I bought a brand new home! When do I sell this one?

“We just bought a new home from the builder and we were wondering when is a good time for us to list our property?”

I had received a new question in one of my online real estate advise threads from another satisfied purchaser of a new home who were looking forward to moving in their new home and wanted a semblance of a schedule of event that were to follow.  Their list of to do list included packing their belonging, finding a mover and oh, finding a REALTOR to help them sell their place.

This question might not be applicable to renters or first time home buyers but it’s a scary reality for families making the move to a new home.  In today’s market where there is such great number of new projects that are underway, it’s very hard to figure out when an owner should put their property up for sale and be able to move into their new place without having to make layovers.  I’ve heard numerous stories about families that have sold their home, weeks away from closing and they found out that their new home isn’t ready and is delayed.  Panic quickly rises and backup plans are quickly drawn with short term rentals and storage space to accommodate the change.

Following are the recommendations that I’ve made in the past to anyone inquiring about such situations and I present them to you for your review.  Please note that they might not apply exactly or perfectly but if you do the basic homework, you would be better prepared in case Murphy’s law applies.  Also, if you have any suggestions, please feel free to share them with us.


  • Current Market Conditions
  • Builder track record
  • In case all else fails…

Current Market Condition:

How much time will it take for you to sell your home?  Toronto/Montreal had been enjoying a great run in the world market especially local real estate since January 2009 and it’s finally starting to show sign of wear.  With the slowing market, it’s imperative that you know how quickly and at what price you will be able to sell your property in order to make your move smooth.  When reviewing the data for your home sale, please make sure you review the days on market for current listings and compare it to properties that have sold.  All things being equal, if days on market is over the days properties are sold at, there is a softening trend or vice versa.  I like to schedule at least 30 days for the list process where I would interview as many buyers as possible for the property and solicit offers.  Buyers tend to want about 60 days for closing a purchase hence a 90 day lead time would be minimum.

Builder Track Record:

There is a huge gap in information of how well different builders are completing projects and what their customers have to say.  There is information available in different websites but it takes time to dig it all out. JD Powers is the only company that I know that was collecting detailed information about builders and was compiling a published list.  Someone has to pay close attention to this gap and see if they could fill it up!  Find out as much information about the builder about how often the deliver on time versus have delays.  If they are notorious for having delays, you best hold on to your property a little bit longer before putting it up for sale.

In case all else fails…

This is the worst case scenario.  These are some of the things that you would need to keep in mind to get through the delay

  • Short term rentals:  You might have to consider a short term rental.  It’s easy to arrange and can easily be acquired in a short time given that you know where to look.  You best bet is to review kijiji, craigslist and local classifieds to ensure you know where you can turn to if you need one quickly.  You will also know how much you would be looking to spend in such an instance.
  • Storage reservations:  You can contact different storage companies in your area to make sure there’s space available and how much it would cost.  I know that some storage companies are offering first month for $1 if you rent for more than a month which would work really well for some but not for others.  It’s good to know which storage company would offer the solution matching your needs.
  • A new REALTOR:  Maybe not a REALTOR but a better strategy would be a better fit.  We’re organizing our plans based on if the property you have purchased is delayed but we have to remember that we would still have an issue if the property we have to sell doesn’t sell.  The issue would be more about holding two mortgages rather than which storage to use.

I hope this helps you better organize your move into your new home.  Moving is not an easy business and it all starts with being organized and ready for the move.

Wishing you the best of luck!

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