Did you know that Realtors are prohibited from giving their clients advice on GST

GST is one of the most controversial subjects in our business. Many times buyers and sellers come to Realtors and ask if GST is applicable and if so who pays it and how much is it. Our governing body the Real Estate Council of British Columbia prohibits us from giving advice on GST because it is so controversial. Sometimes we call Canada Revenue Agency for an answer and they say, "That depends". If they don't know how can we know. Here is some straight goods about GST. The first strange thing is that unless otherwise stated in the offer, the buyer pays it but only the seller can tell whether it is applicable. GST is based on what the property was used for prior to the sale. Only the seller can accurately state that. For instance, pre-owned homes are generally exempt from GST. But what if there was a hair salon in the home prior to its sale and it was removed for the sale. The unsuspecting buyer would assume that there was no GST applicable but could end up paying it when they complete their deal or in the future. That is why in our office on every deal we put a clause that states that the seller warrants there has been no commercial activity in the house prior to the sale. This protects both the buyer and seller. What if the pre-owned home was in a rental pool like Silver Star Mountain or Predator Ridge. GST could be applicable on an unsuspecting buyer. GST is a very complicated tax. When you hire a Realtor our Job is to make sure that you get accurate, professional advice from the people that don't guess. It is one of the many benefits of using a Realtor. 

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