Obtaining a survey ensures your protection in any real estate transaction. A survey discloses exactly what portion of property is being purchased and everything on that property. Every buyer should obtain a survey before a real estate transaction closes.
Many real estate transactions have some type of problem. These problems can be minor (a fence is over the property line) or more serious (a driveway, pool, or deck is over a property line, the deed outlining the parcel of property is incorrect, the house is in a flood zone, etc.). Some problems are irreparable. If a driveway is completely off the property, for example, the buyer has no ingress or egress to the home.
By getting a survey, you can be sure that you know the location of everything on your property. Using an older survey of the property does not ensure your protection because new improvements may exist which are over the property line.
A survey is essential for any buyer, whether it is for the re-sale of a home or sale of a new home. Our average residential survey is $750, well worth the price for the protection it provides to the buyer. If a buyer obtains a survey of the property and owner’s title insurance on that property, the title company will insure you for any surveying issues that may arise. Without a survey the owner’s title insurance policy will exclude coverage for anything that a survey would have disclosed.
If a buyer elects to avoid the expense of obtaining a survey, any related property issues that would have been revealed by a survey will be the sole responsibility of the buyer. These problems cost many times more what a residential survey would cost. If a fence is over the property line, for instance, it must be replaced. If a driveway is over a property line, it must be cut and re-poured. If your air conditioning unit is not on your property, the unit must be rewired. A problem that may initially seem small can quickly become complicated and expensive. As mentioned above, more serious problems are sometimes irreparable. If the house is over the property line, for example, nothing can be done to correct the situation unless the buyer negotiates with the neighbor to buy a piece of their property. Problems such as the ones described above can greatly reduce the value of the property.
Getting a survey before closing is the key to a positive real estate transaction. Other people involved in the real estate transaction are most interested in finalizing the deal. By getting a reliable survey from a respected company before closing, the buyer has a negotiating tool to use regarding the price of real estate if a property issue arises.
This website also contains great information about getting a land survey in Georgia.