BCREA Addresses Minister Robinson's Announcement
TAGS: Cooling Off Period Government Relations Home Buyer Protection Period
Yesterday, Minister of Finance Selina Robinson announced plans to amend the Property Law Act to pave the way for the introduction of a “Homebuyer Protection Period” in real estate transactions. While the Government’s announcement lacked detail, the Homebuyer Protection Period will give buyers the right to rescind offers in real estate transactions. While governmental language has changed, this is essentially the cooling-off period that has been much discussed in recent weeks.
As your provincial professional association, we know that REALTORS® share government and public concern about the risks consumers face in heated markets and the challenges of BC’s housing affordability issues. We also know that a cooling-off period could have unintended consequences, such as protecting buyers at the expense of sellers or encouraging buyers to make offers on properties they’re not serious about, consequently increasing competition and driving home prices higher.
Later this morning, we will release a statement to media in response to yesterday’s announcement which expresses our ongoing concern with their approach. We’re not alone in questioning the introduction of a cooling-off period. According to a recent survey of more than 1150 British Columbians, only 35% of consumers support a cooling-off period.
In our statement to media, we also assert that it’s time to stop spreading the myth that Realtors are driven by self-interest. Government needs to recognize the important contributions Realtors make towards better protecting consumers and improving housing affordability as consumers certainly do. The same survey that showed British Columbians do not widely support a cooling-off period also revealed that more than 70 per cent of consumers believe Realtors should be consulted on real estate policy changes.
We will continue to advocate on your behalf and keep you informed of our approach, as well as any opportunities for Realtors to support BCREA’s advocacy efforts.
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