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Buyer's Attorney Requests and Instrument Survey.

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not my real name
(@not-my-real-name)
500+ posts Member

This might have been posted in humor, but it's just stupid.

I got a call from a real estate agent trying to make a sale, but the buyer's attorney is requesting an "instrument" survey. Posh.

They sent the title report where it is noted the third course of the description in the current deed shows a distance of 39 feet, while in all prior deeds that distance is 19 feet. They also had a mortgage inspection plan and the surveyor made a note that the 39 feet distance was incorrect and the 19 feet distance fit better.

I told the real estate agent and the buyer that they already have their answer and they may write a corrective deed to forego the cost of a survey for something that is obvious.

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Topic starter Posted : January 20, 2022 6:26 pm
JPH
 JPH
(@jph)
1,000+ posts Member

I'd be open to doing it still, even if it seems obvious what the issue is.  I'm guessing that there's no recent plan of the lot, and writing a corrective deed off of a mortgage survey seems like a need for a real boundary survey.

I've done a few surveys for prospective buyers.  And at least one of them didn't go through, and they still paid me. 

Maybe I'm misunderstanding something here, though

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Posted : January 21, 2022 5:49 am
Rover83
(@rover83)
1,000+ posts Member

@jph 

I think that by "instrument survey", they meant paper survey. Sounds like a pretty easy fix but also like they don't want to shell out for an actual survey.

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Posted : January 21, 2022 6:11 am

JPH
 JPH
(@jph)
1,000+ posts Member

@rover83 

Actually, around here, (and I think the OP is somewhat in my area), an instrument survey means a real survey, where you take an instrument out.

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Posted : January 21, 2022 6:25 am
Gary, Chris Bouffard, RADAR and 2 people liked
thebionicman
(@thebionicman)
1,000+ posts Member

@jph I haven't heard the term since I left the land of mortgage things (aka spots, mir, useless sketch).

If that is the case, good on the agent. Using a mortgage report to correct a description is asking to get hammered. It's like stitching up the entry wound on a gunshot and calling it good... 

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Posted : January 21, 2022 6:56 am
JPH
 JPH
(@jph)
1,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @jph

And at least one of them didn't go through, and they still paid me. 

I want to make it clear here that I wasn't doing any survey on a contingency basis.  Just meant that there could be some concern about not getting paid after a sale falls through, and the client isn't the actual owner of the property.

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Posted : January 21, 2022 7:00 am

not my real name
(@not-my-real-name)
500+ posts Member

@jph 

I told them I am still open to doing the survey. It's just that they seem to have already determined there was a transcription error. I feel obligated to tell them that.

Since all the deeds prior and prior to 1970 use the distance of 19 feet it may have been a typographical error replacing the 1 with a 3 in the description. Also none of the distances are spelled out in the deed, they are just represented in numerical terms.

I think the corrective deed is still an option for them. However, there is no survey on record.

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Topic starter Posted : January 21, 2022 7:45 am
Csk21
(@csk21)
10+ posts Member

@jph Are mortgage surveys common in Mass? 

I've seen a few around here that looked like a deed plot rotated to a rough occupation line (or an apparent monument).  Most look like they were done with a tape.  From what I recall they had a note on them stating "This is not an instrument survey".

I guess I don't understand the purpose of them.  I wouldn't think they would be worth anything if an issue ever arose. 

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Posted : January 21, 2022 7:45 am
not my real name
(@not-my-real-name)
500+ posts Member

@csk21 

I don't know if they are common. I don't do them.

In most cases they are worthless. Once I refinanced my house and the bank was going to require one, but I refused.

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Topic starter Posted : January 21, 2022 7:52 am

JPH
 JPH
(@jph)
1,000+ posts Member

@csk21 

I think they are.  I've never done one.  I've drawn a plan that was used in a mortgage transaction, but I'd already done a boundary survey of the property.

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Posted : January 21, 2022 7:54 am
not my real name
(@not-my-real-name)
500+ posts Member

@rover83 

An "instrument" survey is a term that means an actual survey in this case. It's just funny how real estate agents and attorneys try to qualify the work with peculiar language.

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Topic starter Posted : January 21, 2022 8:12 am
not my real name
(@not-my-real-name)
500+ posts Member

@thebionicman 

Really?

That was some weird analogy.

Do you think this requires a survey even when all deeds prior disagree with one number?

The numbers are not spelled out in the deed. They are just expressed numerically.

The agent is not advising a survey be done. It is the buyer's attorney. I's a crock. 

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Topic starter Posted : January 21, 2022 8:21 am

Csk21
(@csk21)
10+ posts Member

On a similar note, I've had a couple requests where the clients (loggers on both occasions) stated that they "don't need an instrument survey just a compass survey". 

I took this to mean that they had no idea where the property lines were and wanted someone to point the finger at when they started cutting on the neighbors property but didn't want to pay to have an actual survey done.

On both occasions I quoted them the price of a full boundary survey and never heard back.

I know there are a few guys in the area that will do this kind of work but it just gives me an uneasy feeling. 

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Posted : January 21, 2022 8:26 am
Brad Ott and JPH liked
jacavell
(@jacavell)
50+ posts Member

The requester is an attorney. Try to use his verbiage. Don't make assumptions. Ask him for his definition of an instrument survey. In many cases, he may not know but simply borrowed some language that sounded specific. In that case, tell him what your understanding of an instrument survey is and give him an estimate. Then follow the standards of practice for your jurisdiction, which, I hope, specify that a boundary survey by a licensed survey must be complete.

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Posted : January 21, 2022 8:50 am
Rover83
(@rover83)
1,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @not-my-real-name

@rover83 

An "instrument" survey is a term that means an actual survey in this case. It's just funny how real estate agents and attorneys try to qualify the work with peculiar language.

Well I learned something new today. When I hear an attorney reference an instrument, I usually think of an executed written document.

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Posted : January 21, 2022 8:52 am

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