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18 Common Fees: A Cheat Sheet for Home Buyers & Sellers

Selling or buying a home is the largest transaction most of us ever become involved in. But the actual purchase price on a house listing is only a part of the ultimate cost of buying or selling it. We’ve created this Cheat Sheet to cover the 18 common fees.

Costs and Fees for Buyers

Legal Fees & Disbursements:
These fees are charged by a lawyer or notary, and usually range from $100-$1200 depending on the complexity of the deal. Your lawyer or notary will arrange all transfers, payments and other factors of the funds for the real estate transaction.

Property or Land Transfer Tax:
This is applied on all purchases of homes. It is a tax that is calculated at 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the remainder. There is an exception when the buyer is a first time homebuyer – if the fair market value of the residence is up to $475,000, this transfer tax will be exempt.

Property Taxes:
This should come out of your legal fees, and your notary will take care of this. You will owe or receive a prorated amount for the remainder of the year’s property taxes.

Utility Payments/Hook-up Fees:
You will have to pay to have your utilities connected to your new property.

Survey Fee:
Your lender may require an up-to-date survey of the property. If the seller doesn’t provide you with one, you will pay anywhere from $250 to $350 for one.

Home Inspection Fee:
It is always a good idea to get your new home inspected before you remove subjects. It can be an invaluable way to ensure the safety and structural integrity of your investment.

Appraisal Fee:
Before your lender approves your mortgage, you may be required to get an appraisal. This can be anywhere from $250 to $500.

Mortgage Loan Insurance Premium (if less than 25% down):
If you get a mortgage where you pay less than 20% for the down payment, you will have to get mortgage loan insurance. This insurance rate can range from 1.75% to 3.25%. There is also a mortgage loan insurance application fee associated with this insurance.

Moving Expenses:
These costs can vary, depending on the option to hire a moving service or to use family and friends and a van rental. This can cost anywhere from $200-$2000.

Move Out Fees (strata buildings):
This is usually in place to lock out the elevator.

Renovations and repairs:
Cost will vary depending on your needs and wants.

Property Insurance:
You will pay monthly or annually for insurance protection on your new property. Value is based on the area you live, the property value, the land, etc. It can range from $500+ per year.

Real Estate Agent Fees:
The seller is responsible to pay these fees, unless you negotiate something differently in order to close a deal.

Miscellaneous Fees:
If buying in a heritage neighborhood, you are responsible to verify that there is no oil tank underground on the property. If there is, you are responsible to remove it. This can cost upwards of $2000.

Costs and Fees for Sellers

Legal Fees:
As noted above, the lawyer/notary fees for closing the sale will vary according to the intricacy of the transaction, but they should range from $500-$700. Again, your lawyer or notary will arrange the transfer of these funds.

Real Estate Agent Fees:
For standard agencies such as Remax, Sutton etc. the fee structure is as follows:

  • -7% on the first $100,000 and 2.5% on the remaining balance of the sale price (+5% GST). Of this total, the buyer’s agent is paid 3.255% on the first $100,000 and 1.1625% on the remaining balance.
  • One Percent Realty charges you a flat rate of $6,900 plus GST.
  • Property Guys and other independent avenues charge $200-$1000+ for various services, inclusively.

Moving Expenses:
As mentioned above, these costs can vary, depending on the option to hire a moving service or to use family and friends and a van rental. This can cost anywhere from $200-$2000.

Move Out Fees (strata buildings):
Again, this is usually in place to lock out the elevator.

Miscellaneous Fees:
If you are selling in a heritage area, sometimes factors such as having an Oil Tank Scan to verify that there is no oil tank on the property. This can cost from $150-$200.

Tell us about any fees that surprised you or that we didn’t include when you buy or sell a home?


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