Should You Buy or Sell First?

You’ve decided you want to move into a different home. You have to sell your current property and buy another—but which do you do first?

Reasons to buy first

Your current home will sell easily

If you live in a house you know will sell easily—and there’s nothing that may scare away potential buyers or you’re selling in a hot sellers’ market—it’s best to buy first. Once you find the home you want, you should be able to list and sell quickly, and might even be able to encourage a closing date on the home you are selling that matches up exactly with your preferred move to your new home.

You can afford to carry two properties

If you can use other savings or the equity in your current home as a deposit or down payment for your new home, you are more flexible to potentially buy first. This will also give you the flexibility of time to find the exact new home you want.

You’re looking for a unique property

If you’re a picky buyer and want very specific and unique features in your new home, you should buy that home when you find it. That said, if you’re picky and you’re worried about selling your home, you could consider selling first and purchasing a home that you can renovate to match your requirements.

Reasons to sell first

You’re on a tight budget

It’s normal to need the equity from your current home to fund the purchase of your next home. If you require the sale proceeds as a down payment, selling should come first.

You’re unsure how much money you have to buy your next home

If the market is volatile and you don’t know within a reasonable margin how much your current home will sell for, you should sell first. That way, you know your maximum price for your next home and can work with your buying agent accordingly.

You’re selling a in a buyer’s market, and buying in a seller’s market

This one is more market-specific, but if you’re selling in a market that isn’t attracting buyers, you should sell first. Whichever is going to be more difficult in the current market—selling or buying—should be the priority.

You own a strange property

If there’s something extremely unique about your home, it’s best to sell it first. Unloading an unattractive property can be difficult and can take longer than expected. Sell it before you buy so you aren’t left carrying two properties, or in a position where you are forced to reduce the price drastically in order to sell quickly and meet your closing date.

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