Most people who buy a condo take ownership through the Land Registry System.
Just before the day of closing, you transfer money to your lawyer and if you need
additional funds via a mortgage, your lawyer will register your ownership of the
property and the interest of the mortgage lender.
An Assignment means that you are buying a ‘right’ to own a condo that is not in the
Land Registry System. Usually the condo has not been built or it is not ready for
occupancy and the building has not been registered. This ‘right’ is just a paper
transaction and not the transfer of the actual property. The closing of the
Assignment occurs BEFORE the condo is registered. The individual who buys the
‘right’ will eventually close and register their ownership of the condo at some later
The number of Assignment transactions are growing. For sellers who bought a
new condo from plans several years earlier and whose plans have changed, this is
an opportunity to sell before they have to get a mortgage and incur additional
closing costs such as that dreaded, double Land Transfer Tax. For buyers who want
a brand new condo without having to wait years for construction to finish, or who
can not find what they want in the resale market, it represents a lot more choice.
Most Assignments are sold on an ‘Exclusive’ basis. They are also more complicated
than a regular sale because a mortgage can not be obtained on the closing of the
Assignment, and will need to be postponed until the day of registration. Other
issues such as Occupancy, reimbursement of the seller’s deposits and more must
be taken into account.
If you have any questions about assignments, please do not hesitate to contact me.