Buying a House By Accident | A Thing of the Past in Nova Scotia

Up to this point, you could accidentally buy a house in Nova Scotia if you forgot to tell the Seller otherwise.  That’s because your Buyers conditions (like financing or home inspection) would self-waive.  Meaning, if you failed to inform the Seller you were not comfortable “firming up” by the condition date, you would be legally obligated to purchase the property.  The old system also made it very scary for a Buyer to submit a written request for items like a repair that resulted from findings from the home inspection.  While the Seller did not have to sign or accept the request, they were also at liberty to “interpret the request as notice of dissatisfaction” which would then permit them to terminate the deal.  In short, the mere asking of a question could result in the Buyer losing the house, freeing the Seller to pursue a potential back up offer.  This was not fair, especially in a market as competitive as this one. 

From January 3/22, Buyers will now have to formally waive conditions by signing a document stating they are comfortable doing so.  Moreover, they are now able to submit a written request for something like a hot water tank replacement without having to fear the Seller will terminate the transaction.  The Seller may reject the written request to replace the hot water tank, but the transaction remains active.  It is then up to the Buyer if they want to proceed with the transaction, knowing they’ll have to replace the hot water tank themselves. 

The most critical aspect of this new process is the delivery of the written condition waiver.  If you or your real estate agent fails to deliver the waiver document by the condition deadline – your transaction is null and void.  For example, if your conditions are December 15/21 at 9:00PM and you deliver your written waiver by 9:05PM, it is already too late.  Your transaction died the moment the clock struck 9:01PM.  The Seller will then be at liberty to pursue any other opportunities they might have waiting in the wings. 

The new system is going to remove a lot of grey areas and provides more protection for the buyer.  For home Sellers, it means they are going to have to be more aware of condition timelines so as not to let things drag on for too long, only for the transaction to fall apart at the last moment.  Overall, it will be for the benefit of everyone involved and thankfully, it is now impossible to accidentally purchase a property.

Written by,

Chris Perkins, Broker/Owner
HaliPad Real Estate Inc.


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