The Learning Centre:
Sellers beware: 3 tips to protect yourself in a buyer’s market
As an educator, you (more than most) are familiar with the laws of supply and demand.
When supply exceeds demand, prices tend to drop. Basic ‘Economics 101’, right?
Yet in the case of the housing market, ‘basic economics’ took a backseat to the ‘housing bubble’. In the last few years, some buyers were even priced out due to steadily increasing (some might say over-inflated) home prices.
However, after the introduction of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan back in 2017, along with steadily rising interest rates over the last few years—it seems the era of a seller’s paradise has now come to an end.
While this switch is no doubt a welcome one for home buyers—if you’re a seller, here are 3 things to keep in mind now that the proverbial ‘shoe’ is on the other foot:
TIP #1: Watch out for the ‘Home-Sale Condition’.
So you’ve moved up the pay grid and can now afford a bigger place to accommodate your growing family. Or maybe the nest is empty and you’re ready to downsize in your ‘after-school’ years. Whatever your reasons for selling, you probably want the whole process to be as quick and seamless as possible.
That’s where this particular clause could throw a wrench into your plans.
A Home-Sale Condition means a potential buyer (who already owns a home) makes the offer dependent upon selling their current property before completing the purchase of the one you’re selling. Typically this will buy the buyer an additional 30 to 90 days to sell their home. If they don’t, the buyer can then back out of the deal if they don’t secure the required financing. If the deal does fall through, having this provision in place also means that any deposit made to you must be paid back to the buyer. If you’re considering accepting an offer from a buyer who wants to add the ‘Home-Sale Condition’ as a clause to purchase, just be prepared for the potential lost time and money if the deal falls through.
TIP #2: Make use of the ‘Escape Clause’.
Now let’s say a potential buyer (Buyer #1) comes to you with a ‘Home-Sale Condition’. You then have the option to insert a clause of your own. The ‘Escape Clause’, for example, enables you to consider an offer from another buyer (Buyer #2). You can then give Buyer #1 another 24 hours to improve or firm up their offer. If they don’t come back with something that beats the new offer, you can then drop Buyer #1 in favour of Buyer #2.
TIP #3: Get a firm purchase agreement on the house you’re selling.
If you were counting on the equity in the home you’re selling to bridge the financing gap on the new one, you should have a firm purchase agreement in place. Without one, you typically won’t be able to secure a bridge loan (a short-term loan taken out on the property you’re selling in order to finance the purchase of your new home) from any bank or financial institution.
Finally, no matter if you’re buying or selling—always reach out for educator-specific advice.
With the housing market in a constant state of flux, not only do you need expert real estate advice that considers the neighborhood you’re buying or selling in—you also need the kind of insight that factors in where you are on the pay grid or what your pension income is in retirement. That’s where Educators Financial Group comes in. Besides knowing what the housing market is like in every postal code of Ontario, our accredited agents specialize in dealing exclusively with members of the education community.
And be sure to check out our ‘Home-Buying 101’ series, including:
The information provided is general in nature and is provided with the understanding that it may not be relied upon as, nor considered to be, the rendering of tax, legal, accounting or professional advice. Please ensure to consult your accountant and/or legal advisor for specific advice related to your circumstances. Educators Financial Group will not be held responsible or liable for any losses, costs, damages or expenses incurred by reason of reliance as a result of the aforementioned information. The information presented was obtained from sources that are believed to be reliable. However, Educators Financial Group cannot guarantee their completeness or accuracy.