B.C. financial regulator recommends home purchase wait periods
Many regulators and officials have been proposing different means of cooling the housing market in British Columbia. Recently, the B.C. Financial Services Authority shared its recommendations for tempering the market for consumers. Their recommendations included measures to implement a required pre-offer period as well as a cooling-off period following an accepted offer. Here are the details of these two suggestions.
Recommendation #1: Pre-offer period
The pre-offer period recommended by the Financial Services Authority is five days. If the recommendation were adopted, it would require listings to be on the market for at least five days prior to an offer being accepted. They also recommended that sellers complete and provide key strata documents and property disclosure forms on the front end to potential buyers.
Recommendation #2: Cooling-off period
The Financial Services Authority also recommended a three-day window also known as a “homebuyer protection period.” this would provide time for buyers to perform inspections, discuss the purchase with legal professionals and work through their financing. The financial authority did point out that a termination fee of 0.1 to 0.5% would still be a good idea to keep people from abusing the system.
This is not the first time such solutions have been discussed in British Columbia. As recently as November, a cooling-off period was proposed by the province. The measure was ultimately not put in place, but discussions about how to approach real estate legislation in the current market are ongoing. As there is not currently a cooling-off period in place, it is advisable for buyers to speak with a real estate lawyer in advance in order to protect their interests in a potential transaction.