Do You Pay Taxes When You Sell a House?

Taxes are an unavoidable part of selling real estate, but the rules can be confusing. The tax implications of selling a house vary depending on various factors such as the sale price, how long you've owned the property, and whether it was your primary residence. Before you sell your house, it's essential to understand the tax implications to avoid any surprises down the road. In this article, we discuss whether you need to pay taxes when selling a house and provide guidance on how to navigate the tax implications of selling real estate.
Dois-je payer des impôts si je vends ma maison

Do You Pay Taxes When You Sell a House in Quebec?

In Quebec, selling a house may entail tax obligations. Capital gains from the sale are subject to taxation. However, homeowners can reduce taxable income by deducting eligible expenses, such as real estate agent fees or renovations.

The tax treatment of capital gains tax varies based on ownership duration and residency status. Consulting a tax expert is prudent to navigate complexities. Capital gains are typically taxed at lower rates than regular income, aligning with income tax rates. Understanding these nuances is crucial to make informed financial decisions when selling homes as capital assets.

Who Has To Pay Taxes When Selling a Home?

When most people sell their house, they realize that they have to pay taxable gains following the property sale. Here are some scenarios in which you will be expected to pay capital gains taxes:

  • Rental Property: Owners selling rental units may be liable for taxes on profits earned from the sale, subject to capital gains taxes.
  • Investment Properties: Selling investment properties often incurs capital gains taxes on the profits generated from the sale.
  • Business Property: Taxpayers selling business properties may face taxes on any gains realized, which are typically subject to capital gains taxes.
  • Vacation Property / Second Home: Selling vacation homes or second residences may trigger capital gains taxes on the profits made from the sale.
  • Non-Qualifying Principal Residences: Properties that don’t meet the criteria for the principal residence exemption may be subject to capital gains taxes on the profits earned.
  • Other Property Types: Properties not used as a primary residence, including commercial real estate or undeveloped land, and inherited houses may be subject to capital gains taxes upon sale.

Who Is Exempt From Paying Tax When Selling a Home in Quebec?


In Quebec, as in the rest of Canada, certain exemptions can apply when selling a home, potentially allowing sellers to not pay tax on the profit (capital gains) from the sale. The most notable exemption is the Principal Residence Exemption (PRE). Here’s how it works and who might be exempt:

  • Principal Residence Exemption (PRE): This exemption allows you to avoid paying capital gains tax on the sale of your home if it qualifies as your principal residence for every year you owned it. To qualify, the property must have been ordinarily inhabited by the seller or their family at some point during the year. It’s important to note that this exemption can only apply to one property per family unit for each tax year.
  • Partial Exemption: If the property was not your principal residence for all the years you owned it, you might still qualify for a partial exemption, depending on how long the property was designated as your principal residence and whether it was used to generate income.
  • Change in Use: If you changed the use of your property (for example, from your principal residence to a rental property), special rules might apply, and you may be required to report a deemed disposition at fair market value.
  • Sale of an Inherited Property: If you inherit a property and sell it, capital gains tax may apply. However, if the property qualifies as your principal residence, you may be exempt from this tax.

To be exempt from paying tax when selling a home in Quebec, it’s crucial to meet the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)’s criteria for the Principal Residence Exemption or other relevant exemptions. Given the complexity of tax laws, it’s advisable to consult with a tax professional or accountant to understand your specific situation and potential tax implications thoroughly.

How Much Tax Do Homeowners Pay When Selling a House?

When selling a house in Quebec, homeowners face varying tax implications. The capital gains tax is calculated by deducting the cost basis, including capital improvements and closing costs, from the sale price. Short-term capital gains, realized within a year, are taxed at ordinary income rates, possibly up to 50%. Conversely, long-term capital gains, from sales exceeding a year, are subject to lower capital gains rates.

Tax filing status and available deductions, such as mortgage interest and repairs, impact liabilities. Utilizing tax brackets and maximizing deductions can optimize outcomes. Factors like property taxes and market fluctuations also influence taxes owed. Homeowners may qualify for a partial exclusion, reducing taxable capital gains, so seeking guidance from a financial advisor ensures informed decisions regarding depreciation deductions and overall tax planning for a successful house sale.

