Three-day cooling off period on real estate sales, starts Jan. 1

The homebuyer protection period, the first of its kind in Canada, goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

The B.C. government announced Thursday a new cooling-off period on real estate sales, a measure meant to protect homebuyers feeling pressured in high-risk sales.

The cooling-off period will give a buyer three business days following an accepted offer to conduct due diligence such as inspections, seeking legal advice and confirming financing. The cooling-off period is one of seven recommendations the B.C. Financial Services Authority made in May to protect consumers in B.C.’s real estate market.

 “Too many people have been faced with giving up an inspection in order to buy a home,” B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson said Thursday. “This is a major step toward providing homebuyers with the peace of mind they deserve while protecting the interests of people selling their homes — for today’s market and in the future.”

The homebuyer protection period includes a cancellation fee of 0.25 per cent of the purchase price, or $250 for every $100,000, for those who choose to back out of a deal. For example, if the purchaser cancels on a $1-million home, they would be required to pay $2,500 to the seller.

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