When a parcel of land is listed for sale one of the things sellers need is a survey. In many counties such as Chatham County the land to be sold has been in the family for 50, 100, or even 150 years (since the 1800’s).
Some of these properties have hand written deeds and have never had a survey done before. Some of these hand written deeds will use landmarks to mark the property’s boundaries. Some of these landmarks and monuments include items such as farm equipment, tractor axles, large trees, or abandoned vehicles. These deeds are not surveys.
A common issue that we must overcome when listing a piece of land like this for sale are gaps or overlaps in the survey. An overlap is a problem when you and your neighbor both think that they own the same piece of land that you do. A gap is when there is an unclaimed piece of land- sometimes people are surprised to discover that they actually own more land than they do. Both scenarios occur all the time.
A survey clears up all of these issues and gives the property a “color of title”.
When it comes to surveys, the newer the better. When I see a survey that has been done in the last 2 or 3 years, we’re usually in good shape. Even a survey that is 10 years old can be ok, but it depends on what has been happening on the land and on the neighbor’s land. If there has been a lot of activity, such as barn, fence, or workshop construction, sometimes a new survey needs to be done to ensure there is no encroachment taking place.
Something that is very confusing to a lot of sellers are remainder tracts.
An example of a remainder tract is when someone takes a 100 acre property and decide to sell 20 acres. They have the 20 acres surveyed and sell it. Later, when they decide to sell the 80 acre tract, many people are surprised that the land must be surveyed. When a portion of land is sold from a larger piece, the 80 acres is officially NOT surveyed and must be surveyed to be sold.
If you are considering selling land in North Carolina please feel free to visit my page North Carolina Land Sales.