Can a purchase contract for a property be assigned to a third-party?

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Can a purchase contract for a property be assigned to a third-party?

A purchase offer is made on a property and it is agreed on and signed by both the buyer and the seller. In such a case, can the buyer than list the same property for sale and assign it to a third party, if the buyer signs his name on the original purchase offer with his name “and/or assigns”? Is this a legal? act?

Asked on January 4, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The buyer can't assign the first sale to a new buyer--the original buyer will remain obligated  on a real estate purchase contract. Most likely, with a clear term in the contract itself, put there in advance of signing and known to both parties, this could be done; but simply signing, after the sale was already negotiated, "and/or assigns," would not be enough. Certainly the buyer could list it for sale and have someone lined up to buy it from him or her the very second after the buyer closes from the seller--but that's a different matter. Once the buyer goes through the sale, he or she can then dispose of the property how he or she wants, and that includes by previously negotiated sale or other transaction.


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