How To Maximize Profit When Selling a Property

Ultimately, the selling price of your home will have a big influence on the amount of tax you end up paying on the sale of your property. For those who are trying to sell a house that is not their primary residence and who are not eligible for tax deductions, it’s important to maximize the profit you make on your home to make your capital investment worthwhile. Regardless of the types of property you own, your income tax bracket, and your personal situation, below are tips to maximize the number on your closing statement. 

1. Sell To a House Buying Company

Selling to a home-buying company can maximize your profit by streamlining the process and reducing selling expenses. Companies like Vendu24h offer convenience, allowing homeowners to sell quickly without the hassle of listing, staging, or marketing. With real-time valuations, they provide fair offers aligned with current market trends, optimizing home-sale gains.

This service caters to diverse financial goals, providing flexibility and certainty in the transaction. By bypassing traditional real estate sales, sellers can save on commissions and closing costs, ensuring more of their proceeds go towards their financial objectives. Choosing a reputable home-buying company offers efficiency and transparency, maximizing profitability with minimal effort.

2. Stage Your House 

Staging your house enhances its appeal to potential buyers, increasing the likelihood of a quicker sale at a higher price. By strategically arranging furniture, decor, and accessories, staging highlights the property’s best features and helps buyers envision themselves living there. A well-staged home creates an emotional connection, driving up perceived value and justifying a higher asking price.

Additionally, staged homes often photograph better, attracting more attention online and during showings. With a relatively small investment in staging, sellers can significantly boost their profit margins by maximizing buyer interest and ultimately achieving a more lucrative sale.

3. Market Your House Properly 

Proper marketing is essential for maximizing profit when selling a house. Utilizing a multi-faceted marketing approach ensures the property reaches a wide audience of potential buyers. This includes professional photography, compelling property descriptions, and eye-catching signage. Effective online marketing through real estate websites, social media platforms, and email campaigns further expands visibility.

Targeted advertising can reach specific demographics or geographic areas, increasing interest and driving up demand. Open houses and virtual tours provide opportunities for potential buyers to experience the property firsthand. By generating greater interest and competition, proper marketing ultimately leads to more competitive offers and a higher selling price, maximizing profit for sellers.

4. Strategic Pricing

Strategic pricing plays a crucial role in increasing profit when selling a property. Setting a fair market price that accurately reflects the property’s value attracts more potential buyers and generates competitive offers. A well-priced property is more likely to sell quickly, reducing holding costs and maximizing profit. Moreover, strategic pricing can impact the taxes you’ll pay. Selling at a price above the original purchase price increases your capital gain, potentially raising your tax liability.

However, if you price it in line with your tax basis, you may minimize your tax liability, as capital gain tax rates are applied to the difference between the selling price and the tax basis. Thus, strategic pricing not only boosts profit but also influences tax implications, optimizing returns on your investment.

5. Home Improvements 

Completing home repairs before selling increases the profit potential by enhancing the property’s appeal and value. By addressing maintenance issues and cosmetic flaws, sellers can attract more buyers and justify a higher asking price. Additionally, making capital improvements such as upgrading fixtures or renovating kitchens/bathrooms can significantly boost the property’s market value.

Moreover, the cost of repairs and improvements can be deducted from the adjusted basis of the property, lowering the capital gains obligation upon sale. This reduces the seller’s tax burden and increases their net profit. Overall, investing in repairs not only enhances the property’s marketability but also optimizes financial returns in a competitive housing market.

Sell Your House to a Home Buying Company to Maximize Your Profit

At Vendu24h, we specialize in providing swift and hassle-free house-buying services tailored to your needs. With us, selling your property is a seamless experience from start to finish. We offer a straightforward process, allowing you to sell your house quickly and efficiently. Our team handles everything, from valuation to closing, ensuring a stress-free transaction.

Here are key benefits of selling your property to us: 

  • Expedited Process: Vendu24h offers a swift and streamlined selling process, allowing you to sell your house quickly without the delays associated with traditional listings and negotiations.
  • Convenience: Selling to Vendu24h removes the need for extensive repairs, staging, or marketing efforts, saving you time and effort. You can sell your house in its current condition, avoiding the hassle of renovations or showings.
  • Certainty and Assurance: With Vendu24h, you receive a firm offer and guaranteed sale, providing peace of mind and certainty in an uncertain market. There’s no risk of the deal falling through, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free transaction.

Whether you’re facing foreclosure, relocating, or simply need to sell fast, Vendu24h is here to help. Trust us for a reliable and efficient solution to your real estate needs!

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