Cooling Off - Home buyers
The BC government introduced legislation on March 28, 2022, known as Bill 12 – 2022, to allow for the creation of a cooling off period that will allow buyers to back out of a purchase after signing a Contract of Purchase and Sale.
In the official announcement, Minister of Finance Selina Robinson said the government will put the regulation in place for the “Home Buyer Protection Period” by summer.
What we know so far
Robinson provided few details on the new period, saying that the BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) will be releasing a report with recommendations in the coming weeks.
The report will inform the development of the regulations, and will include details on:
- The length of the period,
- Financial penalties for buyers who rescind an offer, and
- Regional variations in the legislation to address the differences between local housing markets.
During the media Q&A period after her announcement, the Minister implied that the regional variation provision could be used to provide flexibility if the market changes.
The REALTOR® response
A cooling off period could have unintended consequences. Buyers may make bad faith offers that could tie up sellers, causing undue hardship and potentially preventing sellers from purchasing their next home.
Your Board, along with the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA), has been recommending a pre-offer period where offers can’t be presented to a seller on new listings until the listings have been posted for five business days.
“It would be easier for everyone to get in, do their due diligence, and then just take the offers after,” said Daniel John, REBGV Chair in an interview with CityNews.