Protect My Land While Selling It

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If you need to sell your land, but you want the plants and animals to continue to have a home, we might be able to help.

Conserving and Reselling Land

The Islands Trust Conservancy can work with you to place a conservation covenant on your land before you sell it.  A conservation covenant would bind future owners to the terms of the agreement.  Most often, a covenant restricts the current or future landowners from building in the covenant area or removing native vegetation.  A covenant can be placed on only a portion of the property, protecting the natural area on your land.  That way, you can still market your property with a portion already developed, or with a future building envelope.

By protecting the natural portion of your land with a conservation covenant, you can sell your land at a price that meets your needs, while having peace of mind from knowing the forest, wetland, or meadow you love will remain intact forever.  Ann Richardson protected her land using a conservation covenant, read her story.

Learn more about conservation covenants.


Conservation Sale

You may wish to see your land protected as a nature reserve, but can't necessarily afford to donate your property outright.  Occasionally, the Islands Trust Conservancy and its conservation partners will consider purchasing land that contains significant natural features if it is offered at a reduced price. With a conservation sale (also called a bargain sale), you could offer your land to a conservation organization at a price that is lower than the full market value.  This reduction in price makes protection of the land more feasible, and can provide you with a charitable income tax deduction and may help you eliminate some capital gains tax.  Most importantly, a bargain sale helps you realize your dream of creating a natural legacy, while giving you cash to meet your current needs. 

If funding is available, the Islands Trust Conservancy may consider purchase of properties that are:

  • Priced significantly below the appraised value (at least 20% reduction);
  • Undeveloped;
  • Large in size (at least 20 hectares);
  • Have significant natural values (e.g. old growth forest, wetland or freshwater bodies, at-risk species or ecosystems)

At this time, the Islands Trust Conservancy and its partners do not have large cash reserves to purchase properties for conservation.  Bargain sale purchases are considered on a case-by-case basis, and in general, take more than a year to complete.  Sellers will be responsible for an appraisal of the property. 

The Atkins family protected their property - Medicine Beach - through a bargain sale.  Read their story.

Talk to us

We'd be happy to talk with you about your vision for your land and to discuss options that meet that vision and your financial goals.

Kate Emmings
Manager, Islands Trust Conservancy 

We recommend anyone contemplating donating land also talk with independent financial and legal advisors.  If your advisor is not familiar with an option we describe here, we would be happy to provide additional information

Page last updated: 08/01/21
Copyright © The Island Trust Conservancy.     The Islands Trust Conservancy is a qualified donee under the Income Tax Act. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.