Since launching BuyLandNS.ca, I’ve had several people reach out to me for help in the process of either buying or selling plots of land in Nova Scotia. Most of my advice is captured in the buyer’s guide to buying land in Nova Scotia, but I do get questions on things it doesn’t cover. Many times people are interested in the process of buying land through a private sale agreement between the two parties. There’s good reason for private sales:
- The seller can usually save at minimum $3,000 in realtor commissions, savings they can choose to share with the buyer through a lower purchase price
- The buyer and seller might choose to arrange seller financing, where the buyer pays for the land in installments over time according to the terms of the purchase and sale agreement
- Vacant land sales are often less complicated than commercial or residential buildings, requiring less of the professional support and advice that a realtor provides.
I will say this: realtors can offer amazing value on land transactions. I’ve sold both privately and through realtors. Realtors can bring a lot of wisdom to the process, deal with a lot of inquiries from prospective buyers, and potentially get you top dollar for your land through the great reach of MLS listings which appear on sites like Viewpoint.ca and Remaxnova.
If you feel a private sale is right for you, there’s some things you should be prepared to do:
- Have a good Nova Scotia real estate lawyer available to review your documents and to complete the closing process. There are steps like deed transfer and title registration that you need a lawyer to help with. In my experience this costs about $600-800 for a typical parcel of land. Also, if your property needs to be migrated, you’ll need their help for that prior to sale – add another $1,200-$1,400 to your selling cost.
- Document your sales terms carefully in a Land Purchase & Sale Agreement. This is the most important document and you want to be sure it’s defensible if the deal goes awry. I worked with a good lawyer to create a purchase and sale agreement. On the next property I sold, I added additional terms based on things I’d learned. I’ve included a generic version of that Land Purchase & Sale Agreement below. It also includes a very simple payment schedule for seller financing.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I am sharing this document as a sample only. I am not a lawyer – in fact, 10 out of 10 lawyers agree I am not a lawyer 🙂 This post and the sample purchase and sale agreement do not constitute legal advice, which only your Nova Scotia real estate lawyer can give.
SAMPLE PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT – VACANT LAND IN NOVA SCOTIA
THIS PURCHASE & SALE AGREEMENT dated the XXth day of (Month), (Year)
(SELLER’S NAME), of (CITY), in the Province of (PROVINCE)
(hereinafter called the “Vendor”)
– and –
(BUYER’S NAME), of (CITY), in the Province of (PROVINCE)
(hereinafter called the “Purchaser”)
WHEREAS the Vendor is the Owner in fee simple of certain real property known as ADDRESS – LOCATION, also known as PID (insert #) (hereinafter called the “Property”);
AND WHEREAS the Purchaser wishes to purchase the Property from the Vendor on the terms and conditions contained herein (hereinafter called the “Agreement”).
NOW THIS AGREEMENT WITNESSETH as follows:
- The Vendor agrees to sell to the Purchaser and the Purchaser agrees to purchase from the Vendor the Property for the sum of XXXX Thousand Dollars ($XXXX.00) of lawful money of Canada (hereinafter called the “Purchase Price”):
(a) The Purchaser agrees to pay the Purchase Price for the Property in three separate installments directly to the Vendor as follows:
- First payment: $XXXX.00 upon signing of this agreement by the Purchaser;
- Second payment: $XXXX within thirty (30) days of the signing of this agreement by the Purchaser;
iii. Third and final payment: $XXXX.00 within ninety (90) days of the signing of this agreement by the Purchaser;
(b) In the event that the Purchaser fails to provide any of the above-mentioned payments on or before the deadlines set out therein, the Purchaser shall incur a five percent (5%) interest penalty on all late payments, calculated monthly.
(c) In the event that the Purchaser fails to provide the minimum amount of $(FIRST PAYMENT AMOUNT) by (DATE), (YEAR), then this agreement is null and void.
(d) The payments made by the Purchaser shall be non-refundable at the absolute discretion of the Vendor in the event that the Purchaser does not complete the Agreement.
(e) The payments made by the Purchaser shall be made to the Vendor by method of electronic transfer (e-transfer), bank draft or wire order to the Vendor.
- Upon the signing of this Agreement and the first payment referred to in Clause 1(a)(i), the Purchaser shall have the right to enter upon the property to inspect the Property for building or logging.
