Ready to file your 2019 tax return? If you sold your home last year or are planning to sell in 2020, we want to make sure you understand the rules about reporting the sale of your home!
What are the tax rules about principal residences?
The new rules were introduced in October 2016 and they changed the reporting requirements concerning the sale of your principal residence.
Before 2016, if you sold your principal residence, you did not have to report the sale on your income tax return, but now it is a requirement.
What do I need to do as a homeowner?
The good news is that you still don’t have to pay capital gains taxes when you sell your principal residence (provided you’re a Canadian resident and otherwise satisfy certain requirements under the new rules). But now, you need to include some details about the sale of your home on your tax return.
You’ll need to provide the year you purchased your principal residence, address and sale price.
The form to use is included in your tax package (Schedule 3 of your tax return). There has also been a change to the way non-residents calculate the length of time they’ve owned their principal residence.
What is a principal residence?
According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), a “principal residence” is any residence ordinarily inhabited by you or a family member in the applicable year.
There’s no need to live in the property for the entire year, and even short periods of time during the year (like vacations) can meet theh criteria. Your principal residence doesn’t even have to be in Canada, but only one dwelling can be a principal residence at a time, and you can decide which dwelling it will be.
If you sell a property that you haven’t designated as your principal residence, you must report half of any capital gains from the sale and pay tax on them.
So why are there new rules anyway?
The new rules were designed to close a loophole. In theory, the change to the way property owners calculate the number of years they owned a property should hypothetically reduce the number of foreign investors and "house-flippers" who previously avoided paying capital gains taxes on the sale of residential real estate by claiming their properties as their principal residences.
The reporting requirements also let the CRA monitor compliance with the rules, to ensure that only those entitled to the “PRE” Principal Residence Exemption, can use it.
What happens if I don’t report?
If you don’t, you may be liable for capital gains on the sale, plus late charges and interest. The penalty is $100 per month for each month you’re late, to a maximum of $8,000.
So the bottom line is, when you sell your principal residence you will need report it on your tax filing for that tax year.
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, it’s important to understand from the outset how professional representation can help you at every step of the process.
Buying or selling a home is a major financial (and emotional) undertaking and
your REALTOR® is more than just a "salesperson".....we act on your behalf as your advocate, providing you with professional advice and guidance.
While the Internet has opened up a world of information not previously available to consumers, the data on listings available for sale, while interesting, is only relevant in context in our local market. In a competitive market, whether you are buying or selling, you need the most current information about what has sold or is currently for sale, any pertinent changes in pricing, as well as any addiotnal information we have about specific properties beyond the listing details.
The way to ensure you have that information is by enlisting the help of a REALTOR®.
Buying a Home:
As a buyer, there are many advantages to having a REALTOR® work with you:
We simplify the process of finding you the perfect place by matching up properties that fit with your criteria & arrange all property showings. As buying or selling your home is a very personal transaction, many people tend to feel more comfortable using an agent as a liaison rather than having to deal face to face with potential buyers or sellers. The best part is it doesn't cost you, the buyer, anything to have a REALTOR® work on your behalf as buyer’s agent is compensated via a percentage of the seller’s brokerage commission.
Once we find the right property for you, we will develop a negotiation strategy based on our industry knowledge and experience, facilitate all the contracts and paperwork, as well as negotiate the purchase on your behalf including price, possession, inclusions & any conditions to the purchase.
We can recommend industry professionals, such as mortgage brokers, certified home inspectors, real estate lawyers, insurance agents, movers, & even proven contractors for any projects that need to be addressed. We will be with you through your home inspection and will help guide you through that process as well.
We also work closely with all parties involved in your home purchase & ensure that all documents are provided to your Lender & Lawyer.
Selling a Home:
When you're selling your home, you gain access to the most qualified buyers by being listed on the Multiple Listing Service. Whether you are buying or selling a home, MLS® is your best tool. By having your listing as part of the MLS® system you instantly have all of the REALTORS® in the city considering your property for their qualified buyers as well as national exposure to potential buyers relocating to the Regina area.
