How a REALTOR® Prices your Home

How a REALTOR® Prices Your Home

You’ve loved your home but are ready to move on. How much should you list it for? Although a casual observer might believe a listing price is an arbitrary number, many factors are taken into consideration when pricing, including market conditions, historical data, location and amenities. Overprice a property and it could linger, unsold, for months. Undervalue it, and you’re leaving money on the table. While getting a home appraisal can give you an idea of your property’s worth, pricing a home is part science and part art, so we asked a REALTOR® to break down that process.

“When I’m asked to price a property, there are many aspects involved and lots of fine-tuning,” says David Stevens, a REALTOR® with Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty in Victoria, British Columbia. Some considerations include:

Current local market conditions 

Pricing a home should include looking at the current market conditions and trends in your area. Knowing how many properties with similar features are up for sale and how fast they’re being snapped up can help determine how a property should be priced. 

“This takes into account the ability of active buyers and their buying power or capability,” adds Stevens. “Comparable current and sold listings are an invaluable source of information to look at when pricing, because sold property prices can always be relayed to any buyer or seller by their REALTOR®.”

When there’s low inventory in a neighbourhood, this can create a seller’s market with more competitive listing prices, while a bunch of homes for sale may require lower asking prices and indicate it’s more of a buyer’s market.


Sought after neighbourhoods near well-respected schools will typically demand a higher price tag,” explains Stevens. 

Remember: even homes on the same street can differ in price—if one side of the street backs onto a body of water, for example, those homes could be priced higher.

Size and layout

 A home’s layout can also factor into its pricing; most families in his market look for three or more bedrooms on one level, notes Stevens. 

“The square footage of a home and land size also influences the value of a property,” he says. “Depending on the area and the buyer trend in an area, aspects like privacy or usable land play a role.”

Age and condition of the house

How old a property is, and whether it has or needs major updates, including windows, roof, kitchen, bathrooms, and mechanical systems all factor into pricing. 

“When the major components of a home have been updated or replaced, many buyers see that as a long-term investment they will not need to spend money on,” explains Stevens.

DIY projects gone wrong can be detrimental in obtaining top dollar because substandard work will decrease your home’s appeal and, therefore, the price, he adds. 

Bonus spaces

A home with an in-law suite or additional income potential can be important as it gives the buyer flexibility with their financing and buying capability, he adds. 

“Within urban communities, it may be hard for a buyer who wants a detached workshop or a studio. This is considered special and not easy to find, so it must be taken into consideration when pricing.”

Seller’s motivation

REALTORS® also take a seller’s motivation into account when pricing a property. For example, if a seller has an accepted offer on another property, or they’re being transferred out of town, they may ask for a compelling listing price to attract more buyers, says Stevens.

What is the MLS® Home Price Index and how does it work? 

REALTORS® have a powerful tool at their disposal—the MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI). It provides a more precise picture of home price trends by gauging prices for the market as a whole, and prices for specific housing categories. This information allows them to do a comparable market analysis, where they learn what other similar homes have recently sold for, which gives them solid indicators on how to price your property.

Because this data can change from month to month, it’s important to use an accurate tool that tracks prices to get the latest information. 

“Ultimately, the pricing of a home is the seller’s decision with the help of their REALTOR®,” says Stevens. “The goal is to price the property to attract serious buyers and to prevent an extended period of time on the market that may ultimately come at a cost.”

Working with a REALTOR® to price your home gives you peace of mind that you’re setting yourself up for success with the advice and expertise of a professional. 

You may also be interested in reading…

Wendy Helfenbaum

Wendy Helfenbaum is a Montreal-based journalist, content strategist and TV producer who covers real estate, architecture, design, DIY, travel and gardening. 


The Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit: What You Need to Know

Written Curtesy REALTOR.CA TEAM

An increasing number of Canadians are turning to multi-generational living to help save money and cut down on their cost of living.

In fact, the number of homes shared by multiple generations of a family, two or more families, or one family living with non-related persons has risen by 45% in 20 years, according to the latest census data from Statistics Canada. By 2021, there were close to one million of these types of households, making up 7% of all homes in Canada. 

In recognition of this growing trend, the federal government proposed the multi-generational home renovation tax credit in its 2022 budget. As of January 1, 2023, the tax credit is officially in effect. The goal, as promised by the Liberal government during the 2021 election campaign, is to “help make communities more livable while bringing families closer together and better able to care for one another.”

What is the multi-generational home renovation tax credit?

The multi-generational home renovation tax credit is available to families interested in constructing a secondary unit on their property. Eligible families can claim 15% on expenses up to $50,000, so long as the expenses are related to the renovation and incurred after January 1, 2023. The maximum claim is $7,500, and only one qualifying renovation can be claimed per eligible person in their lifetime.

The multi-generational home renovation tax credit helps answer the wide-spread need for more affordable housing. In addition, the credit encourages homeowners to better utilize single-family homes, while reaping the financial and emotional benefits of living with family.

Secondary suites are also a form of middle housing, which is a concept that has gained momentum in many Canadian markets. Middle housing is touted as a way to reshape existing neighbourhoods so they can serve the housing needs of more Canadians, while helping to mitigate urban sprawl. 

What are the qualifications for the multigenerational home renovation tax credit?

