Buy first or Sell first

Why does it matter? Making the wrong choice could lead to problems like money worries and stress. It could even trigger legal problems, and a whole lot of anxiety, too.  Not fun, right?

And if you're making a decision as a family - both of you need to be on the same page.

Buying or selling a house involves many things—some you can control, some you can't.  Things like the housing market, the uniqueness of properties or finding a temporary place to stay, can't be changed.  

You can look at your money situation, how much risk you're okay with, and what you've done before. All these things help you make a good choice.

There is a risk-free option -  buying a home with a condition that you can sell yours.   In the business we call this a condition of "SBP" (Sale of Buyer's property) This sounds good, but there's a lot to this.  In this type of arrangement, we negotiate: the length of condition, escape clauses, non-refundable deposits, among many other terms.  Expect to pay a premium to get this type of offer accepted.  Sellers usually don't go for this idea in areas where houses sell quickly.  It's more often used when the housing market is slow where you're buying and hot where you're selling. 

Now, let's break down the pros and cons of the buy first/sell first options:

Buying first: Imagine knowing exactly where you're headed! You can pick a property in your favorite community.  The risk, of course, is you might end up owning two homes, or selling for less money if the housing market isn't great.  In this case you'll need to do a lot of financial pre-planning. I find this works best for homeowners looking for a very specific property, want to renovate before moving in and have a good financial cushion they can draw on short term.  

Selling first: You sell your current home first. It's exciting because you'll know how much money you have for a new home. But, here's the twist: the perfect new home might not be available when you're ready, or you might need to rent a place until you find one you love. Renting can be tricky or expensive.   For this option you need to be flexible with your purchase - and take comfort in knowing you'll make a finance based decision.   

In a nutshell, it’s a bit like a teeter-totter, and these decisions can tip things one way or another. Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all answer.  But with some financial planning & a bit of risk evaluation, you’ll find the answer that best fits your situation.  

The good news is you don’t have to do it alone, because I have helped many people through these decisions! 

Recent Blog Posts

Explore this incredible opportunity in the heart of Markham's housing market! This centrally located 4-bedroom Markham home is now for sale!  It sits on a deep private lot with an expansive backyard – perfect for family living. Recently renovated with brand-new flooring and a fresh coat of paint throughout, this residence boasts an inviting eat-in kitchen equipped with stainless steel appliances. The spacious bedrooms and separate side entrance offer versatility and comfort. Enjoy the bright, airy atmosphere thanks to ample natural light streaming through the large windows in the generous basement, ideal for relaxation and gatherings. Situated on a serene, low-traffic street, this home epitomizes convenience. 

It's a short walk to schools, parks, public transit, Centennial GO station, Markville Mall, and the vibrant shopping district along Highway 7.  You can even walk to grocery stores! This is great for commuters – an almost unheard of walking proximity to everything you need that’s rarely found outside the city core. Don't miss this opportunity to make this fantastic home in one of Markham's prime locations yours!


A disturbing trend I've come across recently is the fraud in the rental space.   As an agent who handles a fair share of rentals; these issues have shown up over several ways this year.   I'll tell you about 3 instances I've had and the red flags that appeared with each! 

When I'm representing a landlord and an application comes in, I spend a lot of time going through an applicants documentation and getting references and looking through their background.  Here's what I do:

  • Call their employer by finding the employer's website and calling through their office to confirm employment.  I don't just call the supervisor on the application
  • Look carefully at the documents to see if they are real; company letterhead & credit reports can be faked or bought
  • Check social media & linked in
  • Call past landlords
  • Make sure there is a building at the address they're currently renting
  • Check that the landlords name and property owners names match.   If it's an apartment building call through the property management company if it's an apartment rather than calling the number provided.
  • Look at the credit report for signs of altering

With those things in mind, let's look at 3 things that have happened to me this year!

1.  Student rental Scam - fake rental and landlord

First of all, you should never have to pay to submit a rental application, or be asked for a deposit before you get a chance to see the place.   These scams are generally ads on sites like Kijijii and Facebook for rentals that look too good to be true.  They also steal MLS listings for homes and advertise them at lower rates.  I came across one recently through a family friend desperate for some student housing.  It was a big scam; and when I called them out they 'protested too much'.    Here's how to spot these scammers:

  • They demand payment to submit a rental application
  • They demand a deposit before you see the unit
  • Makes excuses why they are not available to speak to on the phone 
  • Will only communicate through messenger, text or email
  • The advertised price is way lower than other rentals
  • Their Facebook profile was just created
  • Their Facebook name does not match their user name ID (see the URL) 

2. Fake Rental Applications   

There are some very good forged documents out there.  I had some people submit an application on a lease I was advertising and here's what I found during the checks, among the other checks I did as above :

  • Inconsistencies in addresses on the application
  • Employment letter does not look real - no header or footer with information on the company letterhead

3. Forged Tenacy Papers

I had a call from a gal who had a great story, good employment, good credit, moving to Toronto from outside the city for work, can't come in to look for a place so needed virtual showings.  Could I help her find a place.  Sounds great right?  

Now I don't usually check tenants out before I help them (and I'd helped out a client with an out of town move this year already in a similar situation)  But with everything going on right now, I felt it couldn't hurt to see what her references would say.   So she sent in her application & 

then came the paperwork - the address of her job didn't match up with her story.  The company had never heard of her or her supervisor.  There was even no property listed at the home she had put for her address!  Other red flags for scammers include what she did:

  • get overly upset when called out 
  • provide complicated excuses for 'mistakes' on application forms
  • call the fact checker a liar, unprofessional, etc.

So be careful out there folks! 


A big thank you to the communities of Guildwood, West Rouge & Port Union for the terrific support last Saturday for my Community Shredding Event.  About 30 families participated - and their generous food donations filled our Jeep to the brim!   The food donations were taken straight to Feed Scarborough - the Scarborough Food Security initiative and will be distributed to local satellite food banks in the area.   Judging from the huge line up outside the Manse Rd. food bank Saturday, it's much needed. 

Chartwell Guildwood was my partner for this event and provided the venue and great snacks.  Thank you Kelly & Dianne for your wonderful support.  As always, Papersavers was gracious, friendly, professional and helpful!  

One interesting sideline - My husband, myself, Dianne and Alex from papersavers all grew up within the same area!   Such a big city/small world!