propertysurveyShould you survey your property? Is it the seller’s responsibility or the buyer’s?

Every state is different and it is best to ask your Real Estate representative prior to signing a purchase contract. In Utah, it is a “buyer beware” thought process. This essentially means that the buyer takes on the responsibility of paying for all of the inspections, surveys, etc., as part of the buying process. If you want to request the seller provide you with a survey, then it’s good to make that part of your requests in your purchase contract. It is the buyer’s prerogative to ask.

 I suggest you ask for references on local surveyors and get quotes from three different ones. I’ve seen pricing on the same parcel go from $700 to $3,000 depending on the surveyor. You also need to make sure your surveyor is giving you the type of survey you need. A metes and bounds only? Add survey caps in? Topographical lines added? What kinds of features do you want listed? Fences, improvements, flood zone lines? Make a list and ask your surveyor what things he/she might suggest you add as part of your survey.

 I highly recommend surveys, especially for raw land parcels or lots outside of subdivisions. Homes and lots inside newer subdivisions should have recent surveys done. In these cases, it may be good to get a surveyor to highlight or place points if they are missing.

I’ve seen land parcels where a neighbor built half their cabin on the adjacent parcel. I’ve seen surveys where the neighbor built their rock wall fence and driveway partially onto the neighbors yard. I’ve had properties surveyed where the surveyor found major mistakes from the previous surveyor and we had to spend an extra couple of weeks correcting the line discrepancies. If there is any question at all where your lot lines are PLEASE GET A SURVEY! It could save you thousands of dollars, court time, headaches and grief. 

If you are concerned about your surveyor, I’d recommend getting references, checking to make sure their license is in good standing, etc. The best thing to do is ask your Realtor. They, no doubt, will have various referrals to suggest.  If you are using an engineering firm to build your home, they will also have a survey crew as part of their team.