Thinking of Selling

There are a million different reasons why people sell their homes, but every seller has one thing in common: the desire to get as much money as possible from their existing residence as quickly and as hassle-free as possible.

Everyone seems to have specific ideas on when the right time is to sell. Some base their theories on the overall economy, while others will tell you that there are key buying months that you’ll want to capitalize on. If you’re not buying or selling strategically or for investment, the best time to sell is really when you feel your existing home will not meet your future needs. The best reason to purchase a new home is to take advantage of your family and lifestyle changes.

Another key factor to consider is the economy. Are interest rates higher or lower in comparison to your current mortgage? If they are higher, you may want to stick with your current home, as your new mortgage payments could be uncomfortable. If rates are lower, you might be able to trade up to a more expensive home without a significant increase in your monthly mortgage obligation. What’s more, if it is a buyer’s market, you may be in a strong position to purchase a new home, especially if you have accumulated some equity in your current property.

Buy or Sell First?

This is tricky and the answer is never the same for anyone. Think about how sellable your home is and what is currently going on in the market and your neighbourhood. Will it be a quick sell or will it take a little while?

Think about what you want to purchase? Are there certain features that you need to have in the home that will make it harder to find? How many homes on the market currently meet your criteria?

The answer to this question will also depend on your comfort level and if you are able to afford two mortgage payments in the worst case scenario. There are also conditional clauses you could try to use in an offer. These can work both for sellers and buyers. There is an escape clause to use when purchasing a home which states you have a certain time period to sell your current home or the offer is null and void. On the flip side, if a buyer brings you an offer, you can include a clause that states you need to find and buy a home within a certain time period or the offer becomes null and void. Keep in mind though that these clauses aren’t always favourable to the other party and could be a deal breaker. It also depends on the current market situation.

Documents You Should Have

  • mortgage documents
  • property survey
  • tax assessment
  • utility bills
  • condominium documents and information (amount of condo fees and what they include)
  • repair/renovation receipts

Selling Costs

  • Repairs – if the buyer’s home inspection points to problems you may have to pay for the repair, amend the purchase price, or choose not to finalize the offer
  • closing costs such as lawyer’s fees or unpaid taxes
  • mortgage discharge fees
  • sales commissions must be paid as defined by your listing agreement

*Note that you will be reimbursed on closing day for any pre-paid property taxes and utility bills for the time in which you will no longer be living in the house.