'Cooling off periods' part of B.C. real estate plan to protect buyers wanting to back out
In what the province describes as an effort to protect consumers, legislation is being drafted that would require "cooling off periods" in the sale of some B.C. homes.
The Ministry of Finance announced Thursday this legislation will affect resale properties and newly-built homes, and is similar to rules already in effect in B.C. for pre-construction condo sales.
In a statement, the ministry said the legislation would put in place a limited period of time during which a buyer can change their mind and cancel their purchase, with no or few legal consequences.
It's not yet clear how the system would work, as consultations are ongoing, but the ministry said the goal is to have legislation introduced in the spring.
In the case of pre-construction sales, the cooling-off period is seven days.
The ministry said the incoming measure is due in part to the volatility of the current real estate market. Interest rates and inventory are low, so buyers may be feeling pressured or buying more.
"People looking to buy a home need to know they are protected as they make one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives," Finance Minister Selina Robinson said in a statement.
"With this step, we're moving ahead to protect people and their interests in the real estate market by bringing in a cooling off period for homebuyers and looking at additional measures to ensure effective safeguards are in place."