Land surveying is a profession that requires technical skills, legal knowledge, and specialized equipment. You may employ a land surveyor only once or twice in a lifetime and not be aware of the steps necessary to select a land surveyor.

The surveyor creates maps for architects, engineers, landscapers, and urban planners for use in designing houses, shopping centers, recreational areas, etc.

A licensed land surveyor should be employed:
• Prior to construction of a structure
• Prior to any improvements on property
• When subdividing parcels of land
• When purchasing real estate

The services of a land surveyor can prevent the worry and expense of moving a structure or defending a lawsuit. The land surveyor and lawyer work as a team in resolving property disputes

Who can perform a land survey?
All 50 states have laws requiring a licensed land surveyor (LS) to assume the legal responsibility of a land survey. The licensed surveyor is a highly specialized individual, whose education, experience, and competence have been formally examined and licensed by the state of South Carolina. Their conduct and the quality of their work are subject to a defined code of ethics.

Can an engineer do a land survey?
NO. An engineer cannot perform boundary survey work unless he/she is also licensed as a land surveyor (LS).

Can a contractor do land survey work?
NO. A contractor cannot perform land survey work unless he/she is licensed as a land surveyor (LS).

How do I locate a licensed land surveyor?
Recommendations by attorneys, real estate companies, and title companies are good sources.

Is a survey required by State Law when property is sold?
NO. South Carolina State Law does not require a survey to convey property.

Should I employ a surveyor on the basis of price?
NO. Competency and responsibility are more important. Low cost and high quality are frequently inconsistent. Uncertainties are involved in judging the amount of work necessary to produce a quality product. It is not in your best interest to have the surveyor "bid" on a project.

How does a surveyor prepare my bill? Is a written contract required?
Many surveys have been requested over the phone. However, it is more effective for the client to visit the surveyor's office, discuss requirements of the survey, and enter into a written contract to assure a better understanding between the client and the surveyor.

Can I determine in advance what the charge will be?
Not usually. The final cost will depend on the work required to research records, survey existing field evidence, perform the required office computations, generate a plat, and monument your corners.

Should I employ a surveyor to subdivide my land?
YES. A surveyor is qualified by law to prepare descriptions for newly created parcels of land, and may also prepare individual lot descriptions. When two or more lots are created, your surveyor will prepare a plat with lot or parcel numbers for recording. Your surveyor will know the specific platting rules and procedures for each county.

Can the surveyor layout streets, waterlines, and sewer systems for my subdivision?
YES. A surveyor can layout streets, sanitary sewers and storm sewers within a subdivision. The surveyor can recommend an engineer to design the water supply system and perform all other engineering services that will be required. A professional surveyor will not attempt any aspects of engineering which he/she is not qualified to perform.

Can the surveyor provide proof of ownership?
NO. Surveyors do not prove ownership, but make a professional judgement of what the records and facts indicate your ownership to be. The surveyor acts as a fact finder and assists the legal profession in making the final judgement of ownership.

What other services does a surveyor provide?
They are equipped to provide topographic surveys, supply control for aerial photography, layout construction projects, and survey rights-of-way for power lines, roadways, etc.

What information should I furnish the surveyor?
You should provide an explanation of the purpose of the survey. Confidentiality will be maintained if requested. You should supply a deed, mortgage description, or abstract of title. If you are aware of a stone, iron pipe, fence post, etc., assumed to be a property corner, supply that information also. Your surveyor will make the professional judgement as to what evidence should be used.

Where can I get a copy of my property description?
Your yearly tax notice will provide you with the book and page number of your recorded deed. A copy can be obtained from the County Recorder's Office. Your tax notice has an abbreviated property description and must be compared to your record document.

What will the surveyor furnish me?
The surveyors final product may vary with each survey. Generally, you will be furnished with a certified plat or map showing what the surveyor has done and the corners monumented or otherwise identified. A description of the tract will be prepared and shown on the plat.

Russ Courtney & Assoc. LLC, PLLC
1108-2 Sea Mountain Hwy
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
Phone: 843.249.7733

Fax: 843.249.3377
North Carolina: 910.579.7799


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