Public and licensee access to the Commission office is by appointment only.

Updates to satisfying buyer's conditions changes, effective January 3rd, 2022. Click here for more information.

 

 

Consumer Advisories

Changes to Buyer's Conditions and Updated Forms: January 3rd, 2022

Changes to Buyer's Conditions and Updated Forms: January 3rd, 2022

Everything You Need to Know for January 3rd: As previously announced by the Commission, effective January 3rd, 2022, significant changes are being made to the process of satisfying buyer's conditions in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Per the changed clauses in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, the new process will require a buyer to provide the seller or seller's agent with written confirmation (Form 408) that they have satisfied their buyer's conditions before the condition deadline. This means the buyer’s agent must confirm that their buyer is satisfied with the applicable buyer's conditions and if satisfied, complete Form 408(s), have their buyer sign it, and relay it to the seller or seller’s agent before the condition deadline(s). If Form 408(s) is not relayed to the seller or seller’s agent by the condition deadline(s), the agreement is deemed terminated. To view the video about the change's to buyer's conditions, click HERE. To view all the information on the change's to buyer's conditions, including an updated Q&A, click HERE. To view all the forms changes, click HERE. Key things to remember:
  • January 3rd, 2022 is when the new process goes into effect and revised forms become mandatory.
  • Buyers still have their list of conditions to satisfy and their deadline.
  • There are specific conditions that are impacted by this process.
  • This new form is required to waive the buyer’s conditions from the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Failure to provide written notice of satisfaction (Form 408: Buyer Waiver of Conditions) now means the agreement shall be deemed terminated.
  • Once the buyer is satisfied with their conditions, they must complete and sign Form 408: Buyer Waiver of Conditions, and provide it to the seller or seller’s agent on or before the condition deadline.
  • The buyer has the ability to propose an amendment without the seller being able to trigger a termination over notice of dissatisfaction.
  • The buyer still has the ability to terminate the agreement prior to the specific buyer’s condition deadline, however, the seller does not.
  • Remember: No news means you lose!
  • The clauses on lawyer review, title investigation and the estoppel certificate in the condo schedule have not changed, and still use the process of notice of dissatisfaction/objection.
  • As a reminder, licensees are to ensure their client's lawyer is provided with all necessary real estate transaction documents including any and all competed and signed Form 408s.
To read the full bulletin to licensees, click HERE.

Commission Continuing COVID-19 Safety Measures Until Further Notice

Commission Continuing COVID-19 Safety Measures Until Further Notice

The Commission is continuing to require certain measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for the safety of staff, public, students, and licensees. The Commission's safety measures will be in place until further notice and we will continue to reassess. Staff have returned to the Commission office but public and licensee access to the Commission office continues to be by appointment only. Anyone who comes into the office is required to wear a mask and complete the COVID-19 screening declaration in advance. Students writing licensing exams are still required to wear a mask, provide proof of full vaccination, and complete the Commission's COVID-19 screening declaration the day before their exam. Students who are unable to wear a mask for the duration of the exam due to medical reasons must contact the Registrar for alternate arrangements.

COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources

The Commission is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 orders, directives and guidelines from the government. We will continue to communicate with the industry as information is made available.

Licence Suspensions & Discipline

Licence Suspensions & Discipline

For information about disciplinary decisions, including licence suspensions and disciplinary newsletters, visit Regulatory Decisions and Disclosures

Non-resident Property Tax Removed, Deed Transfer Tax Remains

Non-resident Property Tax Removed, Deed Transfer Tax Remains

The Nova Scotia government issued a press release with an update on the non-resident property tax. Government announced they will not be moving forward with the non-resident property tax. The non-resident property tax will be removed completely for all non-residents who own residential property in Nova Scotia. The non-resident deed transfer tax will proceed as planned. Both measures were introduced in the spring budget.

Real Estate Forms Available for Consumer Information

Real Estate Forms Available for Consumer Information

The Board of Directors has agreed to make the Commission’s real estate forms accessible to consumers. These secure PDF versions of the forms are available for consumer information only, not for trading in real estate, therefore the forms, with the exception of service agreements, have watermarks. By being able to review the forms, consumers will benefit by being more informed about the process of buying/selling property. Unwatermarked versions of the forms are approved by the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission for use by licensees under the Nova Scotia Real Estate Trading Act. Watermarked versions of the forms are available for consumers and licensees on the Commission’s website. Licensees can provide the link to these watermarked version to their clients, but these tools do not relieve licensees of their responsibility to review and explain these forms prior to signing.

SCAM ALERT: Job Postings

SCAM ALERT: Job Postings

The Commission is alerting the industry to be aware of a new job posting fraud. The fraudster is posing on an online job postings site as a real estate brokerage in Nova Scotia looking for a new office assistant. In this case, an individual responded to the posting, and later communicated with the fraudster via Skype and by phone, before becoming suspicious, and contacting the actual brokerage, who confirmed the job posting was illegitimate. The job posting had the following red flags:
  • The fraudster claimed to work for the brokerage but was not one of the brokerage's licensees. (If you want to see if someone is licensed, you can use the Commission's Licensee Search.)
  • The fraudster did use the correct website and physical address, but the phone number was one digit off.
  • The email used a "realtyagent" domain instead of the brokerage's usual email address.
If you are contacting a brokerage regarding a job posting that you feel is at all suspicious, do not provide them with any personal information until you reach out to them using a different method of communication to ensure it is legitimate. If you believe a fraud has occurred, notify the police.

