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Why You Need A Surveyor
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You are Selling Property

You may have to provide the buyer with an up-to-date survey of your property in order to:

  • Give your buyer confidence in the purchase
  • Verify the size and extent of your property for the buyer
  • Avoid later legal disputes arising from an inadequate or inaccurate property description
You are Buying Property

Typically your house and land represent your largest assets.  You need to know what you're purchasing. Obtaining a survey may be the most important action you do before you close the deal on any purchase.  Only a survey map made by a licensed land surveyor can depict what you are purchasing. Your surveyor will perform research, survey the property and prepare a survey map that will reveal:

  • If there are rights of others to use your property through easements for utilities or rights-of-way.
  • The location of improvements such as buildings, fences, driveways, walkways, and swimming pools. 
  • Potential encroachments that may cause disputes, such as a fence or driveway of a neighboring property.
  • Whether or not the legal description correctly describes the property.

It is essential that you know the boundaries of your land before you buy it.  A survey explains your purchase by revealing encroachments or other irregularities that might lead to future legal disputes. You may elect to have your surveyor mark the corners of your site with survey monuments or prepare a FEMA Elevation Certificate.


Building a Fence or Adding an Addition to Your Home 

You should protect your investment by ensuring you are building on your own property. A mislocated fence, driveway or carport can cause legal problems and extra construction costs.

Before you build, contract a licensed land surveyor to determine your property boundaries.  The surveyor can work with you, the contractor and the municipality to ensure that your improvements are constructed in the correct location, eliminating conflicts from improperly placed improvements.

You are Subdividing

A licensed land surveyor will:
  • Check record title, planning restrictions, easements and other land planning issues
  • Survey the site
  • Engage with other consultants to carry out preliminary studies, engineering, planning and environmental issues 
  • Prepare a subdivision map
  • Mark the proposed improvements on the ground for construction
Refinancing or Obtaining a Mortgage

A lender normally requires a current survey before they will approve the loan. Why is this necessary?

The lender may require the survey in order to protect their investment. They want to be sure that the land and buildings on which they are lending money correspond with the title documents that accompany the transaction.

Fees for surveys are determined on an individual basis.  Much depends on the purpose of the survey, the research required and the time involved to complete all tasks.  Your surveyor will work with you to identify the scope of work anticipated. 

Prior to engaging your surveyor, you can ask for an estimate of the costs involved and what the survey will entail, along with the expected completion date.  NYSAPLS recommends written contracts be executed between the surveyor and their client.



New York State law only allows licensed land surveyors to prepare boundary surveys. They have met rigorous education and training requirements, as set by law, to protect the interests of consumers.

In cases of property disputes your surveyor can assist in resolving questions or misunderstandings regarding property locations.  The licensed land surveyor can serve as an expert witness in court if legal action is pursued.



 You may wish to consult the Yellow Pages of your telephone directory under the "Surveyors Land" classification or your lawyer may advise you of the surveyors in your area. You can also check our member listing for a surveyor in your area (click here).

Find a licensed surveyor here

146 Washington Avenue
Land Surveyors Building
Albany, NY 12210
518-432-4046 -- (f) 518-432-4055

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