“They’re so expensive!” “We’re already spending so much.” “Can’t we just use the one the seller has?” If you’re used to working with homebuyers, you may be familiar with getting pushback when you recommend a land survey.
Since purchasing a home is already an expensive and stressful venture for a buyer, there’s a special talent needed to help guide a homebuyer in the right direction while making them feel confident about their purchase. But how do you help a buyer understand why the extra cost of a land survey is so necessary?
The purpose of the blog is to alleviate some of the confusion and, dare I say, misinformation on the importance of a survey. What’s most important to us, as a due diligence company, is that every buyer is armed with an absolute and complete picture of what they’re walking into with a newly acquired property, with no hidden surprises. Below are some things a buyer should be aware of when making the decision to get a brand new survey done of the property in question.
1. A land survey is arguably one of the most important parts of pre-closing due diligence.
This is because issues discovered by a property survey are sometimes one of the most costly. Especially if a property line runs right through your house (which is an honest-to-god thing that has been discovered by a survey.) Whether it be a costly relocation of a shed, fence, landscaping — OR a nasty dispute with your neighbor waiting to happen, knowing exactly what is yours, what isn’t yours and what is shared , is so important. The only way you can have 100% peace of mind on that is to get an updated survey.
2. No hidden surprises.
It’s common practice in some places to re-use an old land survey, if the underwriter allows it, but that survey is going to be outdated. Even if the owner before you only had the property for one year, you don’t know what improvements they may have made. Did that owner add a fence? Driveway? Landscaping? Any of those things could be encroaching on the neighbor’s property if that previous owner paid no mind to boundary lines and it will become the new owner’s responsibility to correct.
Buyers should have the most accurate, up-to-date information regarding the definition of exactly the property that they will soon own. Who’s to say that the previous survey has all of the correct information?
3. It’s a relatively small investment, worth far more than the cost.
The closing costs are going to feel like they’re piling up higher and higher. But an additional $300 – $700 to be certain what you’re walking into — is that too expensive to know what you own? When you could run into issues that could cost you thousands, it’s better to know upfront to protect your investment.