What is a Pre-Sale in Vancouver Real Estate?

Pre-Sales in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada

Open the Georgia Strait or any other local paper and you’ll notice advertisements for apartments and condos. Most of these places don’t yet exist. Why? Because they are pre-sales!

What is a Pre-Sale?

A pre-sale is when a Developer sells a Buyer a property before that property is built or completed. The Buyer purchasing the pre-sales is buying the right to a completed property that will be built in future. In the UK and elsewhere Pre-Sales are referred to as Off Plan Investments.

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Why do people buy Pre-Sales?

Pre-sales are popular with investors and other Buyers because it allows these Buyers to have the benefit of increasing prices without having to pay a mortgage, property taxes, maintenance fees, or deal with troublesome tenants. Pre-Sales also allow owner occupiers the ability to customize the property they buy.

Are Pre-Sales Safe?

In the Province of British Columbia, Pre-Sales are regulated by the Real Estate Development Marketing Act and are generally safe when you are buying from a reputable Developer. If you have concerns or questions about the Developer, contact the Home Owner Protection Office.

3 Important Facts about Pre-Sales

  1. The Purchaser of a Pre-Sale has the right to walk away from the contract to purchase the property for any reason for 7 days after there is an accepted offer. This a BC Provincial Law and its called the “7 Day Rescission Period” If you can’t get financing, if your mother says its a bad idea, if you have a nightmare about Real Estate – YOU CAN KILL THE DEAL FOR ANY REASON!
  2. All deposits paid by the Buyer of a Pre-Sale are held in a lawyers trust account. This money stays in the account until the building is either built or the Developer fails to meet the time deadline to have the building built. The Developer cannot use this money and does not have access to this money until the building is complete. If the Developer goes under, the money in the trust account is not part of the bankruptcy and has to be returned to the Buyer.
  3. The Disclosure Statement will have all of the important info about the property you are buying such as the size of your suite, what will be included in the suite, and what the building will look like. Make sure you read it!

Check out my list of Vancouver Presale Condos if you’re interested in buying on one of these real estate investments.

If you have any questions on Pre- Sales feel free to contact me at any time.

I would love to hear your thoughts, and questions down below in the form of a written comment.



  Comments: 11

  1. Hi Morgan,

    I don’t allow people to advertise their sites on my blog.



  2. Morgan Sanderson

    I’m not with thm but i did buy an assignment through them.

  3. Hi Morgan,

    Good to hear from you.

    Glad to hear that.

    How did it go?

  4. Re: The Purchaser of a Pre-Sale has the right to walk away from the contract to purchase the property for any reason for 7 days after there is an accepted offer. This a BC Provincial Law and its called the “7 Day Rescission Period.
    why Developers never put this clause in their Contracts, it shoul be in in writting, because otherwise, I do not trust what developer (or it’s realtor) say. if it is not in the Contract I might even have to sue developer or his lawyer, to get my money back, or I mght have to wait for a long time to get that money back.

  5. Hi Sussan,

    Good to hear from you and thank you very much for commenting!

    The 7 day rescission period is laid out in REDMA (Real Estate Development Marketing Act), the BC government legislation that covers presales in Section 21 of REDMA on the
    7 Day Rescission Period. I think this may be the reason why the 7 day rescission period isn’t developer disclosure statements for presale condos in Vancouver. A lawyer would be better qualified to confirm this.

    The section is very clear you can walk away from the deal for any reason during the 7 day rescission period and the Developer cannot hold your deposit if you rescind in writing before the end of the 7 days.

    This other document from the BC Government on how deposits are held and released for presales in BC may help to clarify the situation for you on deposits for presales.

    The idea behind all the legislation on new properties and presales in BC is for full disclosure to the prospective buyer of a presale and well as to have the protection of the Buyers rights as the primary goal.

    If you are ever unsure or don’t believe something that is said to you by a Developers sales representative or a Realtor you’re working with, always consult with your lawyer.

    Does this answer your question?

  6. Hi Mike, I am interested in single houses.where can I find information on presume houses?


    • Hi Nadia & Norman,

      Good to hear from you.

      We can definitely help you with this.

      Give me a call at 604-763-3136 and we can help you with this.


  7. Hi there

    I just have a quick question. What does a word “register” mean for a presale condo? Does that mean if we make a decision and sign a lot of contracts at first, we have registered the condo already?? Or we need to wait this condo’s completion, and transfer the last funds to lawyer?


    • Hi Grace,

      Good to hear from you.

      Do you have a Realtor assisting you with the purchase?

      Perhaps ask them?

      What are your thoughts?


  8. Hi Mike,

    On a presale condo what happens if advertised sqft is less than actual. I read somewhere that there is a tolerance of 3% is this true?

    Thank you,

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