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Usually when you sign a contract, you’ve sealed the deal. Especially when you buy a home, you can’t simply change your mind. Those who do, end up with liable to lose their deposit or even be faced with thousands of dollars of legal bills.

However, things are different when you buy pre-construction condos. Buyers who buy a pre-construction condo can, in fact, walk away up to 10 days later. This is called the cooling off period.

Section 73 of the Condominium Act

This section is called the “cooling off period,” which basically ensures that anyone buying pre-construction from a developer directly will be given a 10 day period to sever the agreement completely. You don’t need any reason – you can change your mind with no penalty.

The cooling off period was put in place to protect buyers from making signing a deal they regretted later. Maybe a sales person was too pushy, or they got some new information later that turned them off of the sale – who knows. Section 73 protects you and is one of the great benefits of buying pre-construction. (link to blog)

The details of the “cooling off” period

The cooling off period is a great feature of buying pre-construction, but before you go into a sale knowing you can walk away up to 10 days later, you want to make sure you understand everything there is about the fine print.

Your 10 day period begins the moment you sign the Agreement to Purchase and Sale. If you decide to withdraw, you do need to do this in writing and you definitely want to have the advice of a lawyer to do so to ensure everything is done properly.

The 10 days counts as full days, not business days, so yes weekends count. If you back out properly, the developer will give you a refund on any deposits and interest paid. Yes, interest too!

It’s also important to note that the cooling off period only applies to pre-construction condos. It does not apply if you purchased anything resale.

How to make the most of it

Having 10 days to work out the details, consult a lawyer, check out the neighbourhood, and scope out reviews on the developer is a great thing to be able to do. Buying a new property can be daunting, and you want to have combed through all the agreements and decisions with an expert realtor, lawyer, and have the time to chat with friends and family.

If you have any hesitation, try not to wait until the very last day as you might end up stressfully submitting paperwork before the cooling off period is up. At the end of the day, you want to be able to enjoy your new property in full, so take advantage of the cooling off period if you feel like it’s the right decision.