Buying Process

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Buying Process for Canadians and Non-Residents of Canada

This page is for everyone considering buying real estate in Whistler. There is basically no difference in the Buying Process between Canadians and non-residents. The difference in the Buying Process shows up in financing and transferring funds for the non-resident.

Non-resident: Buying. Owning. Selling.

If you are a non-resident Buyer, do yourself a favor and read all the following pages:

  1. Non-resident: Buying
  2. Non-resident: Buying Process
  3. Non-resident: Finance and Funds
  4. Non-resident: Owning
  5. Non-resident: Taxes and Fees
  6. Non-resident: Selling
  7. Non-resident: FAQ

How Do I Buy Whistler Real Estate?

The buying process for residents and non-residents of Canada is explained on this page. Buyers will have a great understanding of what to expect…and in what order.


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.

Decide on an experienced Whistler realtor

1) Review Agency Representation so you know what your realtor will be doing for you.
2) Review the Home Buyers Rescission Period (HBRP) 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.

Finance the Purchase

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 the mortgage company’s lawyer/notary fees, appraisal by a bank (if applicable), and Land Title Registration Fees.
7) Provincial Sales Tax: on furniture included in the sale. Note: The mortgage company will not finance furniture.
8) The Buyer’s lawyer will automatically represent the lender. Your lawyer has a duty to report anything to the lender that may affect the mortgage.
9) Land Title documents cannot be signed by an e-signature. Therefore a notary or lawyer in your area may be involved as a witness.

1) Marion will call you when the right 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. In addition, read my blog on securing a Nightly Rental License.

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 Contract of Purchase and Sale.
1) Strata documents including financials and a Depreciation Report on the development.
2) Property Disclosure Statement (PDS) completed by the Seller. This should 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 the tenants out. You may not receive a copy of the Tenancy Agreement as per the Privacy Act.
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 may be incorrectly referred to 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. Best read my blog on Unauthorized Accommodation and how it can be remedied at your expense.
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. Your lawyer will review the title during the due diligence period.
10) 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?
11) 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 Trust Account of the Seller’s lawyer. This is also the date the Property Transfer Tax payment is paid by the buyer.
12) 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.
13) 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. The Statement of Adjustments separately for the Seller and the Buyer are calculated in advance, but based on this date.
14) 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 blog post, Deposits Are Serious Business, and discuss it with Marion.

Ready to write the offer?

1) If the Contract of Purchase and Sale 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 as the Seller can use these subjective clauses to possibly get out of the contract.
2) The Contract of Purchase and Sale is an agreement between the Buyer and the Seller. It is not to protect the realtors, those “clauses” should be in email communications.
3) 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.
4) Review and understand the Direction Regarding the Presentation of Offers (DRPO) deadline if applicable.
5) Review the Home Buyer Rescission Period (HRBP) and if it is applicable to your offer. Note, if you have subject conditions these over-ride the HRBP.
6) Privacy Form: Ensures that you know what is being done with the information you are providing.
7) Comply with FINTRAC requirements.


1) 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.
2) FINTRAC documents need to be completed by the realtor representing the Buyer at this stage so that there is proof of the identity of the Buyer(s).
3) The Buyer’s Realtor will complete the forms, based on receipt of a photo ID and by asking each Buyer some basic questions. Best read my blog on FINTRAC for more information, including information on when a corporation or third party is involved.

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. My blog Underused Housing Tax will give you a basic overview.
3) Home inspector: The home inspection agreement confirms a relationship between the Buyer and the Inspector. This relationship protects the Buyer but it also protects the Inspector. The home inspection is typically done once there is an accepted contract and is a subject condition.
4) Insurance: this is a good time to contact an insurance company and find out what your costs will be.

Accepted offer

1) With an accepted offer, your offer no one can bump you at this stage. The vendor should not be able to legally withdraw from their contractual obligations. This is based on a contract property written.

2) The listing realtor can now accept a backup offer if the seller chooses. This means that an offer is negotiated separately but is contingent on the first offer not removing their subject conditions. If a back-up offer is in play, then the first offer still has the time to conduct their due-diligence as agreed to in the Contract of Purchase and Sale.