That is really the key....getting it in front of the highest number of people who are actively looking for a property with the same characteristics as yours, in your price range and neighbourhood.
We are your liaison with other local real estate agents to help promote your property & to work together to help affect a great end result for you!
One of the most important things we do is to help you price your home correctly through our experience and understanding of the market & comparable sales.
Great marketing of your property starts with professional photos & video tours. We will arrange that for you and we will help to advise you & give you our recommendations to ensure that your home & yard are photo ready and engaging to potential to buyers.
Because today's home buyers and sellers are so much better informed than in the past, our expertise and ability to communicate that, are becoming much more important. Our profession and the service we provide is evolving and we are becoming as much a "guide" through the process as a "salesperson".
We are your personal representative when you are buying or selling a home and we will be with you every step of the way!
We look forward to working with you & if you have questions about anything real estate, we are here to help! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that divorce ranks as life’s second most stressful event?
Decisions over what to do with the family home and who is going where, create some of the most challenging conversations between couples who are parting ways.
Beyond the emotional ties to a family home, shared real estate comes with its own legal issues that need to be sorted out before the dust can settle, and you can both move on. It’s certainly more complicated than simply dividing up the furniture, TV’s and wall art.
However, with 38% of all Canadian marriages ending in divorce, you’re not alone in this and there are industry experts, who have been there too and understand the emotions & the difficult decisions to be made.
We are here to help you navigate the process and answer all of the questions you may have, and while it will likely never be easy, we believe that working with a team who has experience will make it less challenging for you. Or ideally, that’s our goal for you!
We have years of experience working with clients going through this super stressful time in their lives and our job as REALTORS® is to be a neutral 3rd party with the clear & simple goal in mind, of helping you move on with your lives.
Through our video series, W2 Talks: Divorce & Real Estate, we’re tackling some of the questions you may have, with help from professionals in the field, including a mortgage broker & family law attorney.
The Legal Aspect:
No matter who you contact first in the process, ultimately the financial details of your separation will dictate how you move forward, so a formal separation agreement will be paramount. To discuss the legal aspect of Separation/Divorce and how that impacts your decisions regarding your family home & what options you have, we were joined by
Foster Weisgerber, McDougall Gauley LLP, who shares his thoughts on where you should start.
When it comes to deciding what your next move is, there will be lots of questions….can I purchase another property right away, what can I afford….where do I even start with financing a new home? It’s usually the case that one or both spouses want to keep the house, but the real question is if either one of them can afford to do so on their own.
Of course, there are lots of good reasons to keep the family home if possible:
You have children and want to maintain the stability of the home.
The house is in an ideal location and near your work, family, and friends.
The market conditions aren’t ideal to sell.
You bought the house recently and haven’t had time to build equity.
The financial feasibility of that decision will come down to your specific situation and that’s where your lawyer & mortgage broker will help to guide you.
Mortgage & Financing:
When the time comes, the sale of your home or the purchase of a new home requires teamwork between your REALTOR® and your mortgage expert/lender. To help answer those questions and more, we were joined by Candice Carr from TMG: The Mortgage Group.
Our Closing Thoughts
Whether we, as REALTORS®, are your first point of contact or somewhere later in your process, we will be here with you through every step to help find you a new space to call home …and we will help to ensure you have access to all of the information & guidance you need as you move onto a new chapter in your life!
If you have any questions, general or specific to your situation, and would like to reach out for more information regarding your options, you can confidentially contact any of us with the details below, and your information will remain private.
If you would like to reach out to Foster for more information:
We know there a million things to do as you prepare your home for sale so we are starting with just a few projects to tackle before the snow comes & Winter is here to stay! We will take on the indoor list of to-do's in our next blog!
If you're not sure where to start here is some inpiration:
Focus on the Front Yard
Curb appeal is everything and will significantly impact a potential Buyer’s first impression of your home. Stand out on the street and take an objective look, or even better a photo, of your house & yard….What do you see that could be improved?
