B.C. announces consumer protection policy for homebuyers in competitive market

·1 min read

VICTORIA — British Columbia has announced a mandatory three-day period to allow homebuyers time to arrange an inspection and take other important steps like securing financing in a high-pressure real estate market.

Finance Minister Selina Robinson says the consumer protection policy effective Jan. 1 is aimed at providing people with peace of mind as unconditional offers are common and could later end up costing buyers thousands of dollars in repairs.

Robinson says the first plan of its kind in Canada includes a cancellation fee of 0.25 per cent of the purchase price, or $250 for every $100,000, for those who back out of a deal, balancing the needs of both buyers and sellers.

She says the homebuyer protection period is based on consultations with the B.C. Financial Services Authority and the experiences of buyers who jumped into deals they later regretted.

Elaine Spilos, a homebuyer who joined Robinson at a news conference, says she contacted the finance minister after she and her husband were assured by their Realtor that the "exceptional" home they purchased had already been inspected and built to code.

Spilos says the retired couple endured a "very painful experience" three weeks after their purchase when a sewer backed up, with similar damage nine months later.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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