Your buyers walk out onto the back patio and instantly fall in LOVE with the HUGE back yard! There’s nothing but woods and lots of vacant, wide open space – which is going to be great for their young kids. Lots of space for a swing set, a swimming pool, a fire pit, maybe even that outdoor kitchen they have always dreamed of… the options are endless!

Then you crush their dreams by saying: “We won’t know for sure just how much of this land is yours until we get a boundary survey”. They look at you like you have lobsters coming out of your ears… thinking to themselves “of course we would own that; the mow lines match the rest of the yard and there’s a planter box garden in the back that is obviously ours”.

You, however, have seen this scenario before. You’ve represented other buyers who thought the same thing – only to be greatly disappointed when the boundary survey results came back and it turns out they owned much less than what they thought.

This can be a “Survey Nightmare” situation. But there are some simple solutions:


  1. Don’t make any promises regarding the lot size based on just the appearance of the lot. What you see isn’t always what you get, even if there is a fence built.
  2. Ask the seller if they have an existing survey. Even if the corners aren’t still marked, you’ll get an idea of the shape of the lot.
  3. Recommend they order a boundary survey so that they can actually “see” what it is that they are purchasing.
  4. Keep in mind, the adage of “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” in the back of your mind. It’s a bonus to find out you have more land than what you thought, but a real bummer to find out you have less than you thought.

This is a “real life” example where a subdivision lot backed to a large commercial parcel. Turns out our planter box was located onto the neighboring lot by over 45 feet. YIKES! They lost about half of what they thought was their back yard.

Having a boundary survey performed and having the property corners marked is the only real way to know what land you do and don’t own. Call us today for a free quote.

2017 boundary survey drawing

Information provided should not be considered legal advice and all buyers, agents and title companies should consult their attorneys for legal advice.