When you're gearing up to put your house on the market, you'll encounter various steps and requirements. One of these is the property survey. A property survey is essentially a detailed map of your land, marking boundaries, structures, and any potential encroachments. But here's the million-dollar question: Is it necessary to have a property survey to sell your house?
What is a property survey?
A property survey, often required during a home sale, precisely defines a homeowner's legal property boundaries. Typically conducted at closing, it provides essential information about parcel lines and any alterations to the lot.
Property surveyors start by researching the property's history and ownership, followed by conducting an on-site visit to create a detailed sketch that showcases property lines, natural features, and other topographical elements. While property boundary surveys are customary at closing, it's important to note that not all states mandate this process.
Why are property surveys important?
Property surveys are important for a number of reasons. First, they can help to prevent property disputes. By clearly defining the boundaries of a property, a survey can help to avoid disagreements between neighbors about where their property lines lie.
Second, property surveys can be helpful for planning purposes. If you are considering making any changes to your property, such as building a new fence or adding a deck, a survey can help you to ensure that your plans are within the boundaries of your property.
Is a survey required to sell a house?
In the United States, a property survey is not always required to sell a house. However, there are some cases where a survey may be required, such as:
● If you are selling a new house, your lender may require a survey to approve your mortgage.
● If you are selling a house with a complex property line, such as a house with a lot that is not rectangular, a survey may be required to ensure that the boundaries of the property are clear.
● If you are selling a house with easements, such as a house with an easement for a power line or utility line, a survey may be required to show the location of the easements.
The benefits of getting a survey before selling your house
There are a number of benefits to getting a property survey before selling your house, including:
1. Identify any potential problems with your property:
A survey can help you identify any potential problems with your property, such as encroachments or easements that are not disclosed in your title deed. This can help you avoid any surprises down the road and make the sale of your house go more smoothly.
2. Make your property more attractive to buyers:
A survey can help to make your property more attractive to buyers, as it will give them peace of mind knowing that the boundaries of the property are clear and that there are no hidden surprises.
3. Avoid property disputes:
A survey can help you avoid property disputes with your neighbors by clearly defining the boundaries of your property.
Get a better price for your property. Studies have shown that homes with property surveys sell for more money than homes without surveys.
How to get a property survey
To get a property survey, you will need to hire a licensed surveyor. You can find a surveyor by asking your real estate brokers for recommendations or by searching online.
When hiring a surveyor, be sure to get quotes from multiple surveyors and compare their prices and services. You should also ask about the surveyor's experience and qualifications.
Below are some experienced surveyors in North Carolina:
1. Point To Point Land Surveyors
2. Krause Surveying Associates
3. Survey Carolina Pllc
The cost of a property survey
The cost of a property survey will vary depending on the size and complexity of your property. However, you can expect to pay between $200 and $600 for a basic survey.
Tips for choosing a property surveyor
When choosing a property surveyor, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
● Make sure that the surveyor is licensed in your state.
● Get quotes from multiple surveyors and compare their prices and services.
● Ask about the surveyor's experience and qualifications.
● Ask if the surveyor is familiar with
Types of Property Survyes:
Here are some common types of surveys:
1. Boundary Survey
A property line surveyor conducts an assessment to determine or confirm property boundary lines on the ground, precisely marking the limits of land ownership. This is particularly valuable for verifying the locations of older property markers.
2. Topographic Survey
This type of survey represents the physical features of a piece of land, including both natural elements like trees, hills, valleys, and bodies of water, as well as artificial elements such as fences, roads, buildings, utilities, and more. It provides a comprehensive view of the terrain.
3. Construction Survey
When planning new construction or property improvements, surveyors can establish the proper land area to ensure compliance with utility placements, city regulations, and other potential challenges that may arise from building in the wrong area. This survey helps prevent unintentional construction on someone else's property.
4. Mortgage Location Survey
Lenders, title insurers, or residential MLS (Multiple Listing Service) typically order this real estate survey, which documents the specific location of improvements and changes on a property as described. It assists in validating property details for financial and legal purposes.
5. American Land Title Association Survey
An ALTA survey is a specialized land survey typically commissioned for commercial property transactions, refinancing, or enhancements. It adheres to standards set by the American Land Title Association and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping, ensuring results that inspire confidence for title companies, lenders, or attorneys involved in the transaction.
Even if a survey is not required, it is a good idea to get one before selling your house. A survey can help to resolve any potential problems with the property that could affect its value or make it difficult to sell. If you are unsure whether a survey is required to sell a house, you should consult with a real estate attorney or surveyor.