Sell Now or Sell Later?

By: Keith Williams & Lisa C. Follows

Sell Now or Sell Later?


Realtors talk about this subject.. a lot! With a market gone crazy, this is literally a question that could cost you thousands so we discuss it often with fellow Realtors, clients, lenders and mortgage brokers, lawyers, and other colleagues in our orbits.

Here’s what we know….

Sell Now

The here and now. Interest rates are at an all-time low, employment is up, immigration is up, spending is up, costs of goods and services are up and Canadians have billions on the sidelines due to Covid. In Durham Region, prices have increased 33% in the past year. Inventory is down and demand is up. Active listings (see the latest market update) were 88% lower than in 2018, a normal year yet sales were still up. If it’s simply a question of when should I sell in order to capitalize on the market, it’s now. There hasn't been a better time to sell in the past 50 years. Just the other day a colleague of ours listed a home in Oshawa that received 42 offers. If this doesn’t convince you it’s a good time to sell, nothing will!

But the question is never that simple, is it?

If you’re moving out of the area or moving for a job transfer or you’re moving into a retirement home you should be comfortable with selling. But if you’re selling your current home and need to buy another, you should do your homework and that means having a discussion with us.

Buy Now

If you’re buying in this area, be prepared for competition and price wars and you may be shocked at what the dollar doesn’t buy! Virtually every single new listing holds offers and has a bidding war after 4 or 5 days on the market. Do you have the stomach for that? You may get lucky but there’s no guarantee. That said, you may still want to move forward now. Why? Because that’s all we know, the here and now. We can analyze the markets and the economics until the cows come home and things can still turn out differently than what we think. Inevitably, they do!

Here’s what we do know. 

Interest rates are going to climb; probably as much as 1% which decreases your buying power by about 10%. But with current low rates, will the increase actually cool the market all that much? Only time will tell. Will it cause prices to actually decrease? We don’t believe so. One of the biggest drivers of demand is immigration. Canada reached its target of over 400,000 new immigrants in 2021 and there will be well over a million more over the next 3 years. Remember the word “balance.” Governments are going to want to control inflation but they also will not want to jeopardize the roof over people’s heads with mortgage payments no one can pay, due to rising rates. We think it will be a balancing act. Even with all the nuance involved with tapping the economic brakes and gas pedals, other elements can enter the equation that can totally screw things up, like viruses and supply chain issues.

So what do you do? Wait it out (Sell Later) or capitalize on the gains (Sell Now). It really depends on what your plans are, your motivation, how well you sleep at night, your risk tolerance levels, and much more. When I need to make tough decisions I usually start talking to experts and begin pulling in opinions and information. Markets don’t behave according to plans. Rate hikes are coming, likely beginning in the next few months, and will continue through the end of the year. What effect that will have on the state of this market is anybody’s guess. The one thing we DON’T advise is trying to time the market. They change too quickly and before you realize it, it’s often too late. I go back to something I’ve said for the past 25 years now, the best time to sell is when you’re ready. We’ll be right here to help you in any way possible.

Want to chat? Call us to set up a time at 905-447-5842 and make it a good day! Stay safe and healthy.


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