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Should you buy first or sell first?

Properly is a different kind of real estate brokerage. It's the stress-free, full-service, modern way to move.
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When you spend almost every waking moment in your home, it can start to feel cramped pretty quickly. That’s why — after a full year of pandemic living — many people are considering a move to a quieter place and looking to upsize to have more space.

If you’re thinking about moving, you may be wondering whether you should sell your current home first or buy first and worry about the sale later. 

Managing a purchase and sale at the same time is no walk in the park no matter which transaction you focus on first, so we’ve outlined the pros and cons to help you determine whether buying or selling first is best for you.

Sell first, then buy a new home

Pros

Unlocking equity

If your biggest concerns are financial, selling your home first is the quickest way to unlock your current home’s equity. When you sell your existing home, you’ll know exactly how much money you have to put towards your new place, so selling first is the most efficient way to set and stick to a precise budget.

Confidence

Selling your home first provides you with the much-needed confidence to upgrade to a new home. You have the security of knowing you’ve completed a critical part of the process.

Cons

Closing date pressure

While selling your house secures your budget, it also establishes a hard and fast deadline for moving out. Having a looming closing date might put an undue rush on your home search process. In a worst-case scenario, this leaves you spending more than you had planned or buying a house you aren’t super excited about. It’s stressful trying to line up purchase and sale timelines or needing to move into temporary accommodations.

Moving…twice 

Selling your home first tends to make it difficult to avoid moving twice. You might get stuck having to rent between selling your old home and moving into your new one if you aren’t able to align the closing dates, which can be a significant challenge.

Added costs

The additional costs of temporarily relocating before finally moving into your new home can add up quickly. Moving costs, storage costs, and the time taken out of your days are just a few to consider. 

The stress of living through listings

The listing process can be emotionally and financially draining, and it’s been made even more stressful by the pandemic. You’ll need to manage frequent visits from strangers for repairs, staging, open houses, and showings, not to mention all the added sanitization practices required to sell a home now. You’ll often have to get your family out of the house for hours and sacrifice significant amounts of your free time. Plus, if your home is being professionally staged – which is highly recommended to maximize your selling price – you’ll need to store your furniture.

Buy first, then sell your current home

Pros

Your timelines, your rules

Buying a house before selling means you don’t have to worry about aligning your move in date with the closing date of your sale, so you’re not pressured to rush such a big decision. When you do find the home you love, you’ll have the flexibility to act fast so you don’t miss out, which is a requirement in a hot market like Toronto.

Less stress

The process of listing your home and managing showings is a huge endeavour in the best of times, but during a pandemic while you live (and potentially still work) in your place, it can feel extra scary. You can avoid the hassle and the stress by buying and moving out first.

A smoother transition

By buying a house before selling, you radically simplify the move-out/move-in process. Moving happens only once, and on your terms – as slowly or quickly as you want.

Family considerations

It’s hard to keep a house in the pristine condition required for selling with kids running around. Keeping your home in a show-worthy state is easier if you opt to move out before selling your home. You’ll also avoid having to move your kids twice, which can be taxing – both for them and for you. 

The right opportunity

Your next home could be your dream home, perhaps in your ideal neighbourhood, with room to grow your family, or with the exact features you’re looking for. Maybe it has that dream view of the Toronto skyline or an unbeatable backyard. These opportunities are rare and require buyers to move quickly, which is tough if you’re waiting for your existing house to sell.

Cons

Paying two mortgages

The number one concern for those considering buying a house before selling is the risk of owning two properties, even if for a short time, and thus paying two separate mortgages. The financial costs can add additional pressure to find a buyer quickly, which could cause you to sell your house for a lower price than you’d initially planned.

Finding the necessary capital

If you’re buying a home before selling, you still need to have the money lined up to execute the transaction. And not everyone has a couple hundred thousand dollars in savings put toward a second home. A bridge loan can offer a possible solution, but that means added interest payments and may come with undesirable conditions and costs.

A third option: The smarter way to move

Choosing whether to buy or sell first when upgrading to a new home is a tricky decision that comes with a lot of considerations – financially, logistically, and emotionally. If you wish there were a middle ground, we’ve got good news.

With Properly, you can secure the money you need to buy a new home right when you find the one you love, then settle into your new place while our expert agents get you the best price on the market for your old one. There’s no risk of your home not selling and no pressure to sell for less to avoid holding onto two properties. You’ll enjoy all of the pros of buying before you sell while avoiding the cons. Here’s how it works:

1. Buy using your current home’s equity

Properly’s Sale Assurance allows you to access your equity and secure financing when you need it, so you never miss a chance at the right home.

2. Move on your terms

With our Sale Assurance commitment, you can buy and sell on your timeline – there’s no financial pressure to line up dates.

3. Sell from the comfort of your new home

While you settle into your new place, Properly will prep, list, and show your old home to get you the best price on the market. 

Properly is a Canadian tech-enabled real estate brokerage transforming the home buying and selling experience as the only service in Canada that helps homeowners to buy before they sell.