- The Purchaser shall have no right to conduct any operations, including logging or obtaining building permits, on the Property until the Closing Date, unless approved in writing by the Vendor.
- This Agreement shall be completed on or before ninety (90) days of the signing of this agreement by the Purchaser (hereinafter called the “Closing Date”), or any other date as agreed in writing between the parties in the event that the Purchaser fails to provide payments in accordance with 1(a) or 1(c).
- The Vendor and the Purchaser agree that they are each responsible for their own separate legal fees and disbursements.
- The Vendor agrees to migrate the Title to the Property from the Registry System under the Registry Act to the Land Registration System under the Land Registration Act prior to the Closing Date. However, if any valid objection to title is made in writing to the Vendor, which the Vendor is unable or unwilling to remove, and which the Purchaser will not waive, this Agreement shall be null and void.
- The Property is vacant land and is being purchased as is/where is with the Vendor making no warranties or representations to the Purchaser, except those referred to in this Agreement.
- The Vendor is to furnish the Purchaser with the applicable PIDs for the Property, after receipt whereof the Purchaser is allowed seven (7) days from the date thereof to investigate the title to the Property, which they shall do at their own expense. If within that time any valid objection to title is made in writing to the Vendor, which the Vendor shall be unable or unwilling to remove and which the Purchaser will not waive, this Agreement shall be null and void.
- The conveyance of the Property which is subject of this Agreement shall be by Warranty Deed, drawn at the expense of the Vendor, to be delivered on payment of the purchase price on the Closing Date. The Property is to be conveyed free from other encumbrances, except as to any easements, registered restrictions or covenants that affect the Property and do not materially affect the enjoyment of the Property.
- All lands, buildings, fixtures and all other Property being purchased hereby, shall be and remain at the risk of the Vendor. Pending completion of the sale, the Vendor will hold all insurance policies and the proceeds thereof in trust for the parties as their interests may appear and in event of damage to the said Property, the Purchaser may either have the proceeds of the insurance and complete the purchase or may cancel the Agreement and have all monies theretofore paid returned without interest.
- Interest, rentals, taxes, rates on the premises and assessments are to be adjusted to the date of closing. The cost of municipal improvements, (including, but without limiting the generality of the phrase “municipal improvements”, betterment charges and capital charges for utility or municipal services) completed as of the date of this Agreement, are to be paid by the Vendor on or before the Closing Date, unless otherwise stated.
- Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, if this transaction is subject to the Harmonized Sales Tax imposed in the Province of Nova Scotia, and hereafter referred to as “HST”, then such HST shall be included in the Purchase Price and will be remitted in accordance with the applicable legislation. If this transaction is not subject to HST, the Vendor agrees to provide, on or before closing, to the Purchaser, a certificate in a form reasonably satisfactory to the Purchaser, certifying that the transaction is not subject to HST.
- Any tender of documents to be delivered or money payable hereunder may be made upon the Vendor or the Purchaser or any party acting for them and money to be legal tender.
- All warranties and representations contained in this Agreement shall survive the closing unless otherwise stated in this Agreement.
- Time shall in all respects be of the essence in the Agreement. In the event of a written Agreement of extension, time shall continue to be of the essence.
- This Agreement shall enure the benefit of and be binding upon the parties hereto, their respective heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns.
- This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which when delivered will be deemed to be an original and all of which together will constitute one and the same document and each party will be entitled to rely on delivery by facsimile machine or by scanned email of an executed copy of this Agreement as proof that the original has been executed by a party in the manner shown on the faxed or emailed copy so as to create a valid and binding Agreement among the parties whose execution is so evidenced as if such parties had delivered an originally executed Agreement in the manner shown on the faxed or emailed copy.
- This Agreement is to be read with all changes of gender or number required of the context.
DATED at (CITY), in the Province of (PROVINCE) on the XXth day of (MONTH), (YEAR).
SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED
in the presence of:
________________________________________ Witness to (Seller) SELLER’S NAME
DATED at _________________, in the Province of (PROVINCE) on the ____ day of (MONTH), (YEAR).
SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED in the presence of: _____________________ ___________________________________ Witness to (NAME)
I hope you’ve found this information helpful. If you’re looking for more on buying plots of land for sale in Nova Scotia, check out our buyer’s guide.