3) If you were in a multiple offer situation, and you were the offer that was accepted by the Seller, then within a day of the offer being accepted you would receive a Disclosure of Multiple Offers Presented form. This document, signed by the Seller and the Seller’s realtor proves that other brokerages did submit offers.

Due diligence period

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 Anderson, this is the most important stage of the contract. This is where Marion will dedicate herself to ensuring that everything is in order. The advantage of this situation is that you chose to work with a Whistler realtor with 20 years experience, not an assistant you have never met who is training to be a realtor. 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-$1,500 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. Everyone should review the strata documents and you will have Marion to refer to with your questions. However, a lot of the answers may need to come from the strata manager, and Marion will facilitate this.
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. This is a same-day process for a Canadian Citizen. For a non-resident, it is more complex and therefore can take longer to receive one from the Government of Canada.
6) Talk with the appropriate professionals about the Title and all its components, GST, and Tax implications. See section 7 above.

Subject removal

1) 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 to.
2) You will have to have a solid reason that you can support with documents should the Seller start to question why you have not removed the Subject Conditions. For more insight read my Deposits are Serious Business blog.

Deposit due

Do not send the deposit prior to subject removal. The deposit must be in the Sutton trust account by the date agreed to by the parties on the contract. Once the deposit has been received it is a “firm” transaction and noted as “sold” on the Multiple Listing sites. 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 Deposits are Serious Business blog and talk with Marion.

Signing the documents

This is one of the few areas where it is a different process for a resident of Canada, as opposed to a non-resident of Canada.

Residents of Canada

For Buyers who are residents of Canada, you book an appointment with your Canadian Lawyer and arrange to meet to sign the documents. If the Buyer is securing financing, the bank may require the Buyer to sign at a local branch of the bank.


This process depends on whether the Buyer has met with a BC lawyer who can verify the visual identity against the Buyer’s passport. If that has happened, it is a simpler process. If that did not happen, maybe the Buyer bought sight unseen, then the Buyer’s identity must be verified.

If the non-resident has secured financing, the bank may want the Buyer to sign the mortgage documents at one of their branches in Canada.

File conveyed by Sutton

1) Sutton Group – West Coast Realty is the brokerage of the Buyer’s agent. Their conveyancer sends the documents to the Buyer’s lawyer – See Legal Process for Closing.
2) It is the Buyer’s lawyer who prepares the closing documents which include the Statement of Adjustments. There is a Statement of Adjustments for the Buyer and a separate Statement of Adjustments for the Seller. Both parties will need to sign their own Statement a few days before the completion date. The Seller’s lawyer will return the signed documents to the Buyer’s lawyer in preparation for closing.
3) Time for the Buyer to organize services, utilities, and secure insurance before the completion date.
4) Walk-through of the property prior to closing may be agreed to in the contract. If it has not been a term of the contract, a walk-through may not be feasible due to the owners packing and moving, or rented. However, a walk-through does not guarantee that the furnishings will be as agreed…Sellers have been known to stress out as they are leaving and take items they agreed they would not. It can be a stressful time.

Completion day

1) Read the blog on the Legal Process for completion or closing. In addition, please read about the consequences of the Completion Date not being met as set out in the contract.
2) The Buyer’s lawyer will now be in receipt of the Buyer’s funds and the lender’s funds if there is financing.
3) By now, the Buyer’s lawyer has compiled all the documents for closing. This includes the Statement of Adjustments signed by the Seller and the Buyer.
4) The Buyer’s lawyer submits all the appropriate documents to the Land Title Office for Title Transfer from Seller to Buyer.
5) Upon a successful land title transfer, the Land Title Office faxes (yes, faxes) a copy of the Registration to the Seller’s lawyer, the Buyer’s Lawyer. Each lawyer then sends the Registration to their respective real estate brokerages. The realtors are typically the last to know when the transaction is complete.

Possession day

1) This is the date and time on the contract when you are legally permitted to enter your Whistler property.
2) Marion and the listing agent coordinate keys and passes for access on possession day, not completion day.
3) Most 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.
4) Celebrate!

Next Steps

Buying real estate in Whistler, whether ski-in/ski-out or not, is a smooth process when working with an experienced Whistler real estate agent who follows the rules. Everything in real estate, except for writing the contract and the negotiation is a process. Experienced realtor, and skilled negotiator, Marion Anderson will work with you directly from start to finish. No assistants are involved.

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