A question came up during our Real Estate class asking, “What is the difference between a nominee and an assignee?” A buyer usually has the right to nominate a nominee to purchase the property. This has no impact on the seller. Common nominees include estate planning revocable trusts, real estate investment trusts, LLCs or corporations. A nominee is ordinarily a related entity to the buyer named in the purchase and sale agreement.

An assignment occurs when the buyer assigns their interest in the purchase and sale agreement to someone else. An assignee is an entirely different person or entity. As a seller, with an assignee, be aware that it may be someone else at the closing. What does that mean? The assignee will “step into the shoes” of the buyer, attend the closing and be bound by the terms of the purchase and sale agreement. The purchase and sale agreement may not permit an assignment without permission of the seller.

Using a nominee can be helpful with estate planning. Buyers who may want to name a nominee should include “or my nominee.” Without this language, a buyer may be forced (depending on the circumstance) to close in your name.

If you have any questions about selling your home or buying a home, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.