Buyer or Seller: Who Pays for the Land Survey?


When buying or selling a home, a land survey is an important step. It determines where the property lines are and ensures a smooth sale. If you’re the buyer, you have the responsibility to pay for land surveying.

However, if you’re the seller, you might need to pay for that land survey to help the buyer. The fees and responsibilities depend on your situation. Keep reading to know who pays for land surveys in buying land.

Let’s get into it!

Understanding Property Lines

When it comes to understanding property lines, it is important to have a land survey done. This survey will provide precise details as to the exact boundaries of the property.

The question of who pays for this survey can be a point of disagreement between buyers and sellers. Generally, it is the buyer who is responsible for covering the cost of a land survey, as they will be directly benefiting from the necessary knowledge it will provide.

As such, the cost should be factored into their budget and discussed before making a purchase or an offer on any property. However, it is ultimately up to both parties to agree on who will absorb this cost.

Terms of Contract

As a buyer, you may be expected to cover the cost of a land survey to obtain a true, up-to-date understanding of the boundaries of the property. On the other hand, if you are the seller, you may be asked to pay for it to allow potential buyers to gain an insight into the geological layout and history of the land.

Generally, unless otherwise stated, the buyer is the one to incur the costs related to a land survey. In some scenarios, though, the seller may contract with the buyer to agree on shared costs.

State of Local Laws

In most states, paying for the survey usually depends on who initiated the purchase. Typically, the buyer assumes the burden for the cost of the land survey and any appropriate taxes.

However, there are exceptions when the seller pays for the survey. Some areas require both the buyer and the seller to share the cost. To be sure, both parties should always consult with a local attorney for information about the applicable state and local laws.

Good Faith Compromise

It is important to note that a land survey must be completed before closing to ensure an accurate title transfer. Depending upon the situation, this cost may be shared between the buyer and seller.

Regardless of who pays for the survey, the task must be completed satisfactorily as its purpose is to confirm or adjust property lines and identify the exact property size and boundaries.

Ultimately, the responsibility for paying for its costs should be established before closing a commercial real estate transaction. Still confused? Check out the alta survey explanation for comprehensive analysis in performing a survey.

Factors Impacting Who Pays for the Land Survey

The best way to answer the question of whether a buyer or seller pays for a land survey is to investigate beforehand and confirm who is expected to pay. Remember that the land survey may reveal any issues that could affect the sale before it is complete.

Make sure you understand who will bear the cost before signing the contract. Did you find this article helpful? Check out the rest of our blog now!

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