Real Estate Tips

Tips for buying & selling homes in Calgary

The following is an informational guide for purchasing homes for sale in Calgary as well as other parts of Canada.

If you understand the procedures of purchasing a home for sale in Canada, it should be a simple and easy process.

I have some helpful information on the full home buying process. There is also useful information for sellers, and an answer to an important question that many sellers ask is “When will it sell?”

Canada’s non-resident policy is that anyone who is only living in Canada for less then half a year is considered a non-resident. A non-resident can still purchase property. Anyone who is living in Canada for more then 6 months will need to apply for an immigrant status before purchasing a home. Here are 9 reasons to buy Canadian real estate. It’s important for home buyers to be equipped with information. Here are some tips for smart home buying. Also, understanding purchasing costs, information for first time buyers and helpful buyer tips.

Some areas of Canada do not have rules or policies against non-citizen property ownership when it comes to buying a home for sale in Calgary (mainly British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick). However some do have rules in place regarding non-citizen property ownership, so it is important to look into that before trying to purchase property in Canada. An example, is on Prince Edward Island, non-resident buyers have to apply at the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission in order to buy land above 5 acres or that has a shoreline of more than 165 feet. If purchasing farmland in Manitoba, if you are not a resident you cannot purchase farmland unless you will be living there within 2 years of purchase. Non-residents may not own land over 10 acres in size in Saskatchewan, and if looking for homes for sale in Calgary, Alberta or other parts of Alberta, they may only own up to 2 plots of land not to exceed 20 acres total.

It’s also important to know what it means when a property is a for sale by owner. Also, when deciding what home is right for you, understanding the differences between owning a house vs condo.

The first step in the home buying process is to select your REALTOR®, set up your financing and then find a home you want to buy. Once you have found your home, you will be required to make a deposit. The offer on the home will be a written contract that contains all details of the offer. This is where your realtor’s expertise will come handy. Once you sign this contract it becomes a legal and binding contract, and if you chose to cancel your offer after you present it to the seller, you may lose your deposit. The details of your offer need to include all itemized details of what is included in the purchase, from home furnishings, to light fixtures, plants, appliances, flooring, etc. Most offers should also include clauses saying the offer is contingent on a property inspection and that the buyer is able to secure financing. When you and your realtor have completed writing the offer, it will be presented to the seller. Once the offer has been agreed upon by both parties, the deposit will be put into a trust account and once the sale process is completed, the deposit will be credited towards the purchase price of the home and the transaction is complete.

The majority of REALTORS® are self-employed and work on a negotiated commission that is paid by the seller of the property. Most real estate transactions involve two REALTORS®, one representing the buyer and one representing the seller. In some cases one REALTOR® can represent both the buyer and the seller, creating a dual agency but this must always be disclosed. You can use any Calgary REALTOR® to purchase a home, not just the REALTOR® who is listing the property for sale.

Homes for sale in Calgary – the selling procedures for Canada real estate

Capital gains taxes must be paid when selling a home in Canada. Non residents pay an estimated amount of taxes before the sale, usually about 25% of the gain. The normal tax rates are applied to 50% of the gain. 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. The lawyer representing the seller will hold onto the money until the clearance certificate is received from the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency). The certificate usually takes 6-8 weeks to arrive.

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.

When the non-resident seller files a Canadian income tax for the year that the home sale occurred, they should expect to get a refund of a portion of the taxes that were paid. Taxes on the homes for sale in Calgary can differ depending on the use of the property. Homes that are used as rentals there is a 25% non-resident tax on the gross rent amount paid by the tenant. 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.

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.

After you have viewed homes for sale in Calgary and  made an offer on your favorite one, you will need to follow my moving checklist.