What is a Novation Agreement in Real Estate?

Novation Agreement in Real Estate

What is a Novation Agreement in Real Estate?

Understanding Novation Agreements in Real Estate


In the dynamic world of real estate transactions, novation agreements play a crucial role in facilitating seamless transfers of contractual obligations between parties involved.

Novation is a legal concept that enables the substitution of one party in a contract with the mutual consent of all parties involved.

In the realm of real estate, novation agreements serve as valuable tools for adapting to changing circumstances while maintaining the integrity of contractual commitments.

What is a Novation Agreement in Real Estate?

It is a concern of a lot of people.

Novation is when you replace an existing contract with a new one with the same or similar value.It allows you to transfer all the rights and responsibilities from one party in the original contract to a new party not part of the original agreement.Novation cancels the old contract and replaces it with a new one.

Novation can happen in various fields like finance, real estate, or when buying or selling a business.

In real estate, you may need novation if the terms of your agreement change, the price of the house changes, or if another person is added to the contract.

Novation Agreement in Real Estate

Types of Novation

There are three main types of novation.

Standard novation is when two parties agree to add new terms to an existing contract, creating a new one altogether.

  1. Expromission

    • What it is: A process involving three parties in a contract . The person transferring rights, the person receiving the rights, and another involved party.
    • How it works: All three parties must agree to new terms for the rights transfer to proceed.
  2. Delegation

    • What it is: When a new creditor takes over the rights and obligations of the original creditor in a contract.
    • Result: The original debtor is no longer responsible for the debts to the first creditor; the new party takes over these responsibilities.
  3. Novation with Debtors

    • What it is: A new debtor replaces the original debtor in a real estate contract.
    • Result: The new debtor assumes all rights and responsibilities under the existing contract, releasing the original debtor from any liability.

What is a Novation Agreement in Real Estate?

Novation in real estate is like passing on a promise. Imagine someone agreed to buy a house, but now they want someone else to take over. With novation, they can switch that responsibility to a new person.

It’s like saying, “You were going to buy this house, but now someone else will do it instead.” The old deal is forgotten, and a brand new one is made with the new person. This can change things like how much the house costs, who’s buying it, and the rules for closing the deal.

What Is the Difference Between Assignment and Novation in Real Estate?

In simpler terms, assignment and novation are two ways of handing over a deal to someone else. With assignment, you pass on only the good parts, like someone else paying rent for you.

However, you’re still responsible if things go wrong. On the other hand, novation is like giving the whole deal, including the responsibilities, to another person.

In property matters, novation occurs when a tenant hands over their lease to someone else, who then takes charge of everything, from paying rent to fixing any issues, just like the original agreement.

The key difference is that with novation, the original person is completely off the hook, and it’s like starting fresh with the new person. Both assignment and novation usually require everyone involved to agree, the original person, the new person, and anyone else in the deal.

There are a few situations in real estate where novation might be necessary:

  1. Adjusting the Home Price:

    • Why: Imagine selling a house, but issues come up in a home inspection that you don’t want to fix. Instead of fixing them, you might lower the price and transfer the responsibility to the buyer. If the home’s appraised value is less than the selling price, both parties might agree to novate and reduce the price.
  2. Transferring a Lease:

    • Why: Let’s say you signed a one-year lease but want to leave after six months. With novation, you can transfer the lease to someone else (with the landlord’s approval). The new person takes on all the lease responsibilities, and you’re off the hook.
  3. Changing the Earnest Money Deposit:

    • Why: If you can’t afford the initial payment you agreed to in the original contract, you might talk to the seller about a novation agreement. They could agree to lower the deposit to avoid payment issues later on. It’s like getting a new deal that works better for both sides.


Novation is a big deal in real estate. Whether you’re buying or selling a house, it’s important to know about it. Novation happens when there’s a need for a new agreement in a real estate deal.

Here’s the scoop in novation, if everyone agrees, one person in a two-person deal hands over all the rights and responsibilities to a third person. This means the first contract gets thrown out.

Now, novation is not like assignment. In assignment, one person gives up their rights but still has to do what they promised in the deal. The original contract sticks around.

So, novation is like starting fresh with a brand new agreement, and it’s something you want to understand when dealing with real estate.


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I hope this info helps you get a handle on novation in real estate! If you’ve got more questions, drop a comment below.

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