Why survey issues are deal-killers
A caller from Polk County was in severe distress. She purchased a property cash in 2009 and did not order a survey to save money. The seller provided her with an old survey and she felt that was sufficient, a perfectly reasonable assumption. She hired a title company, waived the survey and closed on the property.
Five years later the utility shows up at her doorstep and is exercising their right-to-use an easement on her land is that will encumber 50 feet into her property. This easement has now devalued her property substantially and makes it unmarketable for sale. This was never disclosed to her by the seller, but a survey would have revealed this recorded easement.
Though not a common scenario, these survey issues do pop up for sellers a few times per year in our office. When they do surface, they are usually impossible to solve and almost always, the seller did not order a survey when they purchased the property. Most buyers do not want to deal with encumbrance or substantial easement issues and prefer to walk away from a deal. Survey problems are deal-killers.
Here is how to avoid survey problems:
- Ask the title company in writing to order the survey and to email/fax a copy upon receipt in ADVANCE of closing. Don’t wait for the actual closing to review it. Everyone, especially your buyer should review it, even if they don’t completely understand. They can call the surveyor and ask questions directly.
- Have your SELLERS provide a copy of an existing survey for the listing file. Review it for surveyor notes, easements, encroachments
- Have your BUYERS order a survey, certified to their name. Review it prior to closing for surveyor notes, easements, encroachments. This applies even to cash deals.
- If a BUYER refuses to pay for a survey, have them sign a Survey Waiver for the file. We can provide a template for this waiver
Need help with a survey? Do not hesitate to contact us at 305-271-0100 x701 for more information. We can provide a complimentary survey review.