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Real estate advice: Sale by assignment explained

Q: For more than a year, I have been looking for a condo (realizing I can’t afford a house) and I have come across a condo for sale ‘by assignment.’ I don’t really know what this means but the price seems reasonable and I want to explore this type of purchase. What do I need to know about this kind of sale?

A: Assignments are becoming more and more popular as potential purchasers are looking for homes based upon our low interest rates but who may not have been in the market a few years ago when these buildings were initially selling.

Bascially, a purchaser who is buying a pre-build condo is trying to transfer the purchase of the condo to someone else at a higher price than what he or she bought it for.

For medium-priced condos, purchasers assigning their agreement are looking at thousands of dollars of profit before they even take possession of the unit (in hot housing markets).

There are too many potential issues to cover in this short column, but you should be aware that problems develop around deposits, monies payable to the assignor (the original purchaser) and when these funds are due.

You need the assistance of a qualified realtor and lawyer who is familiar with assignment agreements.

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