Finance Minister to announce the new law to protect consumers

Thursday, November 4th, 2021

B.C. to bring in new real estate laws, including cooling-off period for resale properties

Tiffany Crawford
The Vancouver Sun

The B.C. Financial Services Authority will also look into other potential protection measures, including fixing the blind bidding system and condition waiving in offers.

B.C. to bring in new laws to protect consumers in the real estate market. Photo by Peter J Thompson/National Post

British Columbia will introduce laws to protect consumers in the province’s hot real estate market, including cooling-off periods.

The government is looking into how to place restrictions on the real estate business following concerns that buyers may be committing to purchase a home without knowing everything they need to make fully informed decisions.

Cooling-off periods are limited amounts of time in which homebuyers can change their minds and cancel a purchase with no or diminished legal consequences.

Finance Minister Selina Robinson announced the new law on Thursday, saying the change will be similar to the cooling-off periods already in place for pre-construction condominium sales.

She said the B.C. Financial Services Authority has been asked to review other potential consumer protection measures.

This includes looking at the blind-bidding system and waiving of conditions when making offers, the minister said in a news release on Thursday.

“People looking to buy a home need to know they are protected as they make one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. Especially in periods of heightened activity in the housing market, it’s crucial that we have effective measures in place so that people have the peace of mind that they’ve made the right choices,” Robinson said.

“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.”

The government said enabling legislation for cooling-off periods will be drafted for introduction in the spring legislative session.

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