We spend a lot of time with clients who are looking to purchase their next property. For many, this is moving from a condo or small house into a larger home better suited to their changing needs.
There are so many concerns surrounding a “move up”. What if you end up owning two houses? Or even worse, no house at all? How do you even know what you an afford? We assist our clients through this process, helping to mitigate risks and manage tasks as we go, to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the move. Curious how we help? Below are some of our most common questions, and how we assist our clients with navigating through the process.
Where do I start? How much is my house even worth?
We hear this question a lot! The first step in knowing what you can afford is knowing what you have. We begin by providing our clients with a current market evaluation, comparing their home with other similar homes recently sold nearby. This gives us a very good estimate of the current market value. Once you know what you have, you need to see what you can get. The best person to provide you with this value is a mortgage agent. We then provide our clients with an estimate of costs to ensure that you understand exactly what you have and how much it will cost to move.
How much of a “move up” should I make?
Moving is expensive: land transfer taxes, lawyer fees, realtor fees, closing costs. If you’re going to bother, you should make it count. And if you’re going to be there for the long haul, how much house and what amenities will you need in 2, 5 or 10 years? Are you planning to have a (or another) child? Do you need access to transit? Do you like to be able to walk to the coffee shop? These are all important considerations when deciding where you should move and how big of a house you need.
Once you’ve considered the qualitative factors motivating your next purchase, we can provide you with an idea of where you should consider and what options are available to you. Together with a discussion with your lender, we will help us hone in on exactly what you want. Then the search begins.
But wait! Should I buy first or sell first?
This really depends on the type of market that you’re in. In a seller’s market, when properties often receive multiple offers, we recommend buying a property before selling your current property. In a buyer’s market, where the demand is lower and properties take longer to sell, we generally advise clients to sell their existing property before buying their next property. Our ideal solution is to work with our clients to define appropriate closing dates that line up as best as possible, to minimize the potential need for bridge financing or temporary housing. We can help you with deciding the best way to approach this.
My house isn’t quite ready for presentation. What do I do?
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, one of the most critical factors in being ready to move is to prepare yourself and your property. When we market a condo or house, we want it to present as best as it can, so that you can get the highest selling price possible. The best way to ensure this is to prepare your home. As trusted Realtors, we advise how it’s best to prepare your home for market and what, if any, improvements would help to maximize your property’s value. Some homes may be ready, whereas others may require a fresh coat of paint and some cosmetic upgrades to ensure they show well. Our clients benefit from our full management process, where we work alongside them to plan and execute home improvements, often bringing in our own network of trades, before staging and photography. Once you’re satisfied that your own property is ready (or close to ready) for listing, it’s time to implement your buy and sell strategy.
If you’re considering a move, we would love to meet you to discuss your options and help define an effective strategy. We provide free consultations with no obligation to you, and all of our services are included in one straightforward fee.
Thanks for reading.
Marcia Martin, Red Square Team