You cool down right now, or go stand in the corner

You cool down right now, or go stand in the corner

You cool down right now, or go stand in the corner

Well, quite a few people have been asking me about the BC Governments plan to introduce a cooling off period. Many people are trying to figure out what this means and how it will affect the real estate market. Well, I hate to tell you, but it won’t do a darn thing but screw this up even more. It is kind of like telling you to go stand in the corner till you calm down, even if you haven’t done anything.

First off, governments seem to do anything they can but address the real problems or do the things that will actually deal with todays problems. It always seems to be a bit of smoke and mirrors. God help them if they ever look in their own back yard and start dealing with their own short comings and mistakes.

This “cooling off” period, if implemented will cause more problems and solve very little. One of the problems that I see today is that few politicians have real world experience and if they do many were not all that successful but seem to have schemes to fix everything without thinking things through.

So, lets address the elephant in the room. Are there problems within the real estate industry? Yes, the same as any other industry. Are the bad actors being dealt with in a firm and decisive way? No, again just like every other industry. Is government contributing to the real estate problems? Yes

I was reading an article by Todd Shyiak which highlighted how, “in 2016, the B.C. provincial government of the day, responding to numerous ethical violations in the real estate industry, created the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate. In 2017, the Superintendent banned dual agency in the province. Were there problems in that area? Yes, although I can tell you that I have been licensed for 42 years and have never once had a problem as a dual agent. Good agents seem not to be the problem.

Many jurisdictions across Canada and the U.S. watched with great interest to see if this would solve many of the ills in our industry and pundits expected other provinces to follow suit. The fact is no one has followed the B.C. regulator’s lead. One of the several reasons why: B.C. has seen a 40-per-cent increase in unrepresented buyers since banning dual agency. Instead of being a customer of a competent and professional agent, buyers act for themselves in the most complex transaction imaginable. Is that really in the customers’ best interest?”

Now the B.C. government, with the goal of slowing escalating real estate prices, is proposing legislation for a cooling off period (possibly seven days?)*  for all resale transactions. The thought is that if it works in the “new” condo sale market then it should work here. Wrong, the odd lost sale in a new project is not a huge deal when it can take a couple of year at best to complete, and many others are standing in line.

The problem is that for the seller who puts their property on the market because they have already bought, now will have to wait to see if the buyer actually sticks around or maybe sees something else they like better and decides to collapse the offer. Then the seller must start over trying to explain what just happened and that it wasn’t because of a fault with the property. It may be looked at as an easy out for a buyer and I see lawsuits to follow, in many shapes and forms but these won’t have an impact on the bureaucrats that implement the law, just everyone else who is buying or selling a property. If a seller knew that a buyer had made offers on a couple of properties and walked because maybe they saw something more appealing, how willing would that seller be to have the same thing happen to them? How would the buyer feel if the seller also had a cooling off period where they could pull out?

This would only add uncertainty to an uncertain market without the desired effect. I would suggest that we wouldn’t be here today if  interest rates had been slightly and  incrementally increased as the housing prices started to get out of control till it leveled things out. Maybe that answer is too easy as, after all isn’t it easier to blame it on someone else other than government inaction when the problem was first evident years ago?  I can assure you of one thing, Realtors, hate this current market we have as much as the buyers do. There is also this question in my mind as to how much the provincial government really wants to drop values as they depend big time on the taxation that it creates and should those revenues drop, they would need to replace it with, (drum roll please) more taxation.

So, let’s talk about the other elephant in the room. Are there bad actors in the real estate industry? Of course, just like every other industry. Are they being dealt with in a firm and concise way? No. My view, and I can assure you it is the same view as 95+% of the Realtors out there, is that if as a licensee you do something that is against our code of ethics or the law, then you should be severely dealt with and if it is warranted, that unscrupulous offending party should have their real estate licence stripped away for good, not to be re-licenced again in the province. Period!!!

I am proud of what I do, and I detest the bad actors in any industry and especially mine and I have been an advocate for harsher penalties for many years. Having a real estate licence is a privilege and not a right. It needs to be treated that way. When you get right down to it, there is a lot of “privilege” that needs to be dealt with today, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. It seems to be our culture these days.

If you want to start balancing the real estate market better and  start correcting the market imbalance, look at the bottle neck at your city hall and local governments because that is where the supply issue comes to a grinding halt. “Affordable housing” is really just a phrase today bantered around to make the user feel like or appear to be solving the problem instead of creating it. Less permit wait times equals more product to the market, increasing the supply chain which will do wonders to balancing the market.

Well folks, that’s just the way I see it, please let me know your thoughts.

Hope you all have a wonderful week.

Brian McCullough, RE/MAX of Nanaimo

#1-5140 Metral Drive

Nanaimo, BC V9T 2K8

Office: (250) -751 – 1223


Related posts

Will you make a difference while you are here?

Will you make a difference while you are here? Each January most of us have grand visions of how...

Continue reading

He always knew he was different, but he let his light shine regardless of what others said – Santa

Sometimes we just must accept things beyond our control, and I think this Christmas is just one of...

Continue reading

The government giveth and the government taketh away

“The government after giving me back $600 of my own money …. Go get yourself something REEEEALL...

Continue reading