"Cooling Off Period" With No Details Creates Uncertainty and Concern in Real Estate Sector
TAGS: BC Financial Services Authority BCFSA Cooling Off Period News Release Real Estate Practice
In November, the BC Government announced it will be introducing a "cooling off period" for real estate transactions involving residential resale properties and newly built homes in BC beginning next spring. BC Minister of Finance Selina Robinson announced the policy without any details or advanced consultation with the public or real estate sector, resulting in significant confusion and uncertainty both within the sector and amongst the public. This lack of advance planning has led to concerns that this policy and others under consideration could result in unintended negative consequences for buyers and sellers.
"From the day this measure was announced, real estate brokers and real estate boards in BC have been inundated with questions about how this upcoming measure is going to affect their day-to-day work and their clients," says British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) Chief Executive Officer Darlene K. Hyde. "While we would have liked to answer these questions clearly and concisely, we simply can't because of the way this decision was made. There really are no answers yet and that's causing a lot of concern."
Recent media reports have erroneously made suggestions that the new "cooling off period," also known as a recission period, will adopt the same parameters as the seven-day period already in place for pre-construction condominium sales, adding to the uncertainty caused by this announcement.
"The assumptions we are seeing are untrue and are purely a result of the lack of information out there about what could be a substantial change to the real estate transaction," Hyde adds. "Instead of educating Realtors and the public, we now have to focus on stopping rumours . All this could have been avoided if proper processes were followed prior to this decision being made."
BCREA supports thoughtfully designed, properly-vettedand evidence-based policy that protects consumers and enhances professionalism and transparency within the real estate sector. Policies addressing market conditions should consider the interests of all parties in a transaction, changing market conditions, regional nuances, potential unintended consequences and should also include a defined process to monitor efficacy of the measures introduced.
Prior to further decisions being made on a "cooling off period" or any other measures related to the real estate transaction or market, it is imperative that thorough consultation with the real estate sector and research is conducted in advance to address factors that may negatively impact home buyers and sellers in BC.
For more information:
BCREA Senior Communications Specialist
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