BC enacts three-day cooldown period for buyers

The policy is intended to give buyers a chance to secure financing

BC enacts three-day cooldown period for buyers

British Columbia has become the first Canadian market to implement a three-day cooldown period for home buyers after the signing of a purchase agreement.

The mandatory period of three business days is intended to give buyers a grace period to secure the required financing or home inspections.

Katrine Conroy, BC’s Minister of Finance, said that this policy is the first key step that the province is taking in the wake of the BC Financial Services Authority‘s report on improving consumer protection.

“The extra time will help buyers fully consider whether a purchase is right for them under any market conditions, including in the face of rising interest rates and any high-pressure sales,” the provincial government said.

“Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions of people’s lives,” Conroy added. “This is an important milestone as we lead the way in protecting people and strengthening public confidence in the real estate market.”

Buyers who instead cancel their contracts will be penalized with a rescission or cancellation fee of 0.25% of the purchase price, or $250 for every $100,000 of the purchase price.

“Consumer protection is core to what BCFSA does,” said Blair Morrison, CEO of BCFSA and superintendent of real estate. “We’ve worked extensively with real estate licensees to get them ready for the introduction of this new protection in BC in 2023. We urge consumers with questions about the [protection period] to speak directly to their real estate licensee.”