5 Things to Know about Selling a Home in Nova Scotia

From the costs involved in selling a home to negotiating offers, here are some key factors to consider when putting your home on the market.

By Emily Southey | 3 minute read

Oct 17

Before listing your home, think carefully about which conditions you would be willing to accept and which are non-negotiable.

Selling a home anywhere in Canada, including in Nova Scotia is a massive undertaking. Given all the homes for sale in Halifax, Dartmouth, Cape Breton, and beyond, it can be difficult to know how to navigate the selling process. Keep reading to learn more about what the selling process entails and what factors to consider when selling your home.


The Home Sale Process

The home sale process takes time and it can be complicated. To give you a better idea of what to expect, we break down the entire process into the following steps:

1. Gathering the documents you need to sell your home
2. Preparing your home for sale (home staging, decluttering, completing minor repairs)
3. Determining an appropriate sale price
4. Choosing the right time to put your home on the market
5. Scheduling open houses and showings with prospective buyers
6. Reviewing offers
7. Accepting an offer
8. Closing the deal
9. Reviewing and signing the final paperwork


Key Considerations When Selling A Home

Before you put your home on the market in Nova Scotia, there are a few factors worth considering, from whether you truly want to sell your home to the costs involved with doing so. Taking the time to consider these factors before listing your home can save you a lot of energy and stress down the line. So read through the list below and think long and hard about these key considerations prior to selling your property. 


1. Selling vs. renovating or refinancing

The first question you ask yourself before selling should be, “Do I want to sell my home?” If the answer is no, consider your options. Depending on your situation, renovating your home or refinancing your mortgage could allow you to continue living in a property you love. 


2. Working with a REALTOR®

The second consideration when selling a home is whether you want to work with a REALTOR® or sell it yourself. You are under no obligation to hire a REALTOR® to help you sell your home, though most people opt to due to the convenience and peace of mind it offers. If you decide to work with a REALTOR®, research your options and interview multiple candidates before choosing one. Make sure their communication style aligns with yours, they have an impressive track record, and they possess knowledge of the local housing market. 

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3. Taxes on home sales in Nova Scotia

All home sales in Nova Scotia are subject to the Nova Scotia Provincial Deed Transfer Tax (PDTT), which amounts to 5% of the purchase price or the assessed value (whichever is greater) of the home. The good news is that in most cases, the PDTT is the responsibility of the buyer, although they could try to negotiate for the seller to pay it. Beyond the PDTT, each municipality in Nova Scotia levies its own Municipal Deed Transfer Tax (MDTT). This ranges between 0.5% and 1.5% of the home’s purchase price, depending on the municipality.


4. Additional selling costs

You might think that selling a home is all about making money, but as with most things in life, you need to spend money to make money. There are a variety of expenses that sellers should expect to pay when selling their homes. These range from REALTOR® commissions and legal fees to mortgage discharge fees and mortgage prepayment penalties, if applicable. You may also need to pay to complete minor repairs or renovations, or staging fees in order to make your home presentable. 


5. Negotiating and accepting conditional home sales

When a seller receives an offer on their home, most of the time that offer comes with conditions or contingencies. It is ultimately up to the seller to decide whether they want to accept these conditions, counter them, or reject them outright. Regardless of what you decide, you must be prepared to navigate the world of condition home sales. Examples of conditions that many buyers ask for include mortgage conditions, home inspection or home appraisal conditions, and sale of existing home conditions. Before listing your home, think carefully about which conditions you would be willing to accept and which are non-negotiable.  


Emily Southey

Wahi Writer

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