At a minimum, clean the scuff marks off the front door and touch-up the paint… or give it a fresh coat if weather permits! And if your front door has seen better days, consider investing in a new one….that is a Buyer’s first view to what is inside ad it sets the expectations!
If you have a front porch, make it look inviting (not just a place to store your stuff)
Invest in a cute new door mat & some seasonal evergreens to put in planters at your front door or add a welcoming wreath. Of course at this time of year, inspiration is everywhere!
Make sure to clean up the lawn, planter & garden areas of leaves & debris.
As our days are now growing shorter, many Buyers will see your home at night, so make sure that your outdoor lighting is highlighting your home. Pathway lighting is always a great idea as well and can be accomplished inexpensively with solar lights.
Be sure to replace bulbs & clean your outdoor light fixtures, or update them if necessary.
Have the Windows Cleaned
We know, you probably don’t even think about cleaning your windows at this time of year, but weather & wind can really make your windows dirty and we don't always notice those things when we live in our homes but trust us, buyers will notice and we want them to focus on your great house not on dirty windows! We like companies like Men in Kilts for affordable window cleaning.
Don’t Overlook Your Backyard
What you can accomplish in the back yard will of course depend on weather, but before we get snow that stays make sure you do one last lawn mowing, clean up leaves & blow out your sprinklers if you have in-ground.
Now is the time to put away or cover your patio furniture, BBQ, plant pots & garden utensils and do what you can to make the back yard presentable for Winter!
If you have a garage now is the time to tidy it up and get rid of clutter before Winter sets in! If your garage door or operator need updating, then consider replacing those in preparation for listing your home for sale.
If you have questions about the market ....when is the right time to sell, what is my home worth in the current market and where do we start....we are here to help you navigate the process from beginning to end! Feel free to contact us with your questions.
We were recently discussing pricing with a client and heard the words we have heard many times before……
” I would like to list my home at this amount and we need this amount out of it".
If only it were that simple, we would make it happen exactly that way! Unfortunately our job is to be objective and to provide the best advice we can to help put you in the best position to sell your home, not just to tell you what you want to hear.
It's so important to work with a REALTOR® that you trust has your best interests in mind and then to work together as a team to get the best result for you!
The process of determining a list price for a property requires consideration of a number of factors including:
1. Recent comparables (Active listings but more importantly recent Sales)
2. Market conditions
3. Specific Location (Neighbourhood, Large lot, Backing Greenspace, Proximity to Schools & Services, etc)
4. Condition and Features of the property
While we are always mindful of what a client needs or wants to see from the sale of their home, that can’t be the primary factor in pricing, but rather the deciding factor as to whether or not you want to sell at any given time. And keep in mind that your agent wants you to get the highest number possible for your home as well!
This is where it’s helpful to understand the process and trust the guidance your agent is giving you in regards to pricing.
Market Value is, simply put, what someone is willing to pay for a property on any given day, but overpricing can result in potential buyers overlooking the property completely because it falls outside their range. So rather than presenting an offer and finding some middle ground, they may eliminate it from their list of possibilities altogether.
So when is the best time to buy or sell…..whenever you need to or decide it’s time for a change! You never know who might be looking for a house or condo exactly like yours today and people move at all times of the year.
Of course, if you are a buyer today, there are lots of options for you!
If you need help determining the value of your home or if you would like to see what is in the market that might be of interest to you as a buyer, we’re here to help!
For any questions feel free to email us at email@example.com
Karin & Jen
Your Proven #YQR Real Estate Team
JC REALTY REGINA || 2241 Albert Street || Regina, SK
Many home buyers decide whether they even want to look inside a house or pass on it based on curb appeal—the way the house looks on the outside is often an indication of what you may see on the inside, so curb appeal & first impressions matter when you are trying to sell your home. You can help ensure buyers want to view your property by spending a little bit of time working on its exterior appearance.
