News Bulletin - December 14, 2021

Communicate With Your Clients
Transactions That Overlap January 3rd
Everything You Need To Know
COVID-19 Update: December 14th, 2021
By-law Part Four—Fees and Reporting Obligations Revised

Communicate With Your Clients

The changes to buyer's conditions requires written notice of satisfaction be provided to the seller or seller's agent using Form 408. Licensees must protect their client's interests by having conversations with their clients (buyers and sellers) about these upcoming changes.

Transactions That Overlap January 3rd

Agreements of Purchase and Sale that are accepted up to and including January 2nd, 2022 will follow the old method of satisfying buyer’s conditions, per the clauses in the agreements.

On January 3rd, 2022, the new method of satisfying buyer's conditions goes into effect and use of revised forms is mandatory. Agreements of Purchase and Sale that are prepared on or after this date must now follow the new conditions.

However, there may be situations that overlap the change date. For an example, an Agreement of Purchase and Sale prepared on January 2nd using the old forms and relayed to the seller with an open for acceptance date of January 4th.

If you are representing the seller client, you must advise them of the new forms and process that came into effect after the Agreement was prepared. The seller can then decide if they want to:

  • proceed using the old forms following the old process (reject, accept, not respond, or counter); or
  • request/counter that the Agreement of Purchase and Sale be re-submitted on the new forms.

Once your seller has made a decision, you must follow the lawful instructions of your client.

Everything You Need To Know

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

COVID-19 Update: December 14th, 2021

Due to the increase in cases, the Nova Scotia government has announced changes to restrictions to help limit the spread of COVID-19. 

The government has announced that all close contacts of confirmed cases, including those who are fully vaccinated, now need to isolate until they have a negative result from a lab-based (PCR) test. The lab test should be performed at least 72 hours after the exposure. Public health strongly recommends regular rapid testing for all Nova Scotians.

The Commission reminds licensees that if an individual has been instructed to isolate due to a confirmed case of COVID-19, while awaiting test results, or as otherwise instructed by public health, they must remain home, without visitors.

Effective December 17th, 2021

Licensees and consumers must continue to follow all public health measures, including gathering limits. The following restrictions are in place province-wide as of 9am on December 17th until at least the new year:

  • Physical distancing of at least six feet is required indoors and outdoors. 
  • Masks are required in areas of workplaces where physical distance cannot be achieved, as well as common areas, areas where people are serving the public and areas with poor ventilation and people must be seated to remove their mask for eating or drinking. All other mask requirements for indoor public places remain.
  • Indoor and outdoor informal gatherings are limited to 20 people (this applies to viewings and open houses.)
  • Individuals, businesses and organizations all have responsibility for ensuring mask requirements are followed and can all be subject to enforcement action.

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.

By-law Part Four—Fees and Reporting Obligations Revised

The Board of Directors struck a By-law Task Force to review and assess the adequacy of the By-law. The By-law Task Force is charged with preparing a report for the Board of Directors with recommended changes to ensure the By-laws are current and consistent with the Commission’s mandate. The By-law Task Force presented their report and revised By-law Part Four—Fees and Reporting Obligations at the December 2021 Board meeting. The Board approved their report and the revised By-law. 
The revised Part Four begins with a preamble that explains that this section of By-law has been revised. As Part Four just contains fees and reporting obligations, the only substantive changes were the elimination of the administration fee for first time salespersons and updating the exam remark fee.
To view the updated By-law, click HERE.

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