The Cost of Selling a House in British Columbia

If you've considered selling your property, you've probably evaluated the cost of selling a house in BC and what it entails.

In this blog, I will break down the costs of selling a home to help you estimate your net profit after all expenses.

Preparing and Staging Your Home

You only get one chance to create a first impression, and first impressions are essential in real estate. In a hot market like ours in BC, many buyers only get to see a home once at an open house before making an offer. Many buyers visit 10-12 houses every showing day on average, so you must stand out from the pack. Preparing the property for photography can assist to guarantee that it looks excellent both online and in person. When it comes to selling for top price, house preparation and staging make all the difference, and the majority of sellers must invest both time and money in home preparation:

  • Painting (interior, exterior, or both) 
  • Cleaning by a professional 
  • Repairs to gardens and landscape 
  • Repairs to gardens and landscape  
  • Renovations, if needed
  • Extra items can be stored in a storage locker 
  • Professional staging 

Before upgrading your house for sale, consult with a reputable real estate agent. They'll know which rooms offer the most return on investment.

Home Inspection Before Listing

In a competitive market like today, a pre-listing house inspection is a smart idea. It will provide you with advantage as a seller and a chance to address any concerns that arise during a home inspection before listing your property for sale. If you accept an offer that is contingent on the buyer obtaining and approving a home inspection, you'll already know what the inspector will find and what issues the buyer may have. The cost of a home inspection can  range from $300 to $800 based on the size of your home and could be incorporated as a service by your agent.

Strata documents (for condos/townhomes)

During the offer process, the purchasers of your strata property will need to check the strata papers. It is in your best interests to have these documents available as soon as possible so that a potential buyer may evaluate them ahead of time, increasing the probability of obtaining a subject free offer. An order must be issued with the property management firm to get the documents. The cost will range from $50 to $300, depending on whether the order is urgent or not. This is an expenditure that I handle as your representative.

Commissions on Real Estate

Real estate fees and the cost of these commissions are frequently the most expensive expenses for most sellers; nevertheless, while evaluating the cost of selling a property in BC, it is crucial to consider which choice will provide you the greatest return - not which option would cost the least. Cost and profit are two very distinct concepts. There are a number of services and commission alternatives available in the Greater Vancouver region, and with over 14,000 realtors to select from, each will provide a unique experience, set of talents, inclusions, and outcomes.

When you employ a real estate agent to sell your house, the commission is usually divided into four parts:

  1. Listing Agent - the agent who represents you, the seller
  2. Listing Agent's brokerage 
  3. Buyer's Agent - the agent who represents the buyer  
  4. Buyer's Agent's brokerage

Services such as marketing, professional photography, videography, virtual tours, floor plans, internet marketing and facebook advertisements, print marketing, full colour flyers, professional cleaning, pre-listing house inspections, staging, and other services are likely to be paid for by full service agents and are included in the listing agent's compensation. Because discount agents and brokerages do not provide many services, their marketing and internet presence do not give the same initial impression as full-service brokers. 

Realtors in the Greater Vancouver region normally charge between 1-4% to list a house for sale, with the price varying depending on the agent's expertise and success and the commission paid to the agent who delivers the buyer.

The cheapest alternative is to sell your property yourself without the assistance of a professional real estate agent. This is also known as the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) method, and it needs the seller to have a strong understanding of the real estate industry, real estate contracts, estimating market value, and sales and marketing expertise. While some people are successful selling their houses on their own [usually without the assistance of realtors, developers, or builders], others spend many stressful months on the market with no activity and end up hiring a broker. 

Note: The founder of the ForSaleByOwner website employs the services of a REALTOR to sell his own home!

Remember that, like with everything else in life, you get what you pay for. With your house being your most valuable asset, you'll want a realtor who has the knowledge and abilities to ensure that you earn the greatest profit while being contractually and legally secure. While some realtors may charge a greater fee, their knowledge and skill set will net you a higher profit than a discounted broker.

Fees for Legal Services (Notary/Lawyer)

Every real estate transaction needs legal counsel; whether it's a notary or a lawyer, you'll need to select someone to assist you with completion. It is better to use the same notary or lawyer for both transactions if you are buying and selling. They will provide a statement of adjustments for you, letting you know how much money is needed at completion and what the specific closing fees are. In the event that something goes wrong, they will act as your representative to ensure that things are resolved smoothly.

If you simply want to sell, you'll pay around $800-$1,200, and if you also want to buy, you'll pay around $1,000-$1,800. Keep in mind that these notary and lawyer fees are very dependent on your case and the difficulty of the transaction.

Mortgage Discharge Penalties

Based upon your mortgage agreement, your lender may charge you a penalty for the sell of your home during your mortgage period. Most traditional lenders will let you apply the remaining mortgage sum to the mortgage of your new property (as long as you buy it within a certain 'recent' period after closure). If you're simply selling and not buying, you'll almost certainly have to pay a pre-payment penalty, which may easily run into the hundreds of dollars. To estimate how much this is, speak with your lender or mortgage specialist before listing your house for sale so that you have a complete grasp of the discharge terms.

Additional Selling Costs

While the above covers the most of the costs associated with selling a property in British Columbia, the following are extra costs to consider.

  • Fees for moving in and moving out: if strata - often $150-$350 
  • Moving vehicle 
  • Additional keys or fobs for your realtor and/or possession

Finally, good news: the Buyer is responsible for paying property transfer taxes, so that's one thing you won't have to budget for!

Now that you have an idea of how much it will cost to sell a property in British Columbia, the next step is to determine the market value of your home. If you're interested in a free market evaluation, then give me a call/text at 778-233-8366 or email divamangal@royallepage.ca to start a conversation. I am here to assist you, and I can offer you with a detailed pricing plan as well as an estimate of how much you may receive for your house in today's market.

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