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"Oh, I had no idea it would cost that much"

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JPH
 JPH
(@jph)
1,000+ posts Member

Where do people even get preconceptions about what a boundary survey/lot staking costs?

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Topic starter Posted : June 22, 2022 6:24 am
Brad Ott liked
MightyMoe
(@mightymoe)
5,000+ posts Supporter

Some boundaries are "cheap" some are super expensive, it all depends how much information the surveyor has in relation to the area.

I can go stake a lot for a few hundred dollars in one of my existing subdivisions where I have control, a bit more in older parts of the city were I have extensive control and it could take many thousands for a problem area.

A section breakdown might be a few hundred where I already have all the control or it might many thousands. 

People hear about the cheap version and expect that. 

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Posted : June 22, 2022 6:35 am
Csk21
(@csk21)
10+ posts Member

I'm not sure but I seem to waste a lot of time pulling tax maps and deeds for quotes only to have them say "Oh, well I was told it would be around $300"

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Posted : June 22, 2022 6:51 am
FL/GA, half bubble, jbw and 3 people liked

FL/GA
(@flga-2-2)
5,000+ posts Supporter
Posted by: @jph 

Where do people even get preconceptions about what a boundary survey/lot staking costs?

From your friendly neighborhood "Realtor". 😉 

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Posted : June 22, 2022 6:56 am
BStrand, KScott, Nate The Surveyor and 6 people liked
Squirltech
(@squirl)
1,000+ posts Supporter

One request I got really sticks out in my mind.

Had a request for a title boundary survey, not NSPS/ALTA, locate the boundary and all improvements, (house, shed, driveway). The lot was adjacent to highway right-of-way. There were little to no recorded boundaries in that area and we had not done work there before. I pulled the right-of-way plans, a couple tax records and made an estimate (I don't remember the amount). They said, and I quote, "Oh, I figured it wouldn't be more than about $150". 

I almost bit my tongue off trying to stifle my laughter. At the time, we didn't start the truck for less than $150/day. 

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Posted : June 22, 2022 7:35 am
jmorgan, FL/GA, Jitterboogie and 2 people liked
Kevin Hines
(@kevin-hines)
500+ posts Member

The majority of the problem is the public's lack of knowledge of what a survey is or the work that goes into one.  Another part of the bad equation is the misinformation passed to potential clients by the friendly real estate agent as mentioned by @flga-2-2 above.

I get tons of calls wanting an estimate for "a simple 1-2 acre survey that shouldn't take too long".  My standard response is "the survey price is dependent upon the time and effort required to complete the survey, but I have a minimum call-out fee of $1500".  This usually gets a negative response but I explain that every survey, no matter how large or small, requires time to complete the research, draft contracts, set schedules, etc. and time is money. When you add the required field time, data processing, drafting, and QA/QC, you have a substantial amount accumulated that is well over the $300 - $500 "expected" fee.

I guess that is the long way of saying we need to be more proactive in educating the public on the services we provide.

My $0.02

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Posted : June 22, 2022 8:01 am
jmorgan, aliquot, FL/GA and 6 people liked

Rover83
(@rover83)
1,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @kevin-hines

I guess that is the long way of saying we need to be more proactive in educating the public on the services we provide.

👍 👍 👍 

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Posted : June 22, 2022 8:04 am
FL/GA, RADAR and JPH liked
JPH
 JPH
(@jph)
1,000+ posts Member

@kevin-hines

Posted by: @kevin-hines

I guess that is the long way of saying we need to be more proactive in educating the public on the services we provide.

Yup, even if I know that the price has scared them off, I still try to explain what goes into it, that the cost is a function of the work/effort that it takes to do the job.

I think some people think that our GPS equipment has the location of all boundaries, and we just need to dial up theirs, and stake it out.

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Topic starter Posted : June 22, 2022 8:09 am
BStrand, RADAR, Csk21 and 2 people liked
Norman Oklahoma
(@norman-oklahoma)
5,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @mightymoe

A section breakdown might be a few hundred where I already have all the control or it might many thousands. 

The price should be the same regardless of what work you have done in the area before. This is how you actually make money surveying.

Its like the story of the artist who charged $5000 for a portrait he drew in 20 minutes. Ah, he said. It didn't take 20 minutes, it took 20 years to learn how to do it in 20 minutes. 

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Posted : June 22, 2022 8:30 am
MDavis, R.J. Schneider, jmorgan and 15 people liked

jacavell
(@jacavell)
50+ posts Member
Posted by: @jph

Where do people even get preconceptions about what a boundary survey/lot staking costs?

1st, the public has no idea of what goes into a proper survey.

2nd, almost anything with which we are not familiar tends to be treated as a commodity. When purchasing a commodity the reasonable factors are price and delivery time.

3rd, for a new buyer of property, the survey is an inconvenient hurdle

4th, for the seller's real estate agent and closing attorney the survey may find something that will delay or squash the closing.

5th, the surveying community is introverted or insular in relating to the public.

6th, professionalism is far more than getting the numbers and the legal aspect correct. It includes educating the public (professing).

 

 

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Posted : June 22, 2022 8:30 am
holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Member

Had one recently who thought we had only been on-site for 30 minutes.  As above, I explained the entire process that is involved plus the fact we had been on-site over 150 minutes, including the 50 minutes after we entered his driveway.  He said he was in the house and couldn't believe we didn't knock on his door.  His Highway Patrol Car was setting in the driveway in the middle of the afternoon.  That signaled to me he was most likely sound asleep.

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Posted : June 22, 2022 8:35 am
RADAR and Kevin Hines liked
FairbanksLS
(@fairbanksls)
500+ posts Member

Realtors couldn’t quote low prices if you didn’t have a few surveyors doing it for those prices.  We’ve all know some.

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Posted : June 22, 2022 8:40 am
jmorgan and FL/GA liked

holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Member

@jacavel

In my post above, the survey did show something that could have killed the deal.  This was a five-acre rural tract using a septic lagoon for household waste treatment.  It extended over 40 feet into the surrounding property owned by the whiner's in-laws.  It should be no closer than 50 feet to any boundary without an agreement with the adjoiner.    Also, none of the existing fences were anywhere close to marking the five-acre tract. 

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Posted : June 22, 2022 8:41 am
Kevin Hines
(@kevin-hines)
500+ posts Member

@fairbanksls

Unfortunately, the "low ballers" are the ones that get the lion's share of the projects. They are usually the ones that cut so many corners that they produce a bad boundary, yet insist they are providing a valuable service to the public. Those are the ones that need to be reported to the licensure boards every time they fail to comply with the reasonable standards of care and/or the standards of practice. Eventually they will either get a clue or loose their credentials.

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Posted : June 22, 2022 8:55 am
holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Member

There is poor as defined by today's standards.  Then there is poor as defined by yesterday's standards.  Big difference.

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Posted : June 22, 2022 9:15 am

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