Buyer or Seller: Who Pays for a Land Survey?

At the end of 2022, the combined value of all homes in the U.S. dipped to $45.3 trillion. That’s $2.3 trillion lower than the $47.7 trillion estimate in June 2022.

One reason for that decrease is the drop in homebuyer demand. Consequently, this led to real estate prices dipping in the first quarter of 2023. Despite that, the average cost of homes sold in the U.S. back then still amounted to $516,500.

With so much money already on the line, buyers and sellers may wonder who should pay for a land survey. We’ll answer this question below, so read on.

Who Pays for a Land Survey?

Whoever requests the land surveying service pays for it. So, for example, if you’re buying land and want a survey, you must pay for it.

However, some individuals selling land may also proactively order a property survey. They do so to attract potential buyers. In this case, the seller foots the bill.

Why Pay for a Land Survey?

A survey can help you avoid a boundary dispute before buying property or selling land. After all, one of its goals is to establish a topography’s boundaries.

If you know the boundary of the land you’re buying, you can avoid infringing on a neighbor’s property. Likewise, if you’re the seller, you can ensure you’re only selling what is rightfully yours.

Aside from the above, here are other reasons a land survey is vital in property transactions.

Establish Potential Environmental Issues

A land survey is worth it since it helps you identify environmental issues with the property. For example, according to, it can include flood zone classification. This is especially important nowadays as floods are becoming more common in the U.S.

Identify Existing Easements on the Land

A land survey company can also help buyers discover easements on the land they want to purchase.

An easement is a paid agreement between a property owner and another party. This formal documentation allows the former to let the latter use part of their property.

Easements can get transferred to a new owner after the sale of a property. So if you’re the new owner, you’ll receive money from the other party. That may sound great, but not if the easement restricts how you can use your property.

Proper Land Valuation

When land surveys find no problems, sellers can then sell their property for a fair market price. They can also use the survey and its positive results as excellent selling points. Plus, they can attract more potential buyers who may not be keen on paying for a survey.

Buyers who request land surveys also benefit as they can ensure they’re paying a fair price for the land. For example, they can negotiate a lower price if a survey finds a problem with the property.

Avoid Buying or Selling Without a Land Survey

Paying for a land survey is undoubtedly a smart financial move for buyers and sellers. After all, it can help them avoid property disputes that may turn into lawsuits. Moreover, it lets them identify severe land flaws, such as if it’s in a high-risk flood zone.  

So, whether you’re a buyer or a seller, consider paying for a land survey.

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