SurveyI’ve been talking a lot about sellers recently, because that’s where I’ve seen the most issues over the past several months. Last week I wrote about the problems that can come up when you forget about a rental item. Today, it’s mixing up what a survey is.

A formal land survey will show the boundaries of your property, and, depending on how recently it was done relative to the building of your house, it may show the foundation, the house itself, or the house and all accessory structures (sheds, decks, fences, etc.). It will also be stamped with the mark and signature of the surveyor. If that mark is not present, it is not a survey.

Sometimes, an offer will call simply for an existing survey, if in the seller’s possession. This is the best situation for a seller, because you only have to provide what you have in your possession. Sometimes, it says existing survey, if available; this could require you to purchase a survey that is available from the Registry Office or an online database, even if you don’t have one yourself. This can cost you. The most expensive type is a survey showing the current location of all structures; if you agree to provide this, then you will be looking at commissioning a new survey to satisfy the buyer. That is the most expensive option.

As always, before you sign the agreement, be sure that you are willing and able to provide everything the buyer has asked for. You don’t have to agree to all of the terms just because you like the price.