Buying Process

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How Do I Buy Whistler Real Estate?

The buying process for Whistler real estate is explained in detail so that you have an understanding of what to expect.

Table of Contents

  1. Decide on an experienced local realtor
  2. What do non-residents of Canada need to know?
  3. Financing the purchase, do you have the funds in place?
  4. Start your property search
  5. Found the right property…what now?
  6. Ready to write the offer?
  7. What professional help is needed?
  8. Accepted offer
  9. Due diligence as per the terms of the contract
  10. Subject removal
  11. Deposit due
  13. File conveyed
  14. Completion or closing day
  15. Possession day
  16. FAQ

How do I buy Whistler Real Estate?

This is a step-by-step guideline for buying real estate in Whistler.

  1. Decide on an experienced local realtor

    1) Review Agency Representation so you know what your realtor will be doing for you.
    2) Review the Home Buyers Rescission Period (HRBP) also known as the “cooling off period”.
    3) Discuss the market conditions and what type of property you need and want.
    4) Review this Buyer’s Guide, so you understand the buying process.
    5) Start the mortgage application process.

  2. What do non-residents of Canada need to know?

    1) Check out the page for non-residents of Canada who are considering buying real estate in Whistler. Find out what taxes are applicable to your purchase.

  3. Finance the purchase, do you have the funds in place?

    1) Connect with your bank or a mortgage broker early on. Work with one broker, there is no advantage to picking more than one broker to let them duke it out. This could complicate your application, especially if both applications end up on the same lender’s desk, but with different information on the application. 
    2) Most lenders hold the mortgage rate for 120 days.
    3) The mortgage company does not finance Property Transfer Tax (PTT). This tax is due at the time of title transfer. It is important to determine early on whether you can get financing for this tax. How do I Calculate Property Transfer Tax?
    4) Calculate closing costs: Home inspection, legal closing costs, advice from BC accountant, and any other professional help you may need.
    5) Goods and Services Tax (GST): This is a complex topic. In essence, if the property has been used as a residence then it is GST-exempt. The seller is obligated to inform the buyer of the GST position on the property. The buyer cannot determine the GST position. All other GST situations are addressed on a case-by-case basis with your realtor.
    6) Mortgage costs include: Mortgage company’s lawyer/notary fees, appraisal by a bank (if applicable), and Land Title Registration Fees.
    7) Property Sales Tax on furniture included in the sale. Note: the mortgage company will not finance furniture.

  4. Start your property search

    1) Marion will call you when a property is listed that/ fits your criteria, and also with news of relevant sales.
    2) Auto-email option to view all new listings and sales is offered.
    3) (WLS) is the site where all the Whistler agents market their listings.
    4) Understand the zoning classifications of Whistler real estate: Phase 1, 2, and Tourist Accommodation zoning

  5. Found the right property…now what?

    Before writing the offer review the following where applicable. You may be asked to sign off on these when signing the initial offer:
    1) Strata documents including financials and a Depreciation Report on the development.
    2) Property Disclosure Statement (PDS) completed by the Seller. This will form part of the contract.
    3) Tenancy agreements. With the Residential Tenancy Act, it is essential to understand any tenancy agreements and understand it may not be that simple to move them out.
    4) Forecasted rental bookings. You may have to honor these.
    5) Revenue generated from unauthorized accommodation may not be recognized by the lender.
    6) Unauthorized accommodation or non-conforming as it is called in Whistler. This space may be reported to the Fire Department by a nosy neighbor or tenant. You will be asked to return the space to the original state as per the building plans on file at the RMOW. You will be required to acknowledge this unauthorized space in the contract.
    7) Acknowledge that you have waived the right to a home inspection, if applicable.
    8) Assign the contract to a family trust or an immediate family member to give you options before closing.
    9) The Title: This is the time to retain a lawyer to identify what encumbrances will remain on the title. Your initials will be required on the title which forms part of the contract.
    10) Hold-back clause for property owned by a non-resident, does the seller have the funds to close?
    11) Furniture. What if it is not all there when you take possession? On the value of furniture, PST is applicable. Mortgage financing doesn’t cover furniture, so do you have the extra cash to cover the shortfall?
    12) Completion date is the date the title is transferred from Seller to Buyer. This is the date the funds are transferred from the Buyer’s lawyer to the Seller’s lawyer.
    13) Possession date is the date that the buyer is allowed to legally access their property. If the property is a residential home, you may need to give the seller at least 3 days from closing to possession.
    14) Adjustment date is the date the lawyers use to calculate the change over of property taxes, Tourism Whistler fees, strata fees, electricity, propane bills, etc.
    15) Deposit is typically no less than 5% of the asking price and in a competitive market, it should be closer to 10%. There are court precedents about deposits and the Buyer can end up forfeiting their deposit to the Seller, in addition to paying damages. Read my Deposit blog post, and discuss it with Marion.

  6. Ready to write the offer?

    1) If the offer is subject to conditions, determine what those are and ensure that they are enforceable terms and conditions. Whim and Fancy Clauses are useless in a contract.
    2) if it is not written in the contract then it cannot be considered or included later without opening up the contract. You don’t want to re-open the contract, giving the seller the opportunity to pull out.
    3) Review and understand the Direction of Presentation of Offers deadline if applicable.
    4) Review the Home Buyer Recission Period (HBRP) and if it is applicable to your offer.
    5) Privacy Form: Ensures that you know what is being done with the information you are providing.
    6) Comply with FINTRAC requirements.


