Buyer or Seller: Who Pays for the Land Survey?

The transaction of buying and selling property can feel like a complicated dance. There are numerous steps you need to take, and each is as important as the last.

In the U.S. alone, people sold more than 5.34 million homes in 2020, and a significant portion of these transactions involved a step that often gets overlooked: land surveying.

But when it comes to getting a land survey done, many people are not sure if it is the buyer or the seller who need to pay for this service. To make things easier for you, we have put together a guide. Read on to find out more.

Why You Should Get a Land Survey

When you’re buying property, it’s easy to be tempted to cut corners and save money where you can. But skimping on a land survey can potentially lead to expensive problems down the line.

Land surveys reveal important details about the property. This includes its exact boundaries, potential easements, or encroachments from neighboring properties.

This information can help prevent legal disputes, and can even affect your ability to sell the property in the future.

A real estate land survey might seem like an extra expense. But it is actually an investment in ensuring that your property purchase is a wise one.

You should also understand the importance of getting an ALTA survey. If you want to have an ALTA survey explained, visit the ALTA land survey website.

What Do Land Surveys Involve?

Land survey services involve more than just marking the corners of your property. Surveyors utilize sophisticated technology and legal records to map out the property accurately.

This process includes locating physical and legal boundaries, identifying potential restrictions like rights of way or easements, and assessing whether neighboring structures are encroaching on the property.

Surveyors also verify legal descriptions provided in public records and previously recorded surveys. Land surveying offers a detailed portrait of what you’re truly buying, beyond what you can see with the naked eye.

Determining Who Pays for Land Surveys

So who should bear the cost of a land survey when buying a home? Traditionally, the buyer pays for the land survey, as it’s in their best interest to know the specifics about the property they’re investing in.

But this isn’t set in stone. It could be negotiated as part of the purchase agreement. Sometimes, sellers may choose to get a land survey done to increase the appeal of their property to potential buyers.

When it comes to the law, it can vary between states. Some states mandate that the seller must provide a current survey to the buyer, while in others it’s the buyer’s responsibility.

Who Should Pay for a Land Survey?

If you have been wondering who should pay for a land survey, there are several important things that you should understand.

In most situations, it is the buyer who will need to pay for a land survey. But it is possible that a seller will foot the bill for this service. Regardless of who pays for a land survey, it is an extremely important thing to do.

Do you want to find out more about buying and selling homes? If so, make sure to check out the Home Improvement section of our website.