Survey Disputes & Questions: What happens when records and property owner opinions do not match up?
Amber Nestor - Principal Broker & Owner of Trillium Cascade LLC Real Estate Firm of Tennessee
Image above is a Stock Photo used as an example for topic of discussion.
I started deep hiking private property for the purpose of listing, advertising, and professionally photographing land for my clients back in 2018.
I have studied both private and public land, shorelines, and water resources, for many years, as a hunter, fisherman, nature enthusiast, and as a real estate professional.
In college, one of my focuses of study was Advanced Mathematics and Calculus, as well as Database Design (which was post formal college enrollment).
One of the things I truly LOVE about Mathematics is that everything is based on PROOF and Data.
When we come to a conclusion about what something is, we look at space, time, and points of reference. Everything must be proven. Also, one must take into consideration the tools and units of measure, and if any factors might create different outcomes during different time spans.
Everything must be defined. All variable must be accounted for. And multiple professionals must all be capable of reaching the same conclusions during a period of analysis.
Mathematics is about truth calculated with perfection, and the inclusion of ALL variables for consideration in the calculation.
What could be more pure than that?
Having this sort of background makes me an excellent ally in helping you in listing property for sale, and also in buying property to invest in. I aim to be precise, informative, evidence based, science based, and honest. This is in the best legal interest of ALL parties, agents, and clients, always.
Also, we must rely heavily on professionals, the proper types of professionals, and multiple opinions, and multiple verifications, to create a PROOF in regards to property, land, and property lines.
Being well read in these areas helps in understanding the maps, surveys, deeds, records, and landmarks, because that informs us as to terminology and overall theory.
However, legally, we must rely on the licensed professionals in the field of surveying and record keeping, and we must always ask: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?
Anytime there is a dispute, confusion, or a set of records that conflicts with one another, or even a difference in individual understanding or interpretation of what is, or of what was, on the land, or in the records of the land, it is imperative that the owner of the property, or the potential owner of the property, hire a Surveyor of good reputation, and who has specialized experience in the type of matter in question.
The county GIS department, Deeds and Plats Office, Tax Records, The TN Property Viewer, Google Maps, and all kinds of records kept by past property owners, original plats and surveys, and new surveys done by more than one professional can all be taken into consideration when figuring these things out.
The original survey that created the subdivided lines is a superb and reliable reference for current Surveyor professionals to rely on when determining what currently is legally defined as what is and what was, because that document is the document that was use to create the identity of the lot, and to define the lot. Any attempt to describe what was depicted, or to re-type what was previous described, while helpful, might open up an opportunity for human error during transcription.
Additionally, it is unwise to rely on finding a PIN, or a metal stake in the ground, unless it is at the roadfront, and filled in with concrete, and immoveable, or difficult to move. Just as a PIN can be inserted into the earth, it can be disturbed, moved, etc. Additionally, finding a marker might even mean that something else was marked there for some other purpose. Examples for that might include: past potential sites that were considered for tree removal, development, buried utilities, spot to drill a well, and countless other things.
It is best to rely on the most accurate types of surveys that can legally define what is and what was, when the property lines were created and defined.
Usually, difficulties and confusion arise when the following factors take place:
Land changes ownership without the use of a professional real estate agent.
Land changes hands and buyer is told what they are getting, rather than being provided proof of what they are getting.
Many years go by without a property owner visiting property, or without doing improvement to protect and monitor their property to protect it from neighbors who accidentally encroach, misunderstand, or trespass, etc.
Property owners don't read the survey or deeds of record prior to, nor during the time of, purchase of property.
Property has within a portion of it's space terrain, or topography, that is difficult to walk or climb, or property has within it's space shoreline that would be best accesses by boat, but owner or buyer do not inspect this space by boat, or do not consult a professional.
Builders or contractors that are hired, or DIY property owners, fail to consult a property Surveyor when making improvements to property, and/or fail to get proper permits for construction, improvements, or docks, etc.
I hope this helps a little bit to inform the buying public about the benefits of using a Professional Real Estate Agent, and other professionals who work in the field of real estate. Sometimes, doing things yourself on the front end might seem like it will save you money, but in the long run, it might cause you to experience costly surprises, tasks, fees, and dilemmas. It's best to invest in professionals at the time of purchase, and that way you can be sure of what you are getting into.
Thank you for visiting. I pray that God blesses you with health, wealth, and peace this beautiful Spring Day.
Amber Nestor - Principal Broker & Firm Owner - Trillium Cascade LLC - Real Estate for TN
(865)617-4783 Text or call 24/7/365