Move that house! Do you care about a survey?

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions"

I had a buyer today ignore the opportunity to have a survey.  The lender does not require a survey so he said survey crewno problem the neighbors know what's their...I will live within the lines!

I had the buyer sign a waiver saying I informed him of his right to have a survey and he chose not to have one.  Now why would I do that?  Simple, it is an issue of limiting liability. 

One big reason...we had in our purchase agreement the buyer was going to get a survey at the sellers expense.  During the final negotiation the seller kicked out paying for a survey because of other requests.  So I asked the buyer if they still wanted have a survey and conveyed the reason why they might want to have one.

They opted not to have one, as I mentioned.  So I did an addendum and put in the clause, "buyer has been informed by his agent of potiential risks of not having a survey and has choosen not to exercise his right to a survey".yard survey

Here is my reason for informing every buyer to get a survey....   Over the years I have had some real surprises when representing buyers and sellers.  One I was involved in a survey issue when I purchased a home and used an existing survey with a line drawing to accept the property lines.  Later we decided to put up a cyclone fence because of our dog.  The neighbor kids liked to tease our dog and it was only a matter of time before our dog was going munch on one of the kids...so the alternative....the fence.

We had our property surveyed to make sure the fence was going to be placed correctly and not on neighbor's property.  My wife called when the survey crew arrived.  I buzzed home in about 40 minutes to find them on the back of the property.  One of the neighbors gave a shout to a member of the survey crew...."Hey get out of my yard!"  The crew member looked at my seldom heard from neighbor and said more correctly...his yard...and pointed to me.  The survey crew found I owned 20 feet into three neighbors yards across my back lot line.  They were mad, upset and shocked to find the lots they had purchased from the builder were not really "all" theirs.

I owned a wooded lot and never used the sections they had planted into grass, mowed and maintained.  But since I had just purchased the property only a few months earlier....my rights to the land were very clear.  All but one purchased the sections from me...the center parcel...kept pulling flags thowing debris over the fence and making issues.  That is another story but it did get resolved and by the way the land value for that parcel went up for cleaning and maintenance issues.  Two can play but remember land issues can be an ugly issue after the fact...so get a survey it will make sure you own what you think you are buying! 

To further illustrate how important a survey can be....I just listed a home in the city, not an unusual task for being in real estate.  The seller informs me that the home next door is actually two feet onto his property! 

I asked, how do you know that?  He pulls out a survey he just had done a few months ago.  I asked what prompted him to have a survey done?  He says the neighbor informed him they were going to pull out part of his driveway they want a strip of lawn between the driveway and their house.  The driveway was to far over and needed to be narrowed.  He told them no way and ordered a survey.

The survey shows the neighbors home is actually two feet over onto his property....he walked over and knocked on their door and told them they had to move their house!  He was kidding but the neighbor was not happy with the joke and thought my seller actually tampered with the survey...so they ordered their own...and it came back with the home two feet over the property line!

This is another reason if you purchase get a survey...it may not be lender required but it could say you a big hassle and it could also cause you problems when you go to sell.  I am working with the neighbor to purchase the strip of land where his home sits and have it added to his lot.  This could have been very ugly but they have been neipulling chainghbors since 1961...so they drink beer together and pull each others chain from time to time.

Don't let your chain be pulled because you didn't get a survey!

 

 logo

If live in Michigan and you are thinking of selling or your home's listing has expired and you still want to sell.  Email me for a confidential counsiltation to develop a marketing program to specifically meet your needs.

Email: GaryWhite@FlexItRealty.com or Call Toll Free 877-667-4699 for an appointment set at your convenience. 
Corporate Office: 1515 Michigan St. Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503

Five Offices Located around Michigan to Serve you with more coming soon.

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Location:
Michigan Barry County Hastings
Groups:
Realtors®
Michigan Realtors
The Art Of Marketing You
Tags:
move that house it is on my land do you care about land surveys

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Ambassador
920,351
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
Gary, I advice every customer to get a survery unless  they are in a platted sub or a site condo. The we ask for the print of their lot lines which should be in the association doc's given to them at closing when they purchased.
May 06, 2008 11:58 PM #6
Rainer
139,927
Kelly Sibilsky
Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD. - Lake Zurich, IL
The seller is responsible for providing the survey around her, per the contract. Unless it's a cash deal, the bank will require it as well, and usually it must be less than 6 months old. Sometimes with a foreclosure, the seller will refuse to provide the survey...and the buyer must pay for it himself. I've never heard of a buyer refusing! Don't they want to know what they are buying? That's nuts!
May 07, 2008 12:49 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi Eric, it is an real issue...lender do not need surveys for certain conditions and one of them is a bridge loan the other is a cash deal so even in these cases I always advise my clients to get a survey.  Sound like your client should be glad to have had you Eric.  Thanks for the comments.

