Colorado Springs Real Estate Contracts Guide – Survey

surveyA Survey is a verification of a parcel of land and/or the improvements (buildings) that are on it. A surveyor will come out and confirm property boundaries. Sometimes they are required by the title company if there is ambiguity about what is included in a property sale but most of the time they are not required in residential real estate sales.

The question then becomes, is it worth it? First and foremost, if YOU have concerns, yes. A survey will show you where your exact property boundaries are. So if you want to put up a fence in a very specific spot, or a shed in a very specific spot, you should have a survey done to be sure you can.

Timeline – Typically 3-4 Weeks to get one done if you are lucky.

Two Basic Types Of Surveys:

Improvement Location Certificate (ILC)

An ILC is where a surveyor confirms the location of the improvements (house) on the property with regards to known landmarks and boundary lines. It can identify encroachments (where the neighbor might have put a fence in the wrong spot and so it’s on your land), who owns that tree in the corner, etc… An ILC is recorded with the city for all new construction (since the 90’s I think) so if the property hasn’t had a major addition they are often not necessary.

Land Survey

A land survey is a whole different ball of wax. A surveyor will go out and measure coordinates, use GPS data, and other markers to identify anything from elevations, boundaries, etc. They cost thousands, can take months depending on the size of the parcel being surveyed, and will not likely be anything you are ever going to need unless you are buying a large parcel of land for subdividing or ranch use.

Colorado Springs Real Estate Buyers:

Only you can decide if you want a survey as part of your due diligence process. If you do want one, who pays for it is established during the negotiations of the contract. It is customary for a buyer to pay for a survey if they want one. If title NEEDS one, then it’s customary for the seller to pay for it. With that said, if the contract states buyer pays for a survey and you didn’t want one but the title company is requiring one, you are on the hook.

Colorado Springs Real Estate Sellers:

Most of the time surveys are not required to sell your home. I would advise you to make the survey a buyer responsiblity if they would like to have a survey done. Also, look through your old paperwork, you may have a copy of the ILC on file from when you built/bought your home. You can also go to to see if you can obtain a copy of your ILC.

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