To BUY or to SELL first? That is the question.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer, and there isn’t a universal answer.
Reasons to Buy Before Selling
- In a hot Sellers’ market, many properties are on and off the market in a matter of hours or days, and sometimes before they hit realtor.ca. If you decide to sell first, there’s no guarantee that your dream home will be available once you sell your property.
- Mortgage pre-approvals (and guaranteed interest rates) are only good for a period of time, typically 90 days. If it takes you longer to sell, buy and close on a new place, the interest rates you’d counted on at the beginning of this process may be a thing of the past.
- Maybe your dream home is in need of some updates? Buying before selling will give you the chance to complete those renovations while living in the comfort of your old home.
Reasons to Sell Before Buying
- A firm sale will be a guarantee of what the market decided your house was worth. You’ll know exactly how much you have to spend on the new place.
- Most lenders approve financing for your purchase based on at least having an Agreement of Purchase and Sale in place for the sale of your current home. If your home doesn’t sell before you take possession of your new home, you might not be able to get the mortgage you need to close on the property. And if you can get a mortgage, well, carrying two mortgages and all the carrying costs isn’t very much fun.
- Often, Sellers aren’t able to match the closing dates of the old and new house ~ if this is the case you will require Bridge Financing (borrowing the equity in your current home to use as a down payment on the new one). This can be expensive, as you carry the costs of two houses temporarily.
Should you BUY or SELL first?
It really depends on your individual situation and tolerance for risk. I’d be happy to talk through your options and help you decide which option is best for you.
Legal fees to sell your home will depend on the law firm you choose and the price of your home. Generally, you can expect to pay around $1,200 to sell a $600,000 home. Here’s an excellent source for an estimate for Legal Fees, Land Transfer Tax and Closing costs
Before closing, your lawyer will give you a full breakdown of any other selling costs, which may include outstanding property taxes and utilities. The Seller is responsible for these costs up until the date of closing.
If you have a mortgage on your home, your lender may charge you a penalty if you sell the home during the mortgage term period. Some lenders allow you to apply the remaining mortgage balance to the mortgage of a new property, but some mortgages have restrictions. Make sure to talk to your lender before you list your home for sale to understand fully the details of your mortgage.