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Okanagan real estate agent reacts to new homebuyer protection

Click to play video: 'Okanagan realtor reacts to new homebuyer protection' Okanagan realtor reacts to new homebuyer protection
The BC government has announced first of its kind regulations that will better protect homebuyers. Our Taya Fast spoke with an Okanagan real estate agent who says this is a good first step towards a balanced market. – Jul 21, 2022

Purchasing a home is one of the most significant transactions someone can make and one that shouldn’t be rushed.

On Thursday, the B.C. government announced a mandatory three-day protection period to give homebuyers an opportunity to take important steps prior to a big purchase.

“Homebuyers in B.C. will soon become the first in the country to have legal protections against taking on too much risk in the housing market,” said B.C.’s minister of finance Selina Robinson

“The three clear business day period will allow buyers an invaluable bit of time to spend on securing financing or arranging a home inspection.”

Read more: B.C. government announces new homebuyer protection period

Sergej Sinicin, who is a South Okanagan real estate agent, says because of an incredibly hot market many homebuyers were rushing or skipping home inspections.

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“We were in a position where we had to bring a home inspector with us during the showing so they could do a 30-minute inspection, purchase or offer and that was scary because proper home inspection is anywhere between three to four and a half hours,” said Sinicin.

“There were families in the position where they didn’t have a place to live. And they have already been waiting since 2018.”

The new homebuyer protection period does include a quarter-per cent cancellation fee but Sinicin says the fee might not be enough.

Click to play video: 'South Okanagan real estate inventory down 57% from last year.' South Okanagan real estate inventory down 57% from last year.
South Okanagan real estate inventory down 57% from last year – Feb 7, 2022

“If it’s a million-dollar property with $2,500 back to the seller as a cancellation fee,” said Sinicin, “given the market that we’re in where the average home in Penticton or Summerland is selling almost close to $1,000,000, $2,500 might not be enough.”

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Sinicin believes this is a good first step towards a balanced market.

“BCFSA [is] doing the right thing. Will it correct the issues that we have? Not sure if it’s going to be one solution — we need other things: more inventory, we need new homes on the market but this is a good start,” said Sinicin.

The three-day period begins the first business day following the acceptance of an initial offer. And the new regulations will come into effect on January first of next year.

Click to play video: 'Home sales drops significantly in the Central Okanagan, prices not so much' Home sales drops significantly in the Central Okanagan, prices not so much
Home sales drops significantly in the Central Okanagan, prices not so much – Jul 7, 2022

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