Buying a home can be an exciting yet daunting process. As a home buyer, you want to make the best decision while understanding your rights under the law. The real estate market in British Columbia is dynamic, and it’s important to have the support of an experienced real estate lawyer. They will keep you updated on amendments that govern the buying process. One recent amendment of note was made to the Home Buyer Rescission/Protection Period.
Starting in 2023, home buyers have the right to cancel a contract within 3 business days after an offer is accepted, even if no subject-clauses are in the contract. If they choose to do so, they will need to pay a 0.25% charge to the seller, which can be deducted from the deposit.
Home Buyer Rescission/Protection Period
On January 3rd, 2023, the BC Provincial Government put in effect amendments to the Home Buyer Protection Period that allows persons purchasing residential properties a mandatory three business days to withdraw from a contract regarding most real estate purchasing contracts, including detached houses, town houses, and condo apartments. It gives home buyers a “cooling off” period for whatever reason they need before they are bound to the contract. These reasons may include an opportunity to conduct their due diligence, such as consulting with their real estate lawyer, or just simply to ‘sleep on it’ and to evaluate if the purchase is ideal for them after the initial rush of excitement. It also allows you, the buyer, to make arrangements to have the property inspected and source financing although traditional subject-to clauses can also be used to achieve this.
If, after three business days, you decide to rescind the contract of purchase and sale, you will have to pay the seller a recession fee of 0.25% of the purchase price of the property. If you already paid the deposit, the 0.25% recession fee would be paid to the seller from the deposit, and the remainder of the deposit must be paid back to you in a timely manner. The new amendment was designed to offer some protection to home buyers from being coerced into making a decision too quickly especially in hot market, while the rescission fee also mitigates against frivolous offers for home sellers.
The home buyer protection period supplements but does not replace traditional protections such as subject-clauses. While the 3-day cooling period can grant some peace of mind when making one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, it is not the only legal tool available for home buyers to consider in purchasing a home. In some cases, other legal options are available which may protect your legal rights just as well without the costly rescission fee that accompanies this cooling clause. We recommend that you consult with your real estate lawyer or legal professional to ensure you clearly understand your rights under the revised home buyer protection period.
Your Real Estate Lawyer in British Columbia
Real estate transactions are complex and involve a significant amount of paperwork and legalities. The experienced real estate lawyers at Bernard Lau & Co. can help you navigate the process of buying a home while protecting your interests and ensuring you understand your legal rights.
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