What is a Novation Agreement in Real Estate?

What is a Novation Agreement in Real Estate?


“What is a Novation Agreement in Real Estate?”  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.

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:

Expromissio involves three parties—the person transferring their rights, the person receiving the rights, and another party involved in the contract. All three parties must agree to the new terms in order to proceed with the transfer.

2. Delegation:

Delegation happens when a new creditor takes over the rights and obligations of the original creditor. This means the original debtor is released from their debts to the first creditor, and the new party becomes legally responsible for fulfilling the obligations of the original debtor.

3. Novation with Debtors

In this type of novation agreement, a new debtor replaces the original debtor in a real estate contract. The new debtor assumes all rights and responsibilities under the existing contract, effectively releasing the original debtor from any liability.

What is a Novation Agreement in Real Estate?

Novation in real estate is when you use the principles of novation to change a contract related to a real estate transaction. It allows you to transfer the rights and responsibilities of the contract from one person to another. For example, you can transfer the costs and inspections associated with buying a property from the original person to a new person. By doing this, the old contract is no longer valid, and the new contract takes its place. Novation can impact things like lease terms, property prices, buyers, and the costs involved in closing the deal. In the context of real estate, a Novation Agreement can be particularly advantageous for residential developments like Town One, a residential plots project, as it enables a seamless transfer of rights and obligations to new buyers, ensuring a smooth and efficient transaction process.


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

Novation and assignment are two different ways to transfer rights or property to someone else. In an assignment, only the benefits are transferred to the new person or business, while the original party still has the obligations from the contract. For example, in a sublease, the original renter is still responsible for any damages or unpaid rent by the sub-tenant. Novation, on the other hand, transfers both the rights and the responsibilities to the new party.  The old party is released from any obligations, and the original contract is canceled. In property law, novation happens when a tenant transfers their lease to someone else. The new tenant takes over the responsibility for paying rent and any damages, as stated in the original lease. Both assignment and novation usually require the agreement of all parties involved.

3 Examples of Real Estate Novation

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

1. Adjusting the home price:

This can happen when a home seller agrees to change the original selling price for various reasons. For example, if there are issues found during a home inspection that the seller doesn’t want to fix, they may lower the price instead and transfer the responsibility of fixing it to the buyer. If a home’s appraised value is lower than the selling price, the buyer and seller may agree to novate the contract and lower the price.

2. Transferring a lease:

Real estate novation can occur when a lease is transferred from one person to another. For instance, if a tenant signs a one-year rental agreement but wants to leave after six months, they can transfer the lease to someone else with the landlord’s approval. The new tenant takes on the responsibility of fulfilling the lease terms, relieving the original tenant of their obligations.

3. Changing the Earnest Money deposit:

If a home buyer can’t afford the initial payment agreed upon in the original contract, they may negotiate a novation agreement with the seller. The seller might agree to lower the deposit amount to avoid future payment issues.


Novation is a significant process in real estate, and it’s crucial for both buyers and sellers to understand it when dealing with a house purchase or sale. Novation happens when a new agreement needs to be created in a real estate transaction.
In a novation, when everyone agrees, one party in a two-party agreement transfers all rights and responsibilities from a contract to a third party. This means the original contract is canceled.
Novation is different from an assignment, where one party gives up its rights in the contract but still has to fulfill its terms. The original contract stays in effect.
I hope this article helped you learn more about novation in real estate! If you have any other questions, please leave a comment below.

Also Read: How to Become a Real Estate Agent without a Degree

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