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BC Gov’t Implements Cooling Off Period for Homebuyers

Image of home doors to represent new homes being purchased. Visualization of somewhere that can be affected by the cooling off period
Source: unpslash.com

On March 28, 2022, the BC Government introduced amendments to the Property Law Act which enable the creation of a “Homebuyer Protection Period”, which is essentially a cooling-off period that allows buyers to back out of buying a home after signing a Contract of Purchase and Sale.

These amendments come as a result of the many complaints homebuyers in the province have voiced against the highly competitive and pressuring BC real estate market. “In our overheated housing market, we have seen buyers feeling pressure to waive conditions just to be considered, and new homeowners discovering costly problems only after a deal has closed,” BC Minister of Finance, Selina Robinson, stated while announcing the changes. The Homebuyer Protection Period is being implemented in an effort to protect people in the home buying process.

Though this is great news for prospective homebuyers, real estate boards across the province aren’t too keen on the changes. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver alongside the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) has been recommending an alternative “pre-offer” period, which would stipulate that offers cannot be presented on a new listing until the listing has been posted for 5 days.

While we remain unsure of when exactly this cooling-off period will be put in place, the Minister of Finance has assured the public that the regulations will be implemented by Summer, following an analysis to be done by the BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) based on consultation with stakeholders and details about how existing cooling-off mechanisms are working in the province.

This cooling-off period will be the first of its kind in Canada.

If you need more information on what this can mean for you as a potential home seller or buyer, email us at info@bolld.ca or schedule a call with us.