The provincial government announced new rules regulating contract assignments, effective May 16, 2016.

Real estate contracts are now required to include two terms: one that requires the seller's consent to assign the contract, and one that requires that any profit from an assignment goes to the original seller. Clients can instruct REALTORS® to omit or change these clauses.

The buyer's Realtor is also required to inform the seller if one, or both, of these clauses are removed from their offer. The seller's Realtor must also disclose if the proposed contract is assignable or not - including any conditions that would be applicable to the assignment.

Be aware, if you're a seller and a buyer requests you waive the assignment clause, they may be looking to re-sell your property before the contract completes. If you have questions, talk to your Realtor or legal advisor before you sign anything.

To protect yourself as a buyer in an assignment deal, make sure that: 

  1. you work with a REALTOR®. Your REALTOR® will help protect your interests and bring knowledge of the provincial legislation that governs real estate transactions.
  2. the original Contract of Purchase and Sale has the mandated assignment clause requiring the seller's approval before it can be assigned;
  3. the original seller is aware of, and approves of, the assignment;
  4. if there is profit from the assignment, the profit reverts back to the seller unless otherwise specified in the original Contract of Purchase and Sale;
  5. the property is or was listed for sale;
  6. the identity of every individual involved in the transaction has been verified;
  7. all money already paid and owed is accounted for and dealt with in the assignment contract;
  8. you understand the additional risk associated with paying the assignment fee before the original contract is finalized; and
  9. you consult an accountant to understand the tax implications.