Question 4

Is there a standard Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) used for most transactions or is it tailored for each property?  Who generally prepares the agreement?


Residential and Commercial: Alberta Real Estate Association Standard form contract for the sale of property. It is only available through a realtor. Agreements are drafted by the realtor.

Commercial property: Realtor often prepares agreement, although it may be subject to legal review from time to time.

British Columbia:

A standard form, Contract of Purchase and Sale, is copyrighted by the Canadian Bar Association and the BC Real Estate Association and is used for most transactions. It is, however, tailored for each property. Usually, it is prepared by a licenced real estate agent, and once executed, it is reviewed by a lawyer or notary.


Residential transactions:

Where a real estate broker (licensed and regulated under the Manitoba Real Estate Brokers Act (MREBA)) is involved, the standard form of offer to purchase and acceptance mandated under the MREBA must be used.

Although the real estate brokers' association would prefer that lawyers not use the form, it is readily available for solicitors who want to use it. Most accepted offers to purchase are finalized by realtors and signed and delivered by the parties before a lawyer is consulted. Where a licensed and regulated real estate broker is not involved, parties in the transaction are free to use whatever form of offer to purchase and acceptance they (or their lawyers) come up with.

Commercial transactions:

There is no statutorily mandated form of commercial property purchase and sale agreement. In Winnipeg, where a licensed and regulated real estate broker is involved and the broker is a member of the Winnipeg Real Estate Board, the Board has a standard form of agreement that is usually used. If the broker is not a member of the Board or the transaction is occurring with respect to realty situated outside of Winnipeg, then the parties (or their solicitors) will draft their own form of agreement.

New Brunswick:

The Real Estate Association of NB introduced a standard APS. When a property is sold by a real estate agent, the APS is prepared by the agent before a lawyer is consulted. The standard agreement has schedules to deal with specific types of sales, e.g. condominium, multiple resident buildings.

For commercial transactions, the real estate form was used in the past.

In private sales, real estate forms have been used, but generally the lawyer drafts the agreement tailored to the specific transaction.

Newfoundland and Labrador:

Agreements of Purchase and Sale are primarily drafted by realtors, with occasional input from lawyers. Standardized forms prepared by the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Realtors are used. These forms change over time with new procedures and changes in real estate practice standards. A schedule is attached to the form where any special or property specific changes can be handwritten by agents.

Some parties use a standard agreement if there is no agent or for other private sales, which are tailored to suit the property and the client's specific needs. The same forms are used for residential or commercial transactions.

Northwest Territories:     

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Nova Scotia:

Yes, standard form APS are prepared by real estate agents and used in most transactions.

In private sales lawyers usually draft the APS.


For residential, vacant lots and some commercial transactions, there are Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) standard form contracts that are only available through a realtor. Agreements are drafted by the realtor and contain a standard clause making them subject to the review and approval of the parties’ lawyers.

In transactions for the sale of commercial property, lawyers often draft the agreements of purchase and sale.


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Residential Transactions:

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) prepared a standard agreement used by Real Estate agents across Ontario for most residential transactions. The agreement is now available electronically to all Ontario lawyers via an arrangement with OREA. Most agreements are prepared by the Real Estate agent before any lawyer is consulted. 

Commercial Transaction:

Although the OREA agreement may be used for smaller deals, generally there is no standard agreement for commercial transactions. Agents will often prepare an agreement, however, lawyers are often retained during the drafting and negotiations on larger transactions.

Prince Edward Island:



Most residential purchases involve an Agreement of Purchase and Sale with the Prince Edward Island Real Estate Association’s standard form contract.

Real estate agents normally prepare the agreement. When there is no real estate agent, the agreement is typically prepared by the purchaser’s lawyer.


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Realtors use a standard Offer to Purchase form prescribed under their legislation (MLS Forms), otherwise, no standardized forms are used for transactions not involving realtors.

Yukon Territory:    

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