How Do Presales Work?

How do presales work in the Greater Vancouver area? Let’s start with a quick definition of a presale. Presale real estate is the act of purchasing a new property before its completion. When a buyer enters into a purchase contract, they secure the right to finalize the acquisition upon the property’s completion. This contract binds both parties: the developer commits to constructing the property, while the buyer commits to purchasing it once built. In this setup, buyers invest in a vision—committing to a home that currently only exists on paper or as a model.

Such an arrangement offers advantages to both developers and buyers. Developers gain a financial safety net, as pre-sold units can facilitate construction funding, mitigating their financial exposure. Conversely, buyers get the opportunity to secure a modern home, often with the added advantage of customizing certain elements, ensuring that the finished product aligns closely with their preferences. As cities grow and space becomes more coveted, presales are emerging as a favored route for property acquisition.

The allure of the British Columbia (BC) real estate landscape, with its dynamic presale real estate, has captivated many. As the trend of buying condos before they’re constructed gains momentum, navigating this territory with an expert by your side is crucial. Enter the real estate agent, your guiding beacon in BC’s presale condo maze. Let’s dive deep into the world of presales, exploring its intricacies and understanding why partnering with a seasoned real estate professional is invaluable.

“Purchasing a presale is not the purchase of an existing physical property, but rather a contract for the right to receive, and an obligation to pay for, a finished unit at a point in the future.” -BCFSA

For more information about Presale, please visit BCFSA’s information sheet about Presales in BC.

The Unique Allure of Presale Properties in British Columbia


How do presales work


British Columbia is one of Canada’s most coveted destinations, with its mesmerizing landscapes and mild climate serving as its calling card. From majestic mountains to dense forests and pristine coastlines, BC is a testament to nature’s grandeur, drawing not just tourists but those yearning for a life that bridges urban sophistication with natural serenity. This increasing allure sees more people gravitating towards BC each day.

Yet, this magnetic pull has its complications. Chief among them is the burgeoning demand for housing. Given BC’s unique geographical makeup, characterized by rugged terrains and limited tracts of flat, developable land, expansive single-family homes are not always practical. This challenge is particularly noticeable in densely populated urban zones such as Greater Vancouver, which grapple with a pronounced housing crunch.

To counteract this challenge and keep pace with the growing populace, developers are championing the rise of vertical living solutions: condos and townhomes. These multi-unit dwellings address the immediate housing needs and advocate for a more sustainable future. They promote density over , helping conserve BC’s landscapes’ untouched beauty.

This convergence of limited land availability and the continuous influx of residents hints at a sustained demand for condos and townhomes, especially in the presale sector. It underscores the vitality and longevity of BC’s presale property market, emphasizing its significance in the province’s housing narrative.

There are numerous reasons why many homebuyers are drawn to presales, and figure out how do presales work:

  1. Secure Your Home Early: The housing shortage has made securing existing homes difficult. Buying from a developer before a home is built can be a way to lock in a home purchase early, thereby securing a home before you need it.
  2. Brand-New Property: You’ll be the property’s first owner and everything from appliances to fixtures will be brand new.
  3. Potential Appreciation: If the real estate market goes up during construction, your property might appreciate at the completion.
  4. Customization: Many developers allow buyers to choose finishes, colours, and even floorplan layouts, giving you a say in the design of your future home.
  5. Enjoying Developer Incentives: Developers often provide discounted prices, upgrades, or bonuses to attract buyers during the presale phase.
  6. More choices for your desired home: With presales, you can pick your desired unit without the usual bidding wars associated with buying existing properties.
  7. No Need to Stress Over the Mortgage Until Completion: Usually spanning a few years, the completion process provides buyers sufficient time to organize their move, sell their existing property, or manage their financial arrangements.
  8. Modern Amenities: New condo developments usually include amenities like gyms, communal spaces, and green technologies, making urban living more comfortable and sustainable.

Potential Pitfalls of Presale Purchases

When contemplating a presale real estate in the British Columbia presale market, there are some essential factors to watch out for:

  1. Price Fluctuations: The real estate market overall can be volatile. Prices might rise or fall by the time your condo is complete. It would be best if you were prepared for both scenarios.
  2. Delays: Construction timelines are not set in stone. Expect some changes to the initial timeline, though usually, developers do their best to stick to schedules.
  3. Evolving Life Circumstances: Committing to a presale property means planning for a future that might be several years away. During that period, a buyer’s life circumstances can shift significantly. Whether it’s a change in family dynamics, employment status, financial conditions, or simply a change in priorities, these evolving situations affect one’s ability or desire to follow through with the presale purchase. It’s essential to recognize that long-term commitments like presales come with the inherent risk of life’s unpredictability, which can pose challenges in aligning with one’s initial property investment intentions.
  4. Choosing a Reputable Developer is Essential: One of the potential pitfalls in the presale market is the possibility of construction cancellations. Unexpected challenges such as financial difficulties, permit issues or other unforeseen complications can halt projects. Such cancellations can leave prospective homeowners in a predicament, often entailing financial and logistical hassles. In these moments, the invaluable expertise of a real estate agent becomes evident. A seasoned agent has the knowledge and experience to steer you toward projects helmed by established and trustworthy developers. Their insights can considerably diminish the risks of getting entangled in a project prone to cancellation, ensuring that your investment is sound and secure.
  5. Relying on Visualization and Imagination: Purchasers make decisions based on a floor plan rather than the actual finished space. Although the presentation centre offers a glimpse, it may not capture the precise essence of the end result.
  6. Securing a Mortgage: Interest rates are subject to fluctuations, moving either upward or downward, which can influence your mortgage approval journey. Some leading banks provide builder schemes tailored for presale buyers, allowing for rate stabilization over extended periods. While securing approval might seem straightforward today, financial landscapes can shift in the years to come. It’s crucial to maintain a robust financial foundation.

