Now you can buy real estate on Sundays in New Brunswick.

The Days of Rest Act and Exemptions Regulation had previously allowed the viewing but not the selling of real estate on Sundays. The original legislation was passed more than 40 years ago, before Sunday shopping and seven-day-a-week commerce was introduced in the province.

The issue was first raised by the New Brunswick Real Estate Association two years ago, when a review of the regulations discovered ambiguities between the legislation and the regulations, says the association. The regulations made New Brunswick the only province in Canada where real estate transactions could not be completed legally on a Sunday.

In proposing the revision, NBREA research found that most open houses were scheduled on weekends, which left Realtors in the province in limbo if a client wanted to sign a contract after visiting a home on a Sunday, the association says. There was a risk that an Agreement of Purchase and Sale for the transaction of real estate could be found by a court to be unenforceable, simply because the contract was signed on a Sunday.

In a 2019 survey of Realtors in the province, 62 per cent of respondents said they had frequently or occasionally signed and dated a listing agreement for a Sunday. Just over 68 per cent said that, in the past two years, they had frequently or occasionally presented offers to sellers that had been submitted by other Realtors and dated on a Sunday, says NBREA.

The legislation to update the regulations was introduced in the provincial legislature by Jeff Carr, the minister of environment and local government in November. It went through the legislative committee process in March and was passed after third reading earlier this month. The changes were given Royal Assent on June 18th.

NBREA says its government relations team, which worked hard on this file for last two years, deserves thanks.


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