By: Rosemarie Wallace and Mary Ann Stokke
Buying vs Selling…What to do first?
Tags: Buying, Selling, Tips
We get asked this question often and it’s a key decision to make when considering a move. It comes down to your personal risk tolerance versus the potential benefits. Your personal situation or market conditions may make the decision easier but there are lots of things to consider. We can help by providing the information and advice you need to make the right decision for you.
The first question to ask is what makes you more uncomfortable…the risk of selling your home without knowing where you’re going or the risk of carrying two homes for a period of time? This is your gut check and as long as you are informed and willing to do what it takes; you can do it either way and we can help. Most people prefer to buy first if they can, so let’s start there.
Know Your Market - until recently, it was easier to buy first, knowing that it was a seller’s market but now you have to be more cautious. Depending on the type of home you currently own and the price range, you may be in a buyer or seller’s market and you’ll want to know that. We can help you assess the market for your home by looking at current inventory, days on market, past sales and the rate the market is absorbing homes like yours. If you want to buy first and avoid the pitfalls of having to make a rushed decision if you sell first, we can help you minimize the risk of owning two homes in several ways.
1. Prepare your home for the market so when the right home comes along to buy, you’re ready to sell! Transacting in the same market is key to minimizing risk associated with timing. We can help by identifying what needs to be done and prioritizing so that you get the biggest payback.
2. Maximize the value of your home, doing your prep work not only allows you to transact in the same market, it also means a quicker sale at a higher price. We know homes that present well, sell quicker, it’s that simple. We can help by staging your home to ensure it will show at its very best.
3. Optimize your financial position by ensuring you have access to the equity in your existing home, consider a line of credit before your home is listed for sale. You may not want, or need, to access these funds but it will give you the option. We can help you get the right advice on borrowing.
4. Be realistic about price, we take a conservative approach to valuing your home, we’d rather you have a happy surprise than a disappointment. Understand that buyers (the market) will determine the value of your home, not your personal situation. We can help by giving you a realistic range of value for your home in the current market.
5. Be prepared to negotiate, selling your home at fair market value is what you should be prepared to do. If you only want to sell at the highest end of the range and won’t negotiate, you’ll need to sell first. We can help by providing the information you need to make good decisions and negotiating the best possible terms.
6. Have a back-up plan so you know what your options are if things don’t go as planned. Options might include accepting a lower price for your home, a bridge loan or short-term financing at a higher rate, temporarily borrowing money from family or renting out one of the properties. We can help you work out a contingency plan based on your personal circumstances.