Remember that staging a home affects the entire property. While it is important to make the interior look larger by keeping things clean and simple, the outside of the home shouldn't be overlloked or neglected. Picking up trash and other debris from the yard, driveway, carport, and other areas surrounding the home gives visitors an idea about what to expect from the inside. Pressure washing the siding, deck, and concrete is an inexpensive investment that has the potential to add significant value to the sale price of a home.
Owners and potential buyers don't look at a house the same way; we as owners often can't see our home's faults because we are just used to the way it is.
When the time comes to sell, it's important to try and remove the emotional attachment you have to your home and remember that it is now a commodity that you want to sell for the highest price possible! We know that's sometimes easier said than done and we will be there to guide & support you through the eprocess!
Curb Appeal Exercise:
Many buyers will walk or drive by a listing before viewing so to see it from their eyes, the next time you drive up to your own house, make note of the following as if you are seeing it for the first time:
What is your first impression of the house and yard?
What are best exterior features of the house or lot?
What exterior features of the house can be improved?
Is the yard clean and tidy?
What could you do to make it more attractive…exterior lighting, plats on the step, new paint, clean the windows?
Take photos of your home's exterior….you will be amazed at how differently you see it from that perspective! What jumps out at you immediately…good or bad?
Clean and Repair:
Now is the time to make a list of the problem areas you discovered. Tackle any basic clean-up and repair items first, and then put some time into projects that make the yard more attractive.
Stow away garden implements and tools, extra pots and soil etc.
Pet Peeve….garbage bins visible from the street! If you can, make room on the side of your house, or even better, in the garage to store the bins.
Clean windows and gutters.
Pressure wash siding and decks, driveways and exterior lights to freshen them up after winter.
Edge sidewalks and remove vegetation(ie weeds) growing between concrete or bricks.
Mow the lawn and get rid of weeds.
Trim tree limbs near, or touching your home's roofline.
Don't Forget the Rear View (So to Speak!):
A backyard oasis that doesn’t require a lot of work from a potential buyer is a big plus!
Evening Curb Appeal:
Do your curb appeal exercise again at dusk, because many potential buyers drive by houses in the evening.
One quick way to improve evening curb appeal is with lighting:
Low-voltage or solar lighting along your driveway and sidewalks and near important landscaping elements adds great curb appeal.
If it’s been a long time since light fixtures and exterior door hardware have been changed, update the lighting & door handles at your front and back doors.
Make the First Impression Count:
Some buyers can't visualize changes and often won't take a second look at a house if the first look doesn't appeal to them. Thinking like a buyer before listing can entice more people to look at your home and can also help you sell the house faster and closer to the price you want.
There are simple changes you can make that will give you a lot of bang for your buck....consider it exterior staging!
A fresh exterior with clean or freshly painted window trim, a new or newly painted exterior door makes a huge difference. Choose color schemes that are contemporary but also have mass appeal!
If you can't justify the cost of a new door, consider replacing standard door hardware with something more modern & attractive.
Add a new porch light & new garage lights if budget allows.
Add a pop of colour and instant curb appeal by adding some pretty plant pots to your front step or perennials to your front garden beds!
And finally take photos of the Summer landscape so you have them for listing in the Fall & Winter!
If you have questions about selling your home, we are here to help you navigate the process every step of the way! Contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jen & Karin
Your Proven Regina Real Estate Team ...helping you make the right move!
The New Year brings thoughts of change and whether you are purchasing a new home that requires extensive renovations or you just have a room in your existing home that could use an update, good planning helps to keep you focused and may also help you avoid costly mistakes. Yes we have all likely purchased that piece of furniture because it was fabulous and we had to have it….only to find it was not really comfortable or really didn’t fit in the room! Oops ;-)
This article from Houzz has some great tips to help you in the process and might just inspire you to action!
The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) IDX Reciprocity listings are displayed in
accordance with SRAR's MLS® Data Access Agreement and are copyright of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®.
The above information is from sources deemed reliable but should not be relied upon without independent verification.
The information presented here is for general interest only, no guarantees apply.
Trademarks are owned and controlled by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
Used under license.
MLS® System data of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® displayed on this site is refreshed every 2 hours.