SCAM ALERT: Kijiji

SCAM ALERT: Kijiji

September 17, 2021: It has been brought to the Commission's attention of a recent rental scam on Kijiji. The scammer pulled pictures from an MLS® listing of a vacant property and created a rental advertisement as part of a deposit theft scheme. The Commission is advising licensees of this issue so they can inform their sellers and buyers of this ongoing rental scam. The Commission advises that if you, or someone you know, is targeted by a scammer to please contact the police.

SCAM ALERT: Moving Companies

SCAM ALERT: Moving Companies

SCAM ALERT: Moving Companies

The Better Business Bureau, along with the Canadian Association of Movers wants to remind the public about the risk of moving scams and how you can protect yourself. To contact the Better Business Bureau, visit www.BBB.org.

SCAM ALERT: Trust Fund Deposit Fraud

SCAM ALERT: Trust Fund Deposit Fraud

The Commission was alerted to a deposit fraud that occurred yesterday—thankfully the funds were recovered. The bank that released the funds by EFT was able to retrieve them after the fraud was discovered and reported. The Commission is advising licensees to be vigilant and carefully scrutinize deposit instructions before sending them to buyers. This deposit fraud had the following red flags:
  • The seller's licensee sent the buyer's licensee banking instructions via email. The following day, the buyer’s licensee received a second email from what appeared to be the seller’s licensee advising that their banking instructions had changed. Two days later, the buyer’s licensee received another email which again appeared to be from the seller’s licensee. This email contained different information on how the brokerage will receive trust funds.
  • The buyer’s licensee forwarded these new instructions to their buyer client who then proceeded to make the deposit via EFT.
  • Shortly thereafter, it was discovered that the deposit had not gone to the seller’s brokerage’s trust account.
The fraudster email had the following red flags:
  • The sender’s information section of the email contained an additional field titled “Reply-to” and included a separate email address in this field that did not match the seller’s license’s email address. This additional email address was an outlook.com email in the name of the seller’s licensee.
  • The instructions referenced a different bank in a different province. The Commission By-law requires brokerage trust accounts to be maintained at branch locations in Nova Scotia.
  • The instructions referenced a different bank account number, and the account holder was in a different name.
  • The appearance (font) of the second set of banking instructions was different than used by the licensee in the previous email.
In the event licensee emails change or banking instructions change, contact the licensee by a different method to confirm the instructions are legitimate. If you believe a fraud has occurred, notify the police. If you are working with a buyer, immediately contact the buyer and have them contact their bank. If you are working with a seller and your brokerage was to be the recipient of trust funds, contact your brokerage’s bank. To read the Commission's news bulletin from February 24th, click here.

Seller's Decision About COVID-19 Safety

Seller's Decision About COVID-19 Safety

Regardless of phase and government restrictions, sellers may request that licensees, consumers, inspectors, etc. who enter their home follow COVID-19 safety measures including providing proof of full vaccination, social distancing, wearing masks or gloves, sanitizing, etc. Licensees must follow the lawful instruction of their clients.

Submitting Offers on Multiple Properties

Submitting Offers on Multiple Properties

The Commission has received reports of licensees representing buyer clients who will submit offers on multiple properties at the same time, knowing that the buyer does not intend to buy multiple properties. This strategy is being used in the current real estate market in an attempt to secure an accepted offer on a property, and if more than one of their offers are accepted, they choose one property to proceed with purchasing, and terminate the other agreements using out clauses. A licensee that engages in this practice is in violation of the Act and the By-law, specifically sections: RETA section 22(1) by-law 702(2) by-law 702(34) by-law 702(35). When submitting an offer to a seller, the buyer is representing that they will enter into an agreement in good faith if their offer is accepted. A licensee submitting multiple offers on behalf of a client (unless their client is willing to purchase multiple properties) knows that at least some of the offers being made are not being made in good faith as there is no intention to purchase all of the properties. The fact that at the time the offers are submitted it is unclear which of the multiple offers is not made in good faith does not change the licensee’s knowledge that the buyer does not intend to be bound by one or more of the offers. If a buyer wants to use this strategy, [licensees] must advise them that this is not a lawful instruction and violates the Act and the By-law. To read the Commission news bulletin from March 15, 2022, click here.

The Nova Scotia Real Estate
Commission
is the regulator of the
Nova Scotia real estate industry.

Contact Us

Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission

601-1595 Bedford Highway
Bedford, NS
B4A 3Y4

p: 1.902.468.3511 or
1.800.390.1015

f:  1.902.468.1016 or
1.800.390.1016

e: For licensing information
licensing@nsrec.ns.ca
For complaints
compliance@nsrec.ns.ca