What should I look for in a land surveyor?
Getting your land surveyed is not an everyday experience. Even if you bought a home, this might have just been one of those inspections that you don’t remember. Choosing a well-qualified land surveyor (a bit harder than, say, choosing someone to shampoo your carpets) is crucial. Believe it or not, not all surveyors are created equal. Since a land survey figures into the worth of your property, can effect the amount of your loan, show where and where not you can improve your property, and can save you thousands of dollars later, it is essential to find a reputable land surveyor to make sure your survey is done correctly.
· Recommendations are an excellent place to start.
If you have a friend or neighbor that has had significant renovations, issues with property disputes, or concerns about easements on their property, they may know a competent land surveyor. Unfortunately, often you don’t know anyone who has used a land surveyor. While checking with a friend who is a real estate agent or loan officer may turn up some recommendations, I wouldn’t necessarily rely on these recommendations if they have a vested interest, such as they are involved in your current transaction or underwriting your loan. Your real estate attorney is another professional that might have recommendations.
Online reviews are another excellent way to check for any professional. Don’t just look at the overall ratings. Read the reviews. Do a complete search on the company and find every review you can locate. Sometimes, adding the word scam will turn up something you would have missed otherwise. The Better Business Bureau is one site you should check. While not all businesses are members of the BBB, the BBB takes complaints on all local companies, members or not. Don’t be concerned if they aren’t listed but do check for any complaints. While one charge may not be indicative of a severe problem, multiple claims can identify a serious issue. Note any closed claims, as well. While you won’t be able to read the details of a closed complaint, this still shows that the company has had enough poor practices that you should beware. The BBB also categorizes complaints as to type. What issues have people had with the land surveyor in question?
· Land surveyors are licensed. As with any licensed professional, check with the licensing board.
Licensing boards always note if there have been any complaints or issues with the licensee. Checking with the licensing board also ensures your land surveyor is not only licensed but that it is current. Many licensing boards also note any insurance that is required. Cross off any surveyors who aren’t licensed or whose license is not current.
· Interview your land surveyor.
Find out how long they have been doing this type of work. Does the professional involved have references? (Do check the references). I have seen more people regret not taking the time to contact these people only to find out later they could have learned of significant problems, or if the person even had the work performed by the surveyor. Find out how long they have been in the area. A local surveyor is likely to know of any prevalent issues in your area. Also, if a surveyor hasn’t been in your area long, you will find what other regions you should be looking in for reviews.
Land surveys are typically not cheap, but they can save you thousands of dollars down the line. Finding a land surveyor who offers a quality product is essential. Usually, entering surveys into public records is standard practice, and a mistake can be costly. Cheapest is not always best. A quote over the phone can be of concern, as there can be many problems that add to the cost of a land surveyor. Getting an in-person quote helps ensure you won’t be hit with expensive surprises later. At Realsearch of Texas, our licensed and experienced land surveyors believe in offering a good product at reasonable rates. Click here to learn more. If you need your land surveyed, call us today.