May 07, 2008 02:09 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Ernie & Barb, I understand completely....I can only advise clients can do as they wish but I need a disclaimer so I do not get pulled into something I verbally advised against.  Document is the key word.  Thanks for the comments guys...we will leave that eminent domain thing alone!
May 07, 2008 02:12 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Linda, I like knowing what people are saying the client is getting they actually get.  Survey does that for me.  Thanks for your comments Linda.
May 07, 2008 02:13 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Marchel, I am with you it is a must but if they refuse or decline I get a waiver disclosure to protect my assests....so to speak!  Thanks for the comments Marchel.
May 07, 2008 02:15 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Gary...hope all is well in the Florida world...see some market issues flash by every now and then.  The survey adds a bit of personal relief when you know what you purchased is actually yours.  Thanks for the comments Gary.
May 07, 2008 02:17 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Missy, I do the same thing....but on a few occassions where the buyer is a cash buyer or getting a bridge loan a survey may not be required by the lender...I always suggest they get a survey anyway.  Thanks for the comments Missy.
May 07, 2008 02:18 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Kelly, a bit different from state to state but regardless of who pays the survey is a key element is making sure what you think you are purchasing is actually yours.  We sold a home that had over 60% of the property covered with utility easements.  The nice open space that looked perfect for an out building could not be used.  Thanks for the comments Kelly.
May 07, 2008 02:21 AM #14
Rainer
70,582
Matt Moxhay
Prudential Fox & Roach - Moorestown, NJ
Moorestown Real Estate
For the reasons mentioned in your post, as well as others, in our state the survey is clearly the responsibility of the buyer.  In some cases, the mortgage company won't fund the loan without the survey.  Since the survey is almost a given, I've never had this type of issue come up.  Of course, I've had issues come up because of the survey: but better to resolve those before title changes hands for everyone involved.  I'm sure this post will benefit everyone thinking of buying and selling in Grand Rapids because it's another gem!
May 07, 2008 08:44 AM #15
Rainmaker
338,074
Kim Peasley-Parker
AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc. - Sumter, SC
Wow great information.  I have never heard of someone's house being over two feet.  I have heard of a builder building on the wrong lot though....  Either way, a survey is a good thing.
May 07, 2008 01:50 PM #16
Rainer
67,222
Keith Perry
Coldwell Banker - Hiram, GA
REALTOR - West Metro Atlanta
Hi Gary, this is such a timley post. I live on a cul-de-sac and my property is pie shaped with a wooded backyard. My new backyard neighbor decided to start a tree cutting adventure and we needed to show him where our pins where. Glad I had my survey done.
May 08, 2008 01:12 PM #17
Rainer
350,674
* Rate A Home
Rate A Home - Saugatuck, MI
Gary, it's the cheapest insurance the buyer can purchase in my eyes.
May 08, 2008 06:14 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi Matt, seems that it is the simple issues that always catch us.  We take our business issues in stride but many clients have no idea of the importance of surveys or inspections that could save them thousands of dollars or even void the contract when certain defects are found.  Thanks for the comments Matt.  Long time no hear.

May 09, 2008 01:19 AM #19
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi keith, you never know when those stakes will become necessary.  I just talked with a neighbor of a listing.  He informed me that my seller's travel trailer was not parked on the seller's land.  The neighbor had offered to let the seller use a space in an ajoining land area.  The seller never informed me that his travel trailer was not parked on his property.  Without checking stakes myself I would have never known.  It is easy to mis-represent property lines.  I always use the terms,"property lines are varified with a survey".  Thanks for the comments Keith.  I trust you have all your trees! 

May 09, 2008 01:34 AM #20
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi Duane, thanks for the nice post you wrote about my 200,000 points.  I have to agree Duane....knowing where your property begins and ends can save a lot of issues from happening.  Thanks again for the post and comments Duane.

May 09, 2008 01:36 AM #21
Rainmaker
1,074,014
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi Kim, back in the 1900's surveys were not a precise as they are today.  You have to admire how accurate surveys were given the methods.  The homes were build in 1915 in the section my listing is located.  Wonderful examples of the construction of that time.  Never the less...someone probably made a mistake back then and the neighbor allowed it to be utilized without any recording or the authorization.  Today it is a problem and the home has been in the family a long time...without resolution.  Now we have to deal with a resolution.  Wrong lot!!!!!!!!!  That could be a much bigger problem if the land owner said...Thank You!  Thanks for the comments Kim.

May 09, 2008 01:41 AM #22
Rainmaker
511,053
Robert L. Brown
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic
Surveys are extremely important. I'm not in the business of purchasing land when the buyer conveniently forgets the conversation(and they do). They would have no problem calling an attorney saying i didn't do the job they hired me for.
May 09, 2008 10:53 AM #23
Ambassador
1,119,351
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

Many banks are not requiring a survey any more.  I think may be a trend of the future.

May 09, 2008 12:54 PM #24
Rainmaker
208,829
M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk)
NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time - Grand Canyon, AZ
Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS

Do you think the reason banks are not requiring surveys s because the feel protected by Title Insurance? Sometimes, clients seem to feel that you do not need both a survey and an Eagle Policy. We did not have our land surveyed either, but I certainly will in the future.

May 10, 2008 08:46 AM #25
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
1,074,014

Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375

Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information