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Cooling-Off Period on Residential Real Estate Comes into Effect January 2023

In January 2023 the B.C. government will implement changes to the Property Law Act to make the Home Buyer Rescission Period (“HBRP”) or ‘cooling-off period’ mandatory for residential real estate transactions. 

In the months leading up to the HBRP, BCFSA’s role as the provincial regulator for the sector is to provide real estate licensees with the details they need to understand HBRP and navigate this new process with clients. Updated regulatory information, practice guidelines, and FAQs will accompany newsletter articles, e-mails, and targeted webinars for trading services licensees so they can help consumers to be informed during a sale.

We’re also developing materials to inform buyers, sellers, and the public about how the HBRP will work and what they can expect. Resources including updated buyer and seller guides will help consumers understand how the HBRP will impact home sales and will be made available on BCFSA’s website to improve consumer awareness.

The HBRP will allow homebuyers to rescind a contract to purchase residential real estate within the set period, even if the contract does not include conditions. It will begin the next business day after the final acceptance of an offer. The rescission period will be in effect for three business days and cannot be waived by either the seller, buyer, or their representatives. During this period, homebuyers can still legally withdraw from the purchase without justification at the cost of a rescission fee equal to 0.25 per cent of the purchase price.

The HBRP and any subject conditions in the contract of sale both start counting down at the same time and run concurrently if subject conditions have been included in the contract of sale.

BCFSA recommends that homebuyers speak with their real estate licensees to understand the requirements of the HBRP, so ensure you keep up to date with information as we provide it.