Toronto Real Estate

Buy or Sell First? What's Less Stressful?

This is one of the most common issues our clients have and it plagues them with unanswered questions and sleep loss.

“If I Buy first, I’ll have to have sell my home by a certain date.”
“If I Sell first, I’ll feel forced to buy a house.”

There isn’t a magic answer, however, there is a formula for making the right choice for you. Let’s break down the 4 major steps involved in buying/selling, so we can pinpoint the main stresses, and sift out all the other “annoyances”.

Stage 1 - Education and Preparation

This is the stage where you prepare your home for sale and get accustomed to the market you’re buying in.

  • Call us and we will tell you what your house is worth, and we’ll also happily give you a “honey-do” list of everything that needs maintenance to maximize the sale price.
  • Get started on decluttering and sell/donate/trash anything you won’t move to your next home.
  • Visit the bank, get a sense of your budget and talk to us about what your budget will afford.
  • If you’re switching neighbourhoods, get a feel for it first. Go for walks, go to the park with kids, go for dinner, try it out while watching the market and getting a sense of value.
  • At this point you haven’t risked anything and are up to speed on your home’s value and have a sense of the market you’re looking into. You’ve also done some maintenance and cleaning in your home that you might have previously been procrastinating over.

Stage 2&3 - Buy/Sell

Your home’s market conditions might dictate having to sell first if the market is soft. If the market you’re buying into is hot, you may decide to buy first. The key here is to keep a pulse on both markets while pushing both efforts along regardless what you decide to do first. Here are some of our pointers:

  • Relieve stress with longer closing dates, better yet, negotiate a FLEXIBLE closing date on your first deal. We push our clients to grab flexibility from buyers or sellers where we can and sometimes even advise our clients to pay for it. Pay attention to these opportunities: buying a vacant property, or selling to buyers who are living with parents or renting.
  • Remind yourself of the end goal and that you are buying/selling in the same market. Often if your sale price isn’t what you hoped for, you’ll be able to negotiate a lower price on your purchase.
  • More conservative people may choose to sell first, as the worst case scenario is manageable. If you don’t have a home purchased in time, you can rent, which isn’t the end of the world.
  • If you buy first, make sure you list your property correctly; at the right price, and presented/staged well. You don’t have time to correct mistakes.

Stage 4 - Close

Once you have your Sell and Buy contracts firm, you can focus on closing, packing and moving.

  • Bridge your mortgage (even if just for 1 day) vs. closing your sell/buy on the same day. In the very small chance your sale doesn’t close, or is slightly delayed, you won’t ‘knee-jerk’ default on your purchase. Moving everything out of one house and into another on the day you get the keys is CRAY CRAY!
  • Use the same lawyer for the sale/purchase.

Are you thinking of moving to a new home and stressed about the best way to start? Start by getting an opinion of value on your home or call us and we will walk you through everything you need to know.

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