    FINTRAC stands for Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre which is where the Government of Canada monitors financial transactions, including Real Estate to fight terrorism and money laundering. The Federal Government provides several forms which must be completed by the realtor. Photo identification is mandatory proof, and upon receipt, this photo identification and the completed forms will be forwarded to the Sutton Broker.

    FINTRAC documents need to be completed at this stage so that there is proof of the identity of the Buyer(s).

  8. What professional help is needed?

    1) Lawyer: A lawyer is recommended over a notary because should anything go sideways then the lawyer is on-hand to offer a solution. The notary will not be able to jump in should anything go sideways, they will recommend you find a lawyer. However, this is the Buyer’s personal choice and it depends on the transaction.
    2) Accountant: GST and Tax advice, including a clear understanding of the Underused Housing Tax (UHT) and if it applies to you. If you are buying a rental property you will need your accountant to file an annual Canadian Tax Return. Best to choose your BC accountant at this stage and stick with them.
    3) Home inspector: The home inspection confirms a relationship between the Buyer and the Inspector. This relationship protects the Buyer but it also protects the Inspector.  The building or home inspection is typically done once there is an accepted contract.
    4) Insurance: this is a good time to contact an insurance company and find out what your costs will be.

  9. Accepted offer.

    1) With an “accepted offer” the listing realtor can now accept a backup offer if the seller chooses. 
    2) No one can bump you at this stage, and the vendor cannot legally withdraw from the contractual obligations.

  10. Due diligence as per the terms of the contract

    With some real estate agents, this is the time they pass you over to their assistant, whom you have probably never met, or knew existed. For Marion, this is the most important stage of the contract. This is where Marion will dedicate herself to ensuring that everything is in order. To ensure this, Marion will:
    1) Coordinate due diligence with all the terms and conditions of the contract. Marion will advise you of your duties.
    2) Refer you to 3 home inspectors, and set you up to work with the one you have chosen. The relationship is between you and the building inspector, the cost is usually around $500-$1,000 and more for a large house.
    3) Contact you when the strata documents are received. These documents may include a Depreciation Report on the strata development.
    4) Time to update your mortgage broker to let them know you have an accepted offer. 
    5) Decide if you need a GST# and schedule a time to obtain one before closing.
    6) Talk with the appropriate professionals about the title, GST, and Tax implications. See section 7 above.

  11. Subject Removal

    After the due diligence process has been completed, the Buyer will sign a document stating that the terms of the contract have been completed. In other words, the Buyer removes the subject conditions on the offer. These conditions were outlined in the contract and a date was specified. This is an important deadline to adhere.

  12. Deposit due

    Do not send a deposit prior to subject removal. The deposit must be in the Sutton trust account by the date on the contract. Once the deposit has been received it is a “firm” transaction and noted as “sold” on WLS. If the deposit is late, the Seller can refuse to give you an extension resulting in the contract collapsing. The Seller may sue you for the deposit amount.
    1) Important to send your realtor proof that the funds were transferred.
    2) Sutton requires the Buyer’s deposit to be wired into the Sutton trust account or a bank draft or certified cheque delivered to their Vancouver office.
    3) Upon receipt, Marion forwards the proof of deposit to the listing realtor.
    4) The deposit will be forfeited to the Seller if the Buyer withdraws from the agreement. Read the Deposit blog and talk with Marion.

  13. File conveyed by Sutton

    1) Sutton conveyancer sends the documents to your lawyer – See Legal Process for Closing.
    2) Time for you to organize services, utilities, and secure insurance.

  14. Completion day ( also known as closing day)

    1) Transfer the balance of funds to your lawyer, as per your lawyer’s instructions.
    2) Lawyer receives notification from Land Title Office and forwards notification of the sale to the buyer.
    3) Please read the Legal Process for Completion for a detailed overview.
    4) Walk-through of the property prior to closing may be requested in the contract. If it has not been requested, you may not be allowed a walk-through. 
    5) Marion and the listing agent coordinate keys and passes.

  15. Possession day

    This is the date and time on the contract when you are legally permitted to enter your property. Some listing agents will not allow access on the day until the actual time on the contract. The reason for this is should something go wrong, who will be responsible? After all, a contract is a contract for a reason.

16. FAQ

Is there Dual Agency representation in Whistler?

No. Dual Agency was banned in June 2018. One agent represents the buyer and a different agent represents the seller.

Is there a speculation and vacancy tax on Whistler real estate?

No. There is no speculation nor vacancy tax applicable to any Whistler real estate.

Is there a foreign buyer’s tax on Whistler real estate?

No. There is no foreign buyer’s tax applicable to any Whistler real estate.

Can non-residents buy in Whistler?

Yes. There are no restrictions in Whistler, however, be aware of the Underused Housing Tax (UHT) and if it will apply to you.

If you are not working with a real estate agent, and would like me to interpret this information for you, please contact me. I am here to help my clients before, during and after the transaction.

It’s a Good Life in Whistler!


Marion Anderson Personal Real Estate Corporation (604) 938-3885