Buy or Sell First

It's always a tough decision.  Do i buy first or do I sell first?  Some people try to catch the market at the right time to sell high and then wait to buy lower.   Others are more comfortable with buying first; this way they know they have found what they like.  How do you know what works best for you?

In the past, the common thought process was to sell first to know exactly what you have in order to buy your new place.  However, with the trend of the market over the past decade, more and more people are buying first to make sure they have bought what they like, feeling more and more comfortable that they will not have a problem selling their house. 

In order to make sure you are making the right decision, know your finances and your budget.  Make sure you can afford the house you are buying,  even if you don't get your target price when selling your property.  You don't want to expect a certain price when selling and then not get it, but still have to take possession of the house you have already bought. 

Know your mortgage rates and exactly how much you can borrow in order to purchase your new house, together with any other costs associated with moving (e.g.,  moving costs, lawyer fees, land transfer tax, new furniture or any updating that may need to be done).  

Give yourself a long enough closing date to accommodate the sale of your home so you won't be in the position of carrying two homes at the same time. 

The most important thing to be aware of is the market conditions.  If it's a down market, it may be more difficult and take more time to sell your house.  A good way to protect yourself is to make the purchase of your new house conditional on selling your current one.  However, in an up market, conditional offers can be a deterrent to the seller.  Speak to a real estate agent, know the market conditions, speak to a mortgage broker, know your budget and what you can afford.  Know the comparables in your area to determine the value of your house and be prepared in the event you're offered less than your expectation.  Most importantly, don't make any impulse decisions. 

Happy hunting!?

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