How To Make Awesome Decisions When Selling And Buying Together

By: Thomas Cook

How To Make Awesome Decisions When Selling And Buying Together


Sometimes we forget that most people aren't just a buyer or seller when it comes to real estate. The majority of those in the home buying or home selling process - with the exception of first-time buyers - are actually doing both at the same time, which can be a bit overwhelming.

It is often a bit of a "chicken or the egg" question for homeowners: whether they should focus on selling their home first and then buying a home, or buy first and sell once they've secured a new one.

The perceived dilemma is that if you sell first, you might not have anywhere to live while you look for your new home. If you buy first, you might not have money to buy a new home before selling your old home or could be stuck owning two homes.

The first step is to get pre-approved for a mortgage to know 100% that you are able to move up to that more expensive home based on your income and the down payment (cash and/or equity from your existing home) that you have available.  If you’re downsizing, you may not even need a mortgage.

Up until about 8-10 years ago, we always recommended that Toronto home owners sell first and then buy.  However, with the busy seller’s market we’ve been in for the last few years, selling first almost guarantees that you’ll be living temporarily out of a suitcase in a friend’s house or in a short-term rental.

Why is that?  When buyers are going out to purchase a home in today’s market, it can almost be a certainty that they will have to put in more than one offer on a home before they get something accepted because of the unfortunate habit that many agents have of under listing homes to encourage multiple offers from buyers.

That results in you going out, looking at several homes, finding one you like and putting in an offer ‘next Tuesday’ in competition with several other buyers.  Odds are that your offer will not be #1 and then you’ll have to do that all over again, sometimes as many as four or five times before you’re successful and get your offer accepted.

What this means is that you’re at the mercy of the market when buying your next home and it’s virtually impossible to predict in advance when you’ll have a closing date on that new property.  It may take a few months before you finally get an offer accepted and you’ll need to accommodate the closing date of that seller in order to help get your offer accepted.

So we suggest in today’s market that you buy first and then sell.

However, you should be prepared for the best and anticipate the chance that one of your first offers gets accepted.

To make that work, we would recommend that you immediately do all the house or condo fix-ups and touch-ups necessary to get you the absolute best price.  A great suggestion is for us to come over to your current home and do a Room-By-Room Review to give you recommendations on what work should be done before listing on MLS.

Fix-ups might include tasks such as de-cluttering, painting, removing some furniture, cleaning etc. and giving you some staging ideas.

We would also do as much of our marketing ahead of time as possible… order the floor plans, take our marketing photos and prepare our feature sheets and website / online marketing campaigns in anticipation of you finding the right home.  Then, as soon as your purchase is confirmed, we could be on the market without any time lost the very next day.

In order to speed up the selling of your house, we’d recommend getting a pre-inspection done by a recognized home inspection firm. This way we can present that inspection report to any buyer prospects ahead of them giving us an offer.  Another advantage of doing this is that you can do any minor fix-ups that the inspection firm recommends and eliminate them from being buyer concerns.

If you’re selling a condominium, the part of the process that takes the longest is getting a Status Certificate from the management company office.  Many Toronto condo buildings have those reports available now online.  We’d suggest getting everything ready to order that Status the second your offer is accepted so we’d have it available to present to buyer prospects before they give us an offer.

The challenge in this is that we will not know in advance when the closing date might be for your new purchase.  The seller might want a long two or three month closing or perhaps they’ve already purchased something and need as short as a thirty day closing.
We need to be prepared for all eventualities that might come up.

You can see that there are many factors to consider here and some serious decisions to be made.  Many of our clients have appreciated us dropping by early in the process… often a month or two or more before they actually wanted to put their home on the market… to discuss all the options and to help them clarify any issues specific to their particular property.

Let’s set up a time to meet for a coffee and discuss the best ways for you to move forward with the sale of your property.  You can email us directly or set up a seller consultation here.

Thomas Cook

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If you are going to sell your suite in the next 1 to 9 months, what you do right now can make a difference of thousands of dollars in your sale price, and there are some simple things you can do forthwith to make sure you get "Top-Dollar" when you do sell.


First, is our FREE "Pin-Point Price" Analysis, where I can take a closer in-person look at your condo and prepare a very specific price for your suite. This price will be much more precise than the general range that you can get automatically from the site - and we guarantee in writing to sell your condo at the "Pin-Point Price" or higher in less than 32-days.

Second, is our FREE "Room-By-Room Review", where I do a 20-minute walk-thru and make specific recommendations about which fix-ups or improvements you should (and should not) do to prepare your suite for sale. I will point out the lowest cost, highest return improvements you can make to help sell your condominium quickly and for more money.

Third, if you would like, I will include your condo in our "Silent Market" of condominiums that are not yet on the market.  Because we generate so much buyer interest from our website, Facebook and Google advertising and other proactive marketing, we may be able to find a buyer for your condo without even putting it on the market… saving you both time and money.

These 3 services are FREE. The Room-By-Room Review takes about an 20 minutes, and we can arrange a time during the day or evening, whenever is most convenient for you.