Remember, while these considerations might seem daunting, having an experienced real estate agent by your side can provide significant peace when it comes to discovering how do presales work. They bring invaluable insights, introduce you to reputable developers, and guide you through the complex nuances of the presale landscape.

The Value of a Real Estate Agent in the Presale Condo Market

The presale condo market in British Columbia is as promising as it is intricate. It offers potential buyers a chance to invest in their dream homes while also presenting a set of challenges unique to the realm of presales. These challenges, while manageable, require a depth of understanding and a keen awareness of the evolving landscape. It’s akin to sailing in vast waters. While the horizon holds immense promise, the journey is best undertaken with an experienced navigator. But what makes this navigator – the real estate agent – so indispensable? Here are some key reasons that highlight their unmatched value in the presale journey and you can get a better understanding of how do presales work:

Market Insight: A seasoned agent understands the market, ensuring you’re informed about new projects that align with your family’s unique preferences.

●  Tailored Recommendations: With an intimate knowledge of available properties, agents can pinpoint developments close to essential amenities such as schools, parks, and transportation hubs.

●  Developer Connections: Agents often have established relationships with renowned developers, ensuring that you are connected with those who are committed to quality and punctuality.

●  Risk Mitigation: Aware of potential construction delays or project cancellations, your agent ensures you invest not just in a property but a promise.

●  Peace of Mind: With an expert by your side, you’re equipped to navigate the complexities of the presale market, ensuring a streamlined and informed buying experience.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of BC’s presale condo market, partnering with a proficient real estate agent isn’t a luxury but a necessity.

Warren Buffett aptly said in the Words of Business Magnates, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” In presale condos, an astute investment can bestow immense value over time, especially when guided by a seasoned agent.

How to Buy Presale: Steps for Aspiring Investors


How do presales work


Throughout your presale journey, you’ll navigate a sequence of steps from start to finish. Rest assured; your real estate agent will accompany you at every turn, providing expert guidance and ensuring peace of mind at each phase.

  1. Researching the Market: Before making any commitments, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the presale market in BC. Delving into market trends, upcoming projects, and developers’ reputations can help set realistic expectations. Your real estate agent can provide invaluable insights, offering curated selections based on your preferences and guiding you to recognize promising opportunities.
  2. Visit the Presentation Centre: Presentation centres are more than showrooms; they embody the developer’s vision. Here, you’ll get a tangible sense of the finished product. Your real estate agent can book a visit at a convenient time, clarify the displayed information, and give you a comprehensive tour, ensuring you understand every detail. This step is pivotal in forming a connection with your potential future home.
  3. Making a Deposit: A deposit is your initial commitment and a show of serious interest. It’s often a percentage of the final purchase price. Understanding the terms tied to this deposit is essential, especially concerning refunds and commitments. Your agent can guide you on the steps and with understanding the deposit structure required by the developer.
  4. Contract Signing: This isn’t just about putting pen to paper. The contract comes bundled with many documents outlining the project’s specifics, potential risks, and other pertinent details. A keen understanding of these documents is crucial. Your real estate agent can simplify this process, breaking down complex terms and connecting you with professionals for advice, ensuring you sign with full awareness.
  5. Monitoring the Construction Process: This is the phase where you watch your investment take shape. Developers usually provide periodic updates about construction milestones. Your real estate agent can support you by promptly answering your questions and connecting you with the right professionals to resolve complex issues.
  6. Completion and Final Payment: As the project approaches its conclusion, the process of finalizing your payment comes into sharp focus. This critical juncture often reveals additional costs or adjustments that might not have been evident initially. Navigating these financial intricacies can be daunting for many buyers. This is where your real estate agent’s role becomes paramount. Their vast experience and intricate knowledge of the industry’s workings allow them to quickly identify, clarify, and address any discrepancies or unforeseen charges. Beyond just understanding the numbers, they’re adept at facilitating negotiations, ensuring you’re not overburdened or caught off guard by any last-minute financial adjustments. Their involvement not only safeguards against potential pitfalls but also assures that the culmination of your investment journey is as seamless and transparent as its inception. Essentially, the agent acts as your financial advocate, ensuring your interests are protected and the transaction concludes in your favor.
  7. Receiving the Key to Your Modern New Home: The culmination of your patience and investment! But even at this stage, there might be walkthroughs, inspections, and minor tweaks. Having an agent ensures that this final step is as seamless as the first and that you step into your new home with sheer joy and zero complications.


So now you have a much better idea of how do presales work in BC. BC’s presale condo market beckons with potential. A robust partnership with a real estate professional is paramount to harness its possibilities. As you contemplate venturing into presales, remember that the proper guidance can shape your investment journey, ensuring it’s both profitable and hassle-free.
Are you considering a presale investment? Contact us today for information and professional support in this promising domain.

Note: While this guide provides comprehensive insights, always consult a real estate specialist when deciding on property investments. Verify data and statistics for their current relevance before basing any decisions on them.