Profile picture for gmcconathy loftin

Should I get a survey, appraisal and title search if buying from a FSBO?

Property is owned by three sisters, inherited when their father passed away.
  • November 30 2013 - Shreveport
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Answers (7)

Profile picture for CallTheSisters
You also need a title search to be sure there are no outstanding claims on the property.  You need to know if the probate was closed properly and the search should find that out.

If the septic is no good are you sure there is another perc site on the property?  If not - you may not be able to build.
  • December 01 2013
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Profile picture for Connie Klemme
appraisal is a good idea.  An appraisal offers you a third party with an objective value.
title insurance is HIGHLY recommend ALWAYS -survey is a good idea but in some cases the risk is low enough to skip- it depends on the land and the structures and if there is question of what things might be on or off property lines.

if you're concerned ....don't skip it.  talk to the appraiser about the legal description and how reasonable it is that the lines might not be where you think they are- talk to neighbors too.

I saw one a few years ago that after surveys were done it turned out the property line actually went down the middle of the house (this was a lot in old part of town with houses built in the 30s where people "thought" their lines should be- several properties were badly off- it was a huge deal for property owners to straighted out)
  • November 30 2013
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
Get yourself a buyer agent to help you with the process, even if you have to pay the agent.  You should get all that and also do a home inspection. 
  • November 30 2013
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Profile picture for kittenonkeys
Many times a survey is already on file with the Clerk of Court, but since you are buying from heirs, you may not know if the current survey is accurate.  

If paying cash, you don't necessarily need an appraisal unless you just want one to be sure you are not overpaying.  If you are working with a licensed REALTOR, he/she can pull comps to tell you if their price is reasonable.  

You never want to buy a piece of property without a title search.  I just closed one Friday listed by a son acting with his father's power of attorney.  What they did not know was that a succession had never been done when the mother died, and there was a son who had also died and no succession had ever been done for him either.  The son had children.  With Louisiana law absent a will, the mother's portion automatically went to the children and then the deceased son's children inherited his portion.  Therefore, two successions had to be done before clear merchantable title could be delivered to my buyers.  Most agents can tell you stories of title issues they've experienced, and all title companies and real estate attorneys can as well.  

Good luck in acquiring this property.
  • November 30 2013
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Profile picture for gmcconathy loftin
Thank you for your advice and quick response.  I may need to get an appraisal as the property is a 2.5 acre lot with a small house and sheds on it that need to be torn down.  I've had the septic systems and well on the property inspected, and while the well is functioning properly and the water is good, the septic systems need to be replaced.  The only way I can figure out to determine what the property is worth is to take the value per acre of unimproved property in the area and add the value of a well.  Does that make sense?
  • November 30 2013
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I would urge every home buyer to do so when purchasing a for sale by owner
  • November 30 2013
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Profile picture for ShaylaTwit
If you are paying cash you'll not be obligated to purchase any of these items.  However, it is highly recommended that your title/attorney's office conduct a title search so that you know if the property is free from any liens or encumbrances etc.  You would not necessarily need an appraisal.  Same goes for a survey, however you can request a prior survey from the seller.  If they have in their file, you can use to potentially get a discount, i.e. re-certify rather than pay for an entirely new survey.

If you're financing, all of the above mentioned items will be required, as your lender will mandate.

Hope that helps.  And good luck -- Shayla Twit, Sarasota FL Realtor
  • November 30 2013
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