:

Price $850,000

Property Transfer Tax

This paid to the government on the purchase of every home. This tax is calculated at 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the remainder. Therefore, for this home, the transfer tax would be as follows:

$200,000 x 1% = $2,000

$650,000 (the remaining balance above $200,000) x 2% = $13,000

TOTAL = $15,000


You will require a lawyer or notary to prepare and file the mortgage (if required) and transfer documents. Expect to pay about $1,500. 


Fortunately, as a buyer, you will not need to pay realtor fees, this fee is taken care of by the seller 


If you are borrowing funds from the bank, you may need to have an appraisal completed prior to securing the mortgage. An appraisal is always recommended, however, it is not mandatory when purchasing a home, unless your lender has required this. An appraisal will cost approximately $500

Building/Property Inspection

We would always recommend having an inspection done prior to buying a new home. An inspection will catch anything that may be wrong with the home, roof, foundation, etc. that can't be seen with the naked eye and could save you thousands of dollars later! If you've applied for a mortgage, you will be required to have an inspection completed. The cost of an inspection is approximately $500 and worth every penny! 

Moving costs

Moving is never cheap, it's just one of those things that always has a way of finding extra costs. If you plan to hire movers, rent boxes, etc. you can expect to pay about $3,000. This may be cheaper if you have access to large trucks and a small army of friends who are able to help you, however, the costs of pizza, beers, and possibly broken furniture will quickly add up! 

Hookup fees

Now that you're in your new home, wouldn't it be great to sit back and watch a movie...oh wait, you forgot to tell the cable company you were moving. Well, unfortunately, there's a cost associated with that too, and all your other utilities such as internet, phone, etc. Hookup fees can be as high as $2,500 depending on each companies costs and the various utilities you require. 


Now not all homes will require a septic system, although if yours does, you can expect to pay about $800 to have this job completed. 

GST on a new home

If you've purchased a new home, you are also subject to GST. The GST payable on a new home is 5%, therefore in this scenario, the buyer would be required to pay $42,500. 

Your new $850,000 home will now cost you $916,300 ($873,800 if the home is not new). The buyer needs to have these funds available, on top of the deposit, in order to purchase their home. Fortunately, many lenders will include the GST amount in the mortgage to ease the financial burden for buyers, but you will need to speak with your lender about these terms in advance. 

Now, if we are the seller of this home, our costs are a bit different, let's take a look:

Selling a home:

Price $850,000

Property Transfer Tax

This is only paid by the purchaser, zero cost to the buyer (you've already paid this when you purchased the home).


As a seller, you will require a lawyer or notary to complete the sales transaction, mortgage payout, and any liens or interests on the property, this should cost you approximately $1,500

Building/Property Inspection

We would always recommend having a pre-inspection done prior to selling your home. This will identify any issues, obvious and hidden that could affect your selling price. This gives you the opportunity to address these issues prior to marketing your home to guarantee you get the highest amount possible. A pre-inspection will cost approximately $500.


Selling commissions are split 50/50 between the seller's realtor and the purchaser's realtor, however, the entire cost is the responsibility of the seller. The majority of realtors charged the same commission of 6% on the first $100,000 and 3% on the remainder, therefore the realtor fees for this home would be as follows:

$100,000 x 6% = $6,000

$750,000 (the remaining balance above $100,000) x 3% = $22,500

TOTAL = $28,500

GST on Realtor Commission

The seller is also responsible to pay GST (5%) on the full commission payable to the realtor, in this case, that amount would be $28,500 x 5% = $1,425 GST payable.

Mortgage Payout Penalty

If you are selling your home before it's paid in full, you likely have a payout penalty clause in the mortgage. Be sure to read through your mortgage and be prepared to pay the bank. This cost will vary depending on the rate you've agreed to and the amount remaining on your mortgage. To be safe, let's say $5,000.


Seller does not need to provide an appraisal for the property. 

Moving costs

Moving costs for the seller as the same as for a buyer, this will run you approximately $3,000.

The total cost of selling your home is approximately $39,925. The lawyer will pay out the remaining balance of your mortgage, realtor fees, any liens or interests that have been filed against your home, taxes, their own invoice, and any other applicable charges prior to releasing the sale proceeds to the seller. 

As you can see, buying and selling your home is not as simple as one may think and it's definitely not cheap! If you have any questions about the buying, selling, or the real estate market, please feel free to contact me at your convenience, I'd be more than happy to discuss this with you. 


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