skip to Main Content

How to Purchase a Pre Sale Condo in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Buying pre-construction condos have become a very popular option for many homeowners and investors in Vancouver.

(If you’re not sure what a Presale Condo is, check out this great Video Here!)

Many buyers think that buying a presale is as simple lining up in front of the Developers Display Centre and signing a contract for a Presale. What many of these buyers don’t know is that there is an element of risk when buying a pre-sale in Vancouver.

Presales are Risky in Vancouver?

Sometimes YES!

I am a huge fan of Vancouver’s Development Community and the condos they build. But at the end of the day, Developers are in the business of making money by selling finished condos. They will do whatever they need to do legally to ensure that any condo they pre-sell is Completed on by the Buyers. The Contracts used to purchase pre-sales from Developers are written by the Developers lawyers to protect the interests of the Developers only.

Common Misconceptions about Presales in Vancouver

  1. They’re Guaranteed to be profitable and make money – NO!
  2. If the value of the Pre-sale goes below what was paid for it the Buyer can walk – NO!
  3. The Buyer can walk if they don’t like what the developer builds them – NO!

If the value of the condo bought as a presale is less upon Completion than what was paid, the Buyer is still bound to complete

Here are some common questions about Presales in Vancouver


1.     As a presale, do I have to sign their Agreement, or can I have a realtor represent me and draw my own Agreement?

In most cases, the Developer Contract is what is used. You can have a Realtor represent you in purchasing a presale and I strongly recommend it as the Developers and their marketing team will not have an Agency Relationship with you. https://www.mikestewart.ca/blog/2009/04/01/working-with-a-realtor-what-you-should-expect-and-deserve-from-the-agency-relationship-with-your-realtor/

I am available to represent you if you want to buy a presale and I am able to enter into an Agency Relationship with you (that you can end at any time) and help you with the purchase.

2.  Can I put subjects in my Agreement?:

Financing? For an assignment. Absolutely. For a presale no, as there is the 7 day rescission period.

Inspections? The property is not built, so no.

If so, are there other subjects would you recommend? I’d need to know more about what you plan to do before I can answer.

3.   If I sell an Assignment, can that purchaser add their own subjects or are they bound by my Agreement? The Buyer of your assignment can put in subjects in the deal with you, but they don’t affect the contract with the developer.

4.   If costs rise and the purchase amount changes can I get my deposit back? I don’t understand the question. Who’s costs? Who would change the purchase price?

5.   If interest rates climb significantly by completion & I can’t qualify for a mortgage or sell as an “Assignment” (assuming I have a “subject to financing” clause) can I get my deposit back?  Or do I risk being sued for breach of contract? If you buy a presale, you should be 100% certain that you can complete. I am not a lawyer and I am not giving legal advice, but in all the instances of a Buyer of a presale not completing that I have seen, the developers sue.

6.   When is the HST calculated and due? Upon Completion Have you seen my post with the HST/PTT Rebate Calculator? https://www.mikestewart.ca/blog/2011/03/30/hst-rebate-calculator-vancouver-real-estate/

7.   How much should I expect Realtor fees for sale of an “Assignment” to be? Negotiable, normally I charge 7% on the 1st 100K & 2.5% on the balance. https://www.mikestewart.ca/blog/2011/02/14/vancouver-real-estate-commissions-for-sellers-charged-by-mike-stewart-realtor/

8.   Who decides if an “Assignment” can be listed on MLS? The Developer

9.   In your professional opinion, what are the challenges of reselling an “Assignment”? Many, give me a call and we can discuss further.

10.   Generally speaking, are deposits held “in trust”?  Yes

Who holds the deposit? Developers Lawyers

Does the developer have access to them before completion? No

To reduce your risk when buying a Pre Sale condo, having a Realtor help you with the purchase can drastically reduce your risk when buying. Also get a lawyer and an accountant!

Buyer is eligible for HST Rebate, for example, the home is their principal residence
Purchase Price Before HST
HST amount to be paid at time of purchase
HST Rebate claimed at the time of purchase
Final purchase price including Net HST
Buyer is eligible for the HST Rebate because they are renting the home out
Purchase Price Before HST
HST amount to be paid at time of purchase
HST Rebate available after investor has a tenant using the home as their principal residence
Final Purchase Price including Net HST after investor receives HST rebate from Tax Department
Vacation Home
Buyer is not eligible for the HST Rebate, for example a 2nd Home
Purchase Price Before HST
HST amount to be paid at the time of purchase
Final Purchase Price including HST
Reverse Calculator (Homeowner)
Purchase Price Including Net HST
Purchase Price before HST
HST amount to be paid at time of purchase
HST Rebate claimed at the time of purchase

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top