When it comes to real estate transactions, the excitement of closing on a new property can sometimes overshadow the due diligence that should be taken before finalizing the deal. One step in this process that often doesn’t get the attention it deserves is obtaining a land survey.

Land Surveys Explained

A land survey is a precise measurement of a property’s boundaries and other physical features. Using specialized equipment and expertise, surveyors determine the exact dimensions of the land, the location of buildings within the property, the existence of any easements or rights of way, and other critical details. These findings are documented in a survey report and often depicted on a plat, which can be used to resolve disputes, inform future development, or clarify details for legal and sales documents.

Why Land Surveys Are so Important

The reasons for obtaining a land survey boil down to certainty and protection. Knowing the exact boundaries of a property can prevent encroachments by neighbors and clarify the rights of access, which is vital for maintaining good relationships and avoiding legal disputes. For anyone developing land, a survey ensures that construction plans are within legal limits, thus avoiding costly mistakes and city code violations. When obtaining financing or insurance, a land survey can be instrumental in defining the value of the property, which in turn affects mortgage terms or premiums.

Losing Buyers

A land survey can be a deal-breaker in real estate transactions. Imagine a buyer discovering, post-sale, that their new backyard actually belongs to the neighbor, or the garage is partially built on a utility easement. Such surprises can sour the buyer’s experience and lead to loss of trust, and in some cases, legal action. By securing a land survey before closing, sellers can provide assurance to buyers and prevent the loss of deals at the eleventh hour.

Costly Title Claims

If a land survey is skipped and a boundary dispute comes up later, the cost of legal fees and potential loss of land can be significant. Title insurance may offer some protection, but it often excludes boundary disputes if a current survey is not conducted. Therefore, a land survey can act as a preventative measure, saving the owner from potential future financial losses.

Reputation

For real estate professionals, the consistent practice of recommending land surveys before closing can significantly bolster their reputation. It shows due diligence and a commitment to protecting the interests of the clients. Conversely, failing to advise clients to get a land survey could leave a professional’s reputation tarnished if disputes or issues arise post-sale.

Checking Past Home Improvements

Before a property changes hands, it’s important to check for any past home improvements to ensure they were done within the property’s boundaries and comply with local regulations. A land survey provides a clear picture of where the property lines lie and can reveal if previous owners have made modifications that encroach on neighboring properties or violate zoning restrictions. This knowledge is invaluable; it can prevent buyers from inheriting legal battles or being forced to modify or remove illegal constructions, which can be expensive and time-consuming.

Verifying Your Client’s Plans are Feasible

Clients often have big plans for their new property, whether it’s a dream home renovation or a complete landscape redesign. But before these plans can take off, it’s essential to verify that they’re actually feasible within the property’s limitations. A current land survey will delineate all easements, right of ways, and building setbacks, which must be considered in planning. This way, clients can be assured their vision is achievable before investing in their property, saving them from future disappointment and financial loss.

Land Surveys Can Be Wrong

Land surveys, while generally reliable, can be subject to human error, outdated information, or changes in the property or law that render old surveys inaccurate. It’s critical to have the most up-to-date survey conducted by a reputable surveyor. Even if a previous survey was completed, conditions may have changed, and an updated survey can catch discrepancies that could have legal and financial implications for your buyer.

The Owner’s Title Insurance Will Not Cover Boundary Issues

Many buyers believe that owner’s title insurance is a catch-all policy that will protect them from any and all issues related to their property’s title. However, this is not the case when it comes to boundary disputes. Most title insurance policies do not cover disputes over property lines unless a thorough land survey was obtained during the insurance underwriting process. Educating clients about this can prevent future shocks and emphasize the need for a land survey before closing.

Contact Real Res for a Real Estate Survey to Protect Your Buyer and Transaction

To make sure that your buyer is fully protected, consider contacting a professional and trusted company like Real Res for a real estate survey. A detailed survey from a reputable provider can save your client from the potential pitfalls of undiscovered property issues. Real Res can offer peace of mind to both you and your buyer by identifying any boundary or easement issues before they become problematic, protecting the integrity of your transaction and your professional reputation. Contact us to learn more about getting a real estate survey in Florida.