NS Real Estate Changes You Need to Know

If you are looking to purchase or sell a home in Nova Scotia in 2022, there is a major change that goes into effect Jan 1st that you need to know about.


I am Dawn Magee, licensed REALTOR® here in Nova Scotia since 2004. Here is a disclaimer- I don’t “sell” real estate and I am not a “salesperson”. Yes, I am licensed, and I am involved in helping Buyers and Sellers successfully complete property transaction but consider myself more of a I am an information provider, researcher, analyst, marketing specialist and problem solver.


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Now onto the major change for Nova Scotia home Buyers and Sellers that goes into effect Jan 3rd, 2022. Be sure to watch to the end because I will explain a 2nd change that is coming that is directly a result of being in this crazy Sellers’ market.


This first change has to do with the Buyer Conditions deadline. When a buyer makes an offer, there is a set amount of time that the buyer must make sure they are satisfied with the conditions they have placed on their offer. Conditions such financing, house inspection, insurability, septic, and water tests.


The old phrasing in the purchase and sale contracts would read that “These conditions shall be deemed to be satisfactory to the Buyer unless the Seller outlined in clause 4.1. If notice to the contrary is received, either party shall be at liberty to terminate this Agreement and the deposit shall be returned to the Buyer.”

So, if the Buyer raised no objection or gave no notice of dissatisfaction then the purchase and sale contract was considered firm and binding. The term “no news is good news” was the rule of thumb, but often left parties unsure as to where the offer stood come the deadline date.


The changes that are coming into effect be the opposite. There is a new form (form 408) that must now be signed by the buyer when they have satisfied all thier conditions, on or before the deadline. If this form is not signed and received by the seller or the seller’s agent by the deadline then the contract is automatically terminated. The new term is “no news, you lose!”


So the number 1 thing that both the buyer and the sellers need to be aware of in 2022 is that form 408 needs to be signed by the buyer before the deal is firm.


Now the 2nd major change that will come into effect in the Nova Scotia Real estate market is directly related to the large number Buyers trying to compete in this Sellers’ market.


With the old phrasing, if the Buyer wanted to present an amendment to the seller to address deficiencies with inspections, the buyer would run the risk of the seller being able to terminate the agreement, as the phrasing reads, “If notice to the contrary is received then either party would be at liberty to terminate the agreement.”


On the old amendment forms the seller had the option to accept the buyers request, reject, provide a counter amendment, or terminate.


With the changes coming into effect, the Seller is no longer able to terminate when an amendment is presented by the Buyer. The Buyer will be able to present an amendment to a purchase and sale contract without the fear or pressure of the seller being able to terminate the purchase.


This creates a more level playing field for buyers. It prevents the Buyers from having to go to extreme lengths and overlook major issues to secure a property.


Any questions or comments please leave them below. Or head on over to my website, movenovascotia.com for lots more Nova Scotia real estate resources.