Is Now the Time to Sell Your Whistler Property?


Raise your hand if this sounds familiar:

On the one hand, you’re in no rush to sell. You’ve had your Whistler property for several years now, and sure – it’s not getting as much use as it once did. But you still enjoy heading up every now and then, and it’s nice to have when friends stop by.

On the other hand, you’ve heard the Whistler real estate market is heavily favouring sellers right now, and you’ve wondered more than once whether it was worth the efforts and costs of maintaining the property when you’re spending so little time there. Maybe this would be a good time to think about cashing in…

Selling your Whistler property is a decision that should not be made lightly. In order to make an informed decision, there are several factors that you will need to consider carefully.

The following points should offer some clarity when it comes to taking the next steps. Focus on the suggested questions and how they apply to your own unique situation.

Maximizing Your Property’s Value

The Whistler real estate market tends to be cyclical.

Our last “boom” occurred around 2007, which was halted by the financial crisis around 2008. The market hung in there until after the 2010 Winter Olympic Games (where Whistler was a host community). Then, the market lagged for several years, eventually picking up steam around 2014. Sales have increased ever since – both in terms of dollar amounts and number of sales.

All this to say that the Whistler market has its ups and downs. Right now, it would appear we are in an “up” market. How long it will last or where, exactly, the peak is located are factors we simply won’t know until after the fact. Selling today means realizing your property’s highest value in nearly a decade – but there’s no guarantee that its value won’t eventually decrease.

Questions to Consider:

  • What is my desired timeline for selling my Whistler property? Do I want to do so sometime within the next 10 years?
  • If the market slows, am I willing to ride out another cycle in order to benefit from the next up market?
  • Am I bearish or bullish on the Whistler real estate market?

Taking Advantage of the Seller’s Market

High demand, low supply – all signs indicate that Whistler is in a clear seller’s market.

Perhaps the greatest factor at play is the record low number of properties presently listed for sale. This is true across all property types. Whether you own a chalet, town home, duplex, condo, or vacant land, chances are good that there are several buyers eagerly waiting for a property like yours to come to market.

Selling now means taking advantage of a relative lack of competitive properties. On the other hand, if you sell your property when inventory is high, it will compete against other similar properties that might have had renovations or upgrades done.

High demand also means that your property is likely to sell relatively quickly, compared to a slower market, where it could sit on the market for many months before it generates interest from a qualified buyer.

Questions to Consider:

  • Is my property equally or more updated than other properties in this complex/neighbourhood? Could I benefit from selling when it is up against fewer competitive properties?
  • If I choose to list my property for sale in a slower market, will I be able to afford to wait for it to sell?

Adding Up the Costs

You are probably already aware that you incur ongoing expenses in maintaining your Whistler property – but now might be a good time to add up exactly how much you are spending on it.

Calculate all expenses associated with the property, including:

  • Property taxes
  • Strata fees
  • Special levies
  • Tourism Whistler fees
  • Service contracts (e.g., snow removal)
  • Cleaning fees
  • Maintenance

Consider whether there are any significant upgrades or replacements that will need to happen over the next few years (e.g., repairing or replacing the roof, new furnace, new windows, etc.) and whether you will be in the position to bear the associated costs.

Questions to Consider:

  • Can we afford the ongoing expenses of maintaining our Whistler property?
  • Is there another way we could be spending that money that would benefit us more right now?
  • Will we be able to afford the anticipated upgrades and replacements in the coming years?
  • Will we be able to afford any unanticipated repairs that might come up in the future?

Let’s Talk About It

Take the time to consider the questions above and talk about them with the other stakeholders in your property. If you think now might be the right time to sell, please contact me and we can discuss your options in more detail.