New "Cooling Off Period" Legislation to Protect Buyers...and Sellers?

Dated: November 7 2021

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The B.C. Government has announced new legislation for the real estate industry and it's fellow participants: a "cooling off" period when it comes to buying and selling homes for resale and newly built homes. Following an entire year of frustated buyers who've lost out repeatedly in the multiple offer situations that have become standard when bidding for single family homes. 

The cooling off period is to protect buyers and the associated risks when dealing with such a large financial transaction, allowing them to change their minds and walk away with no or diminished legal consequences. Currently there is a cooling off period already set for pre-construction sales for multi-unit development properties. This allows buyers to rescind their contract and walk away within seven days, even after signing the Contract of Purchase and Sale, without any consequences. 

Speak to any buyer's agent after buying them a shot, they'll share with you their year of haggard sleep and writing unconditional offers and using strategies to win during the competitive market. Speak to a listing agent and you'll get a different prespective, a humble brag about how much over-asking above the list price they were able to achieve for their clients.

There may be a few reasons real estate agents will have a hard time with this policy coming into effect Spring 2022. Currently, there's no consultations from the real estate industry nor were policy advisors from the government level included in the decision before the announcement. Moreover, the low inventory and highly priced market is not limited to B.C. The inventory shortage is shared globally.

If you've heard, "It's a buyer's market right now, get in while you can." Well this seller's market was too hot to handle and now the government is stepping in to "deal" with the issue. However, this new policy may do more harm than assist in stablizing the heightened market.

On August 1, 2021, the BCFSA (BC Financial Services Authority) became the singular regulator for all financial services in B.C., including real estate. This body will be consulted to give advice to the government in early 2022. 

What are your thoughts on the legislation with the current market? Comment below. 

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Rob Trinh

Raised in Victoria, Rob has fully embraced island life and culture. He spent some time living in Vancouver and LA before returning to his roots and rediscovering his love for this city. His past clie....

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