Surveys are a complex subject. Casually assumed as a buyer benefit, they are just as important to a seller. At the most basic level, a survey shows where a property is located on the planet. The level of detail shown on a survey can vary and it is often a negotiation between the parties. Surveys show a varying degree of information that is useful to the buyer but a survey also protects a seller. A survey can be a disclosure of sorts; items shown on a survey notify the buyer of issues that may affect a piece of property. Access (to the property and/or by others on the property), easements, fence lines, ditches, building locations, and setbacks can be shown on a survey.
Title companies almost always require a detailed survey when issuing title policies. Because property conveyance deeds normally include a seller warranty, it is in the seller’s interest to provide a strong title insurance policy to the buyer. The survey provides important information to the buyer and title insurance company, which allows a seller to provide a stronger title policy to the buyer and ultimately protect the seller in the long run.