What Is Novation in Real Estate? What It Is, How It Works, and Why It Matters

Novation is a legal term that means replacing an existing contract or obligation with a new one of equal or similar value.

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What Is Novation in Real Estate? [ MyHOUSE]
Novation can be used in various fields, such as finance, business, and real estate.

In this article, we will focus on how novation works in real estate transactions and why it is important.

Types of Novation in Real Estate

There are three main types of novation in real estate:

1.Standard novation

This is when two parties agree to change the terms of their original contract and create a new one.

For example, a buyer and a seller may renegotiate the price of a property and sign a new purchase agreement.


This is when three parties are involved in the transfer of rights and obligations.

The original party (the transferor) transfers their rights and obligations to a new party (the transferee) with the consent of the other party (the counterparty).

For example, a tenant may transfer their lease to a new tenant with the approval of the landlord.


This is when a new creditor takes over the contractual responsibilities and benefits of an old creditor.

The original debtor is discharged from their debts to the first creditor and becomes legally bound to the new creditor.

For example, a lender may assign their mortgage to another lender who will collect the payments from the borrower.

Benefits of Novation in Real Estate

Novation can offer several benefits to the parties involved in a real estate transaction, such as:


Novation allows the parties to modify or clarify the terms of their contract to suit their needs and preferences.

For example, if the closing date is delayed, the parties can novate their contract to reflect the new date.


Novation ensures that the parties are legally responsible for the new contractual obligations and that the old contract is nullified and cannot be used against them.

For example, if the seller agrees to lower the price of the property, the buyer cannot sue them for the difference based on the old contract.


Novation can help the parties avoid the hassle and cost of terminating the old contract and creating a new one from scratch.

Novation can also help the parties avoid disputes and litigation that may arise from the old contract.

Examples of Novation in Real Estate

Here are some examples of how novation can be used in real estate transactions:

1.A buyer agrees to purchase a property from a seller for $500,000.

However, before the closing, the buyer finds out that the property has some structural issues and asks the seller to fix them or lower the price.

The seller agrees to reduce the price to $480,000 and the parties novate their contract to reflect the new price.

2.A tenant signs a one-year lease for an apartment with a landlord.

However, after six months, the tenant gets a job offer in another city and wants to move out.

The tenant finds a new tenant who is willing to take over the lease and the landlord agrees.

The parties novate the lease to transfer the rights and obligations from the original tenant to the new tenant.

3.A borrower obtains a mortgage from a bank to buy a house.

However, after a few years, the borrower wants to refinance the mortgage to get a lower interest rate.

The borrower finds another bank that offers a better deal and the original bank agrees to assign the mortgage to the new bank.

The parties novate the mortgage to delegate the responsibilities and benefits from the original bank to the new bank.


Novation is a useful legal tool that can help the parties involved in a real estate transaction to change or transfer their contractual rights and obligations.

It can provide flexibility, protection, and efficiency to the parties and help them avoid potential problems and disputes.

Novation can be applied to various types of contracts, such as purchase agreements, leases, and mortgages.

However, novation requires the consent of all the parties and the creation of a new contract that replaces the old one.

Therefore, the parties should carefully review the terms and conditions of the new contract and consult a legal professional before agreeing to novate their contract.

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