Consumer Protection

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA), with support from the province’s eight real estate boards and 24,000 REALTORS®, has presented a white paper to the BC government with sweeping recommendations on creating more housing options for British Columbians, improving affordability and better protecting consumers in real estate transactions. We call our white paper A Better Way Home: Strengthening Consumer Protections in Real Estate.

Our recommendations are based on extensive feedback from consumers and Realtors, including focus groups and surveys. It combines on-the-ground insights from buyers, sellers and Realtors with detailed economic analysis and a study of the impacts of attempted housing market interventions worldwide.

Read A Better Way Home: Strengthening Consumer Protections in Real Estate, our white paper and recommendations, here.

Enhance Consumer Protection in Real Estate Transactions

  • Introduce a mandatory “pre-offer period” of a minimum of five business days from the time of listing instead of a “cooling off period.” During this pre-offer period, offers cannot be presented, allowing prospective buyers time to view the property, review critical documents, arrange for a home inspection, understand any insurance issues or vulnerabilities to climate change risks like wildfires and flooding, and ensure their financing is in place.
  • Ensure prospective buyers have immediate access to relevant information by making property disclosure statements mandatory and available upon listing. For stratas, this includes bylaws, depreciation reports, council correspondence and more.
  • Apply these consumer protections to all residential real estate sold in BC, not only MLS® properties.

Read our complete recommendations to strengthen consumer protection in real estate.

Address Housing Supply Issues

  • Implement supply-side measures and calls to action made by the Development Approvals Process Review and The Expert Panel on Housing Supply and Affordability to shorten development times and encourage gentle densification.
  • Establish a permanent National Housing Roundtable in coordination with the federal government to bring together all housing market stakeholders to help address its challenges with an inclusive, holistic and innovative approach.
  • Make infrastructure investments to local governments conditional on Official Community Plans, Housing Needs Reports, zoning bylaws and other local policies to allow for increased density and a mix of housing types.

Read our complete recommendations to strengthen consumer protection in real estate.

Evolve the Real Estate Sector & Create a World-Leading Regulatory Structure

  • Raise entry qualification standards for new licensees and provide more targeted re-licensing education for managing brokers.
  • Implement a Professional Standing Committee within the BCFSA, modelled after the BC Teachers’ Council, to ensure the BCFSA benefits from the on-the-ground professional perspective of experienced Realtors when making practice changes.
  • Commit to fulsome consultation with real estate professionals and the public prior to future announcements of potential public policy.
  • Require the BC Financial Services Authority to conduct periodic independent assessments of its effectiveness in exercising its mandate and making the results of these assessments publicly available.

Read our complete recommendations to strengthen consumer protection in real estate.

Consumer Resources

We want you to be equipped with the knowledge and resources you need to be able to make informed decisions in the real estate market. Here are some of our latest resources for consumers:

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