How do I short sell a security?

Note: please be aware that you will not be able to short sell a security if you are attempting to:

  • Close a long position and start a short position for the same security (you must first fully close a long position with a separate order before opening a short position)

  • Trade a security where not enough inventory is available (you can call client services to check on the available inventory)

Note: a margin account is required to short sell securities.

To short sell a security:

  1. Go to the Order entry tab.

  2. In the symbol lookup field, enter the symbol you want to short and press Enter.

  3. Modify the other order entry fields as required:

    1. Action: select Sell.

    2. Qty: enter the number of stocks you want to short.


  4. Modify any other fields as necessary and click Send order. For details about the other order entry fields, see Submit an order using the order entry tab.

  5. Based on your settings under user preferences, a confirmation message containing the order summary may appear. Review the details of your order and click Send order.



  6. Another confirmation window appears, indicating you are creating a new short position. Click OK to confirm.

    Note: to disable this dialog from appearing again for short position orders, select the Do not show this warning again checkbox. 

  7. Another window appears in the bottom right corner to confirm that your order has been filled.

    Note: this dialog only appears if you're using IQ Web.

Close a short position:

To close a short position, you must place a cover order (i.e. a buy order) to buy back the shares.

  1. Go to the Order entry tab.

  2. In the symbol lookup field, enter the symbol you want to close (cover) and press Enter. A position icon will appear next to the symbol lookup field; click the icon.



  3. In the positions window that appears, select the symbol row for the position you are closing and choose Close position. A close position window will appear.



  4. In the close position window, verify the order parameters and click Send order when you are finished. For details about the other order entry fields: Submit an order using the order entry tab.



  5. Based on your settings under User preferences, a confirmation message containing the order summary may appear. Review the details of your order and click Send order



  6. A confirmation message will appear, indicating that your order has been filled.



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Note: the screenshots used in this FAQ are from IQ Web. Please be aware that the screens will be slightly different if you’re using IQ Edge.

Please be advised: Questrade does not endorse or recommend short selling securities and is not liable for any trading or investment decisions made based on the provided information in this article.

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