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The Importance of Property Surveys

Most land transactions rely on a survey, which determines the parameters of the parcel being bought or sold. A correct survey is important to assure that all parties involved have a sense of security and buyers are clear in what they are purchasing.

For sellers, we recommend a current survey to make sure there aren’t any potential issues to be cleared up before a buyer becomes involved.

Some land surveys were performed so long ago that they are recorded incorrectly, and may have acreage errors. At the same time, modern surveys may bring to light boundary disputes when old landmarks, such as large trees, no longer exist.

We recommend that our clients consider re-surveying their property prior to offering it for sale if the original survey wasn’t performed with modern equipment. This not only helps the seller present an accurate land listing, it also offers the opportunity to correct the parcel’s acreage with the county tax collector’s office.

Also, this can prevent last-minute surprises. Imagine if a seller doesn’t update a survey until a sales contract is in place: If the acreage gets reduced, it could reduce the sales price and change the dynamic of the sale.

Sellers may also plan to split property – in this case, an experienced land agent can offer insight on how to split the property to make it the most desirable to buyers.

Smaller parcels can increase the pool of potential buyers, since there are likely more buyers for an $80,000 piece of land than an $800,000 parcel. Your agent can also put you in contact with the proper officials to determine if the zoning is correct for the parcel size you want to create.

Certainly, rural properties are bought and sold each day both with and without current surveys.  As a buyer, the important thing to consider should be your comfort level with the property corners and boundaries, which is something that you can determine after you do an on-site visit.  Be sure to contact your real estate broker if you have questions.

Charlie Chernak | Bear Island Land Co.


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