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Porter Ramsay Blog

New laws may favor homebuyers

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2022 | Real Estate Law |

If buying a home is on your list of resolutions for the new year, you probably already know what a difficult road you have ahead. Housing prices in British Columbia continue to climb, and the low number of homes on the market seems to put all the bargaining power on the side of the sellers. Additionally, you may end up dealing with a blind bidding situation, which increases your risk, not to mention your stress level. 

Besides high prices and low inventory, one of the most common complaints about the homebuying process is the pressure to make a quick decision. Moving too slowly to make a deal often means missing that brief window of opportunity. However, you might be interested in knowing that legislators are working on potential changes to the homebuying process that could offer greater protection for your rights as consumers. 

Cool off 

When the seller accepts your bid on a home, and you sign a contract, you might have to move quickly to close the deal or risk losing the house. Often, this means forgoing important steps, such as researching the home or obtaining a professional inspection of the property. It may also mean agreeing to purchase a home that is far more house than you can afford. Once you sign that contract, you might feel trapped in a situation that is not to your advantage. 

This spring, British Columbia legislators will consider a bill that will provide a “cooling off period” for homebuyers, allowing them to back out of a sales contract within a certain period of time without risking costly legal ramifications. There is already such an allowance for those who purchase pre-constructed condominiums. The details of this legislation are not set in stone at this time, but the objective is to offer better safeguards for those seeking to purchase homes. 

Protecting yourself during the homebuying process 

It sometimes seems as if the world is not friendly to homebuyers, and you might be right in that assessment. Many sellers use a blind bidding process, which denies you the chance to know what other prospective buyers are offering on a property. This may cause you to offer far more than you can afford — and more than the property is worth. Consumer advocates hope this, too, will change in the coming year. 

Since your home is likely one of the biggest purchases you will make, it is not one you should do on your own. To ensure the protection of your rights, you will want to seek sound advice and legal guidance every step of the way.