In order to qualify for the multigenerational home renovation tax credit, the secondary unit and its residents must meet a few eligibility requirements.

  • The residence must be for seniors over the age of 65, or adults over the age of 18 who are eligible for the disability tax credit within the taxation year that includes the end of the renovation period.
  • The primary property must be owned by the eligible person, the spouse or common-law partner of the eligible person, or a qualifying relation of the eligible person, which could be a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.
  • The secondary unit itself must be a self-contained dwelling unit with a private entrance, kitchen, bathroom facilities, and sleeping area. This could be a brand new unit, or an existing unit that requires renovations to meet the requirements of a secondary unit.
  • In most cases, the unit must be inhabited within 12 months after the renovation is completed.

What expenses are—and aren’t—covered under the credit?

As with every tax credit, it’s important to know what you can and can’t claim. 

Eligible expenses include: 

  • a newly constructed unit or an existing unit that has been renovated and meets the government’s requirements; and
  • the cost of labour accrued by yourself or professional services, building materials, fixtures, equipment rentals, and permits. All costs must be supported by receipts.

Certain things cannot be claimed, such as:

  • furniture;
  • household appliances and devices;
  • costs associated with landscaping, housekeeping, or security—in other words, anything not integral to the unit itself;
  • costs of financing a renovation, such as mortgage interest costs; and
  • construction equipment, tools, mortgage interest costs, and any costs associated with routine repair or maintenance.

In addition, claims are subject to reduction pending other forms of government assistance. 

By supporting families in their efforts to create private-yet-together living spaces, this tax credit can help ease some of the stress and provide a viable living option for many Canadians. 

If you’re interested in applying, be sure to read up on the full eligibility and requirements to ensure you qualify for the tax credit, and keep receipts of all your associated costs. You can apply for the tax credit on your 2023 income tax return in 2024.

The information above is for informational purposes only and should not be used as investment or financial advice.


Summary of Government Real Estate Regulations & Dates

City of Vancouver Empty Homes Tax

  • Starting in 2023, the City of Vancouver Empty Homes Tax will be 5% for any homes deemed empty in 2023 (up from 3% in 2022)
  • Declaration Due Date is February 2
  • All homeowners must complete a declaration and confirm exemptions, if applicable
  • Clauses required in CPS to protect buyer

 B.C. Speculation and Vacancy Tax

  • The BC Speculation and Vacancy Tax is 0.5% for Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents and 2% for foreign owners and satellite families
  • Declaration Due Date is March 31
  • All owners on title must complete a declaration, even if they are spouses
  • Areas covered – Capital Regional District (Victoria and surrounding areas), Metro Vancouver Regional District including Lions Bay and Squamish and out to Langley, Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Nanaimo, Lantzville (use link to confirm areas)
  • No clauses needed in CPS to protect buyer

 Canadian Underused Housing Tax

  • Starting in 2023 for the 2022 tax year, an annual 1% tax on the taxable value of a vacant or underused residential property that is directly or indirectly owned by a non-resident non-Canadian
  • CRA filing by April 30th
  • Excluded Owner does not have to file – Canadian Citizens and permanent residents of Canada are Excluded Owners, some exceptions may trigger a requirement to file though
  • All of Canada is covered by this tax
  • No clauses needed in CPS to protect buyer

 B.C. 3-Day Home Buyer Rescission Period

  • Effective January 3, 2023
  • Affects residential properties other than leasehold, auction, court order, presale
  • Provides a buyer with a 3-day rescission period starting the day after acceptance and doesn’t include Saturday, Sunday or holidays as determined by the Interpretations Act
  • If a buyer rescinds, they are required to pay the seller a 0.25% penalty, which can be paid from any deposits held in the brokerage trust account or if no deposits were given, the seller would to pursue the buyer for the penalty
  • Cannot waive the rescission period.
  • Contract of Purchase and Sale must contain the exact rescission amount based on purchase price, the contact for sending rescission notice to, the final acceptance date and the last date rescission can happen.
  • Rescission can be done on the required form by way of registered mail, fax or email with a read receipt.

 B.C. Foreign Buyer Tax

 Canada 2-Year Foreign Buyer Ban

  • Starting January 1, 2023, non-Canadian citizens and non-permanent residents will be prohibited from purchasing residential property in Canada for two years, purchasing either directly or indirectly (meaning buyers not on the contract but a beneficial owner is prohibited)
  • Agreements signed before January 1, 2023 will not be subject to the prohibition.
  • Prohibition covers properties in either a “census agglomeration” or a “census metropolitan area” – for example Whistler is exempt.
  • Affects residential properties and buildings of up to 3 dwelling units (multifamily rental buildings)
  • Includes vacant residential land
  • Applies to individuals and corporations with a non-Canadian with 3% interest or more
  • Some exemptions may apply, see legislation and legal advice required to determine if applicable
  • Contravention of the Act can result in $10,000 for all parties involved (buyer, seller, lawyer/notary, real estate agent and brokerages, lenders, etc) and could result in an order to sell the property and any profit would go to the government.
  • A property may be exempt from the Foreign Buyer Ban but still attract the Foreign Buyer Tax.
  • Have the buyer sign the Certificate and Consent of Purchaser form to confirm they are able to purchase

Anti-Flipping Rule

Reciprocity Logo The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Greater Vancouver REALTORS® (GVR), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB.