Summary of Recommendations from A Better Way Home for BC REALTORS®

Feb 28, 2022

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Posted by
Pearl Zhou
Communications Coordinator

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On February 28, BCREA released a comprehensive white paper titled A Better Way Home: Strengthening Consumer Protection in Real Estate, which includes a set of recommendations for the BC Government on better-protecting consumers in real estate transactions and addressing the root causes of BC's lack of housing affordability. 

The white paper was developed in response to the Ministry of Finance's plans to introduce a mandatory "cooling off period" in real estate transactions, announced in November 2021. We are deeply concerned that this decision was made without thorough public consultations with the real estate sector and consumers, a problem statement or supporting rationale. 

As the provincial professional association for REALTORS®, we support measures to increase consumer protection in real estate transactions, but it must be done in a way that is evidence-based, regionally nuanced, and considers buyers, sellers and changing market trends. Without these best practices, policies are likely to result in unintended negative consequences for consumers and the market as a whole. 

We also know that Realtors, real estate boards and BCREA are uniquely positioned to support the government if they truly wish to improve consumer protection in real estate transactions. Our white paper relies on the profession's access to extensive data, expert analysis on housing market conditions, on-the-ground insights into consumer experience and close working relationships with other housing sector stakeholders to present thoughtful, evidence-based recommendations for a better way home for British Columbians.  

Here's what you need to know about A Better Way Home

Our recommendations fall into four core categories:   

  • improving housing affordability,   
  • enhancing consumer protection in transactions,   
  • evolving the real estate sector, and   
  • creating a world-leading regulatory structure. 

Addressing the root cause: housing supply 

Improve housing affordability include implementing supply-side measures and calls to action made by the Development Approvals Process Review and The Expert Panel of Housing Supply and Affordability, establishing a permanent National Housing Roundtable in coordination with the federal government and making infrastructure investments to local government conditionals on Official Community Plans.  

Enhancing consumer protection in real estate transactions 

Enhance consumer protection in real estate transactions, including implementing a mandatory five business-day "pre-offer period" from the time of listing instead of a "cooling off period." During this pre-offer period, offers cannot be presented, allowing prospective buyers time to conduct due diligence. 

Evolving the real estate sector 

Continue evolving the real estate sector, include raising qualification standards for new licensees and providing more targeted re-licensing education for managing brokers, implementing a Professional Standing Committee within the BCFSA, modelled after the BC Teachers' Council, to ensure the BCFSA benefits from the on-the-ground professional experienced Realtors when making practice changes. 

Creating a world-leading regulatory structure 

Raising entry qualification standards for new licensees and provide more targeted re-licensing education for managing brokers ensure high consumer satisfaction. Establishing a Professional Standing Committee within BCFSA, modelled after the BC Teachers' Council also ensures BCFSA benefits from the on-the-ground perspective of experienced Realtors when making practice changes. 

You can read the full white paper here and for a summary of the white paper go here. Additional resources dedicated to this initiative can be found here.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email [email protected]

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