Pine has acquired Properly!🌲🚀
The Greenhouse
by Pine

Chill out: Understanding the cooling-off period in British Columbia

It's basically a safety net that ensures you won't regret your decision later on.

You've got three days.

So, you've finally found your dream home in beautiful British Columbia. You're ready to sign on the dotted line and make it yours. But wait, what's this three business days’ worth "cooling-off period" everyone's talking about? 

If you're a first-time homebuyer, you may be feeling a bit confused or overwhelmed. While you’ve probably heard that you have a couple first-time home buyer incentives when it comes to buying property in B.C., you’re also entitled to this cooling-off period when it comes to buying your home. 

What is the cooling-off period?

First things first, the cooling off period is a required and legally mandated time frame that provides home buyers in British Columbia with some breathing room to really think over their purchase. 

Essentially, it's a time for you to reflect on the purchase (think of it like a time frame for you to make sure it’s not an impulse buy). 

It’s much easier to return a clothing purchase from a mall than it is to sell back a home.

Officially put into place as of January 2023, by the provincial government, the cooling off period starts from the time you sign a Contract of Purchase and Sale. During this time, you have the option to cancel your purchase–for any reason. However, you will have to pay the sellers a fee for rescinding your offer, which is 0.25% of the purchase price of the home. For example, if the home cost $1 million, you’d owe the buyers $2,500. 

Who has access to this cooling-off period?

It’s important to note that this time period doesn't just benefit first-time homebuyers. Even experienced homebuyers can benefit from this period, as it provides them with an opportunity to review their purchase and make sure that they're not missing any important details. For example, if you're purchasing a home in a new neighbourhood, the cooling off period provides you with the time you need to explore the area and make sure that you're happy with your decision.

However, there are some exceptions to the cooling-off period. While this three-day rule applies to most purchases, the following are exempt from this time period: 

  • Property on leased land
  • Property sold at an auction
  • Property sold under a court order or the supervision of a court.
  • A pre-construction property, or an assignment sale

So, it's important to check with your real estate agent or lawyer to make sure that this applies to your individual situation.

So, why is the cooling off period in place?

It’s undeniable that buying a home is a big deal. It's a huge financial commitment and a long-term investment, so it's important to make sure that you're fully confident in your decision. The cooling off period provides you with the peace of mind that you can change your mind without any penalty–it's basically a safety net that ensures you won't regret your decision later on.

Plus, this time period also runs in parallel with any contingencies you have in place with your offer: like financing or a home inspection. 

Now, what happens during the cooling off period? 

It's important to know that this period isn't just a time for you to sit back and relax. It's important you actually take the time for you to review all the details of your purchase and make sure that everything is in order. During this time, you should carefully look over the Contract of Purchase and Sale, make sure that you understand the terms and conditions, and raise any questions or concerns with your real estate agent or lawyer. 

You should also take the time to inspect the property and make sure it's in good condition, and also secure financing like your down payment and mortgage. Overall, this is your chance to make sure that you're fully satisfied with your home before fully calling it yours–while also getting things in order on your end.

In conclusion, the cooling off period in B.C. is a great  tool for homebuyers. It provides you with a chance to reconsider your purchase, review the details of your contract, and an opportunity to chill out and make sure that you're making the right decision for you. 

And if you’d like to get a head start on your home buying journey by getting a pre-approval of your mortgage in place, you can fill out the quick-and-easy application with Pine and we’ll connect you with one of our mortgage agents to help you with your financing. 

Question? We've got answers.

What’s involved in getting a mortgage from Pine?

Does Pine charge any lender fees?‍

Can I take advantage of the Home Buyer’s Plan with Pine?

Will I have a point of contact at Pine?

Is my data secure with Pine?

How much of a down payment does Pine require?

Can Pine help me if I have poor credit?