Real Estate Tips for Seniors - Buy/Move First or Sell First?

By Lynn Van de Kamp, Associate Broker, Macdonald Realty Ltd.


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If your financial situation allows it, the ideal scenario would be to secure a place to move to prior to selling your home.


Below find the benefits of Buying or Moving First before Selling:

1.    You are in control of when you move into your new home.
2.    This is a less stressful situation as you have the opportunity to get settled in your new home before you have to vacate your existing home for the new owner.
3.    Moving out first allows you to stage your home to appeal to potential buyers, so it is likely to sell faster and for more money.
4.    REALTORS® and buyers will have easy access to view your home without disruption to you.

Of course, not everyone is in the position to take the risk of buying or committing to a retirement community prior to selling.


Below find the benefits and drawbacks of Selling First before Buying or Moving:

1.    The main benefit to selling first is that you are in a strong negotiating position.  You know how much money you have received from your sale, so you won’t have that unknown.
2.    Another benefit is that you will avoid the situation where you may be carrying the cost of two homes while you are waiting for your home to sell or for the transaction to close.
3.    A drawback is that you will have the uncertainty of what home you will be moving to and how the timing will work.  Typical time for possession would be approximately 60 days.  In most markets, this would allow you enough time to find another home you will be happy in.
4.    You may also have the added expense of temporary accommodation and having to store your belongings until you can move into your new home.

A third option is to buy your new home Subject to the Sale of your existing home:

1.    This is a common practice that helps resolve some of the drawbacks above, but it puts you in a weaker position for negotiating purchase price.
2.    A Subject to the Sale of contract would include a time clause, which allows the seller to continue marketing their home for sale.  If a buyer comes along who is ready, willing and able to purchase the home, you would have about 48 hours to remove your Subject to the Sale of condition or let the home go to a subsequent buyer, which can be very disappointing.
3.    Consult with your bank or Mortgage Broker regarding finance options such as a Line of Credit or Bridge Financing, so you can make a decision at that time whether to take on extra financing or let the home go.

As you can see, there is not one right answer; it all depends on your personal situation and comfort level.  Talk to your real estate and financial advisors to help determine what strategy would be best for you.

Lynn Van de Kamp Associate Broker, Macdonald Realty Ltd. 
direct 250.216.7385 | office  250.388.5882   
fax  250.388.9636
lynn@lynnvandekamp.com  
www.lynnvandekamp.com

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