Real Estate Tips

The Buy First or Sell First Dilemma

This is an age-old question, and one that anyone considering buying or selling should give careful consideration. The good thing is, there is no right or wrong answer – just the one that is right for you.

This is an age-old question, and one that anyone considering buying or selling should give careful consideration. The good thing is, there is no right or wrong answer – just the one that is right for you.

We recommend considering the pros and cons depending on what kind of housing market we are in. At Insightt, we research the housing market in order to effectively educate our Realtors and their clients on the state of the housing market to help them make the most informed decision. The housing market can be classified into three categories:  

  1. Buyer’s Market:  There are more properties on the market than active consumers looking to buy in the region. In a buyer’s market, you might want to consider selling first and take your pick from a pool of abundant inventory options. Buyer’s market have been rare in Ontario as of late.
  2. Balanced Market: the housing market is balanced in terms of supply and demand. This makes the decision to buy first or sell first a little easier since the market is balanced.
  3. Seller’s Market: There is a shortage of
    properties for sale and many potential buyers looking to purchase. In a seller’s market, which has been a reality in many parts of Ontario for some time now, you may find yourself faced with a shortage of homes available to purchase. It this case, buying first may be the more pragmatic choice, especially if a home you find checks all the boxes of your “must have” list.

To see Insightt’s most current housing market reports and housing market classifications,  please click here.

There are pros and cons to whether you buy first or sell first, but the good news is that we shared our professional perspective and helpful tips for each decision:

Selling First:

Selling first gives you the financial comfort of knowing exactly what the sale of your existing property will generate, letting you factor the exact amount you will have and would like to spend on a property. Doing so may also reduce the stress of possibly owning two homes for a period of time. When selling in a seller’s market, you will want to consider the scenario of bidding wars and the higher probability of having to compete with other buyers to secure the home that catches your eye.


Helpful Tip: You should always look into the availability of short-term rentals or ask to stay with friends in the event there is a gap between leaving your old home and moving into your new one.

Buying First:

You can be confident in having time to find that special home that ticks most or all of the “must haves” on your new home wish list. This can be far less stressful because you are not under pressure to purchase before a closing date on the sale of your existing home.

Helpful Tip: Investigate whether you qualify for bridge financing to help cover a variety of potential costs until your current home is sold if you have to take possession of your new home before you sell.

It is always good to have open conversations with your real estate professional to fully understand the risks associated with each scenario before you make your final decision. Regardless of which route you decide to take, it is good to establish back-up plans for either scenario.

For additional resources and helpful insights to help you make an informed decision, please browse our website. We believe in knowledge not pressure!

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