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Define Assignment in Real Estate


"Assignment" in real estate refers to the process of transferring your rights or interests in a property or contract to someone else. It's similar to passing a baton in a relay race. When you assign your rights or interests to another person, they take on the responsibility for the property or contract, and you are no longer involved. This transfer involves giving one's entire interest in something, be it land or personal items. The person who transfers the interest (the assignor) hands it over to the person who receives the interest (the assignee).


Let's say you signed a contract to buy a house, but you suddenly got a new job in another city. Instead of buying the house yourself, you could assign your rights in the contract to a friend who's interested in buying the house. Your friend would then take your place in the contract and complete the purchase.

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Here are a few additional things you might want to know about assignments in real estate:

Consent: Depending on the terms of the original contract, the consent of the other original party may be required to carry out an assignment. For instance, in a lease, the tenant can't just assign their lease to someone else without the landlord's approval.

Legal Requirements: The assignment must be in writing to be enforceable, especially when it involves real estate transactions. This is to prevent misunderstandings and disputes over the terms of the assignment.

Rights vs. Liabilities: It's important to note that an assignment typically transfers rights, not obligations or liabilities, unless expressly stated. This means the assignor may still be liable if the assignee fails to fulfill the contract's terms.

Wholesale Real Estate: Assignments are commonly used in wholesale real estate transactions. Wholesale real estate is an investment strategy in which the investor, often referred to as a wholesaler, enters into a contract to purchase a home from a seller. Rather than planning to fix up the property or rent it out as in a traditional real estate transaction, the wholesaler's goal is to sell the contract itself. This is where the term "assignment" comes into play. In a wholesale real estate transaction, the wholesaler, acting as the assignor, signs a purchase contract with the seller and then looks for an interested buyer. Once this buyer is found, the wholesaler assigns that contract to the buyer, effectively stepping out of the transaction. This process, known as assignment, is a common practice in wholesale real estate, allowing the wholesaler to profit from the contract rather than the property itself.

Note: It's also important to note that real estate wholesaling has legal and ethical considerations, and the laws regulating it can vary by location. Always consult with a legal professional before engaging in real estate wholesaling.

Assignment vs. Novation: While an assignment transfers rights from one party to another, a novation transfers both rights and obligations. With a novation, the original party is entirely released from the contract, and a new contract is created between the remaining original party and the new party.

Being aware of these aspects of assignment can help you better navigate your way through the real estate world.
Illustration of Dumb Ox mascot.

"Wit & Whimsy with the Dumb Ox: Unlocking Knowledge with Rhyme:"

In the world of real estate, a term you'll come to know,
Is assignment, my dear friend, it's like a baton throw.

When rights or interests transfer, from one to another hand,
The new person takes the lead, and follows the command.

So when you study real estate, and assignment comes your way,
Remember it's a baton pass, in the property relay!

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