5 Common Real Estate Mistakes In Buying And Selling

June 22, 2017 | Published by

“It was a mistake” or “I didn’t anticipate this” are the last words you want to hear when making a major real estate decision. As lawyers and notaries public, our role is to protect you when undertaking one of the biggest sales or purchases of your life.

The Society of Notaries Public of BC surveyed a pool of notaries public in the Greater Vancouver area, to identify some of the most common mistakes that house buyers and sellers make in Vancouver.

These mistakes include the following:

  1. Property Transfer Tax exemption;
  2. Not considering the Cost of Fees to complete the purchase or sale;
  3. Not knowing that GST is payable on seller commissions (which can be significant);
  4. Confusing key dates – such as Closing date vs. Possession date – and what you can or cannot do at certain stages of the transaction; and
  5. Misjudging the property tax year or payment cycle.

Most of these mistakes and misunderstandings can be avoided simply by enlisting the services of a notary public. A notary public or lawyer is well-trained to handle real estate transactions, and carry the responsibility of correctly calculating the costs, dates, and handling the forms required to successfully complete your transaction.

Your notary public or lawyer will be able to help you make smart financial decisions, using their knowledge to help you gauge your eligibility for programs such as the Property Transfer Tax exemption.

Am I Exempt from Paying Property Transfer Tax?

According to the BC government, Property Transfer Tax is calculated on the following basis:

“The tax is charged on the rate of 1% on the first $200,000, and 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000. The rate goes up to 3% on the portion greater than $2,000,000.”

If you are a Canadian citizen buying a used home below $500,000 as your first home purchase, you are eligible for an exemption from the Property Transfer Tax as per the First Time Home Buyer’s Program.

Knowing this fact could help you identify when, and which houses you may want to buy to save a fair bit of money on property transfer taxes. To find a real estate notary who can help you accurately gauge the cost of buying or selling a home, contact Morris Notary at [email protected] or 778.819.8553.