Real Estate Definition: Assignment Sale

Real Estate Definition: Assignment Sale

When a buyer enters into a purchase agreement for a pre-constructed or newly built property, they may find themselves in a situation where they no longer wish to proceed with the purchase. In such cases, the buyer can assign their rights and obligations under the agreement to a new buyer – and this is where an assignment sale comes in.

What is an Assignment Sale?

An assignment sale refers to a sales transaction in which the original buyer of a property (“assignor”) transfers their rights and obligations of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale to another buyer (“assignee”) before the original buyer takes possession of the property. The assignee then becomes responsible for completing the deal with the seller. Essentially, an assignment clause allows the buyer to sell the property before they move in. While assignment sales can occur with both homes and condos, they are more common among buyers of pre-construction condos.

Factors to Consider Before Entering an Assignment Sale

While assignment sales can be advantageous, it is crucial for both the original buyer and the new buyer to consider certain factors before entering into such transactions.

Developer’s Consent

Before proceeding with an assignment sale, you must obtain the developer’s consent. Some developers may have strict rules or restrictions, and failure to comply can lead to legal complications.

Assignment Fees

The assignor may charge an assignment fee to the new buyer for transferring their rights and obligations. This fee can vary depending on the market conditions and the specific terms of the Assignor-Assignee Agreement.

Legal Advice

Both parties should seek legal advice before entering into an assignment sale. This ensures that all parties understand their rights, obligations, and potential risks associated with the transaction.

How Does an Assignment Sale Work?

Before proceeding with an assignment sale, the original buyer must obtain the consent of the developer or builder. This step is crucial as some developers may have specific rules or restrictions regarding assignment sales. When the developer consents, the original buyer can look for a new buyer to take over the purchase agreement.

Once there’s a new buyer, both the original buyer and the new buyer (assignee) enter into an agreement known as the Assignor-Assignee Agreement. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the assignment sale, including the assignment fee, if any. Then, the developer will review the Assignor-Assignee agreement and may require additional documentation or fees.

Once the developer approves the assignment sale, the closing process begins. At this stage, the new buyer is responsible for completing the purchase, including paying any remaining balance to the developer.

Why Do Assignment Sales Happen?

One primary reason why assignment sales happen is a change of plans. People may decide to leave the area due to personal circumstances such as starting a family, getting married, or looking for job opportunities elsewhere. Additionally, some individuals may face financial challenges that prevent them from completing the purchase.

Alternatively, a common scenario involves investors who never intended to close on the property acquisition. A popular investment strategy is to purchase a property during its early release to take advantage of the emerging market and low pricing and sell it before incurring land transfer taxes, HST, or becoming tied to a mortgage.

Benefits of Assignment Sales

Assignment sales can offer several benefits to both the assignor and the assignee. Some of these benefits include:

Profit Potential

For the original buyer, an assignment sale provides an opportunity to make a profit without completing the purchase. If the market value has increased since the initial purchase agreement, the assignor can sell their rights at a higher price.

Opportunity for Early Ownership

The assignee can benefit from an assignment sale to gain early ownership of a pre-construction property. This can be particularly appealing for individuals looking to invest in real estate or those with specific requirements for a new home.


Assignment sales offer flexibility to both parties involved. The original buyer can exit the purchase agreement without incurring significant penalties, while the new buyer can secure a property without going through the entire pre-construction process.

How a Real Estate Agent Can Help You Navigate this Process

Assignment sales are a complicated process; working with an experienced real estate agent who can help you navigate and understand the ins and outs of this transaction is crucial. These professionals can not only assist you in marketing your assignment, but they can also overcome any limitations imposed by the builder. Moreover, agents have a vast network and can easily connect you with an interested buyer. Although assignment sales may seem daunting, having a skilled lawyer and an experienced realtor is a smart financial move!

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Having built lasting relationships with satisfied clients, Steven understands that there is more to a transaction than negotiating the deal in your favour.

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