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Timing is everything, especially in the world of real estate. One dilemma that many home buyers and sellers face is wondering if the stars will all align so that they can buy their new home at the same time – or at least within a short time – when selling their existing one. No one wants to be in the situation where they don’t have the money to pay for the new home because their current home hasn’t sold, or that they haven’t yet found a new home but have already sold theirs! Although it does happen from time to time, it’s not an ideal situation to be in, that’s for sure.

So, the burning question is…Does it make more sense to sell a home first before buying, or buy first, then sell? It’s not an easy choice! Let’s take a closer look at what impacts these decisions so your next home purchase runs as smoothly as possible.

1. Demand

The demand for houses plays a major part in determining if you should buy or sell first. For example, if you’re house hunting in a hot neighbourhood and it’s a seller’s market, that means there are limited listings and you will likely want to buy first so you don’t miss out on something perfect. In a seller’s market, properties move quickly and the competition can be fierce, so getting your offer accepted can be a big relief, especially if it’s at a price you are happy with!

However, in a buyer’s market, things are quite different. In these instances, the market may have cooled and homes aren’t selling as quickly or for top dollar, so it may be best to sell your home first to get that ‘out of the way’. Buyers can afford to be fussy in a buyer’s market, and as a result it can take longer to sell your existing house. For this reason, you could have an advantage by selling first, knowing that the market is less competitive and you’d have a greater selection of homes. However, if you are buying in an area where you don’t know the market, this could be a big gamble, so be sure to do your research.

2. Condition of your current home

Before you decide to buy a new home, it’s essential to consider the condition of your existing home and decide if it’s remotely ready to be put on the market. In today’s world of real estate, the best way to get top dollar and help ensure a faster sale is to really wow prospective buyers and have your home looking its best when you list it. This means careful staging, repairs, decluttering, fresh paint, and even upgrades to kitchens and bathrooms if needed. If you buy a home first, then discover you need extra time to prepare your current home to sell, you could end up paying for two mortgages or accepting an offer for far less than you wanted in order to rush the deal through.

3. Life events

Sometimes, life will dictate when and where we move. For example, if we get relocated to a new town for our work, have a growing family that needs more space, want to downsize to something more manageable or need to accommodate aging parents, it can mean we need to move even if we don’t feel totally ready. In these instances, we may be tight on time and have to quickly buy before selling in order to get a home that suits us best, or we may need to sell first to ensure we have funds to finalize the deal on the home we need to buy. These high-pressure situations can be very stressful, leading to hasty decisions we may later regret. Be sure to work carefully with your Realtor® so you can understand the market before jumping in to a sale or purchase you aren’t ready for.

As you can see, every situation is unique when it comes time to deciding if you should buy a new home or sell your existing one first. Ideally, you want to have closing dates that line up, so you don’t have the extra hassle of having to rent elsewhere until you can move in, apply for a bridge loan from your bank to temporarily finance both homes, or simply live with the pressure of not knowing if you’ll find your dream home or sell your current home in time.

If you’re concerned about whether you should buy or sell first, or simply want to get started on your next big move, be sure to connect with the experienced team at Clairwood Real Estate by calling 705-445-7085. Our knowledgeable Realtors® know the local market, we know what sells, and we are happy to make your buying or listing experience in Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, The Grey Highlands, Blue Mountain or Meaford a great one!