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Whether you are buying a new home or property, opening a business or developing land, there are many concerns and hurdles to consider. From securing the necessary construction equipment and gathering down payments to handling legal paperwork, the process can be especially confusing for those not accustomed to the process.

One such area where professional assistance will be required regardless of expertise is in the field of surveying. Land surveyors have a major role in ensuring that each piece of property, development and related transaction is handled properly by all parties involved.

This begs the question: what is a surveyor and is one needed when purchasing or developing property? Continue reading to find out the answers to these questions.

What Is a Surveyor?

Many people have heard of the surveying profession before, but do not know what it entails. For those unfamiliar with the concept, surveyors use a wide variety of skills – maths, geography and science, among others – to accurately measure and assess various forms of properties and landscapes.

There are many different types of surveyors that handle specific aspects of the profession. Land surveyors may be involved with assessing the property boundaries and features of a particular property being bought or sold, while urban surveyors may be required to assess both land and structural elements before or after a development project.

Ultimately, surveyors are tasked with ensuring that property boundaries are established, that land features are documented and that structures are sound.

Do I Need a Surveyor?

Now that you understand the broader responsibilities of surveyors, you may be wondering if you need a surveyor. The answer to that question depends on a number of factors.

For example, anybody applying for a mortgage or refinancing of property will likely need a surveyor due to their lender or financial institution requiring a survey of the property. In virtually every transaction where property is bought or sold, a surveyor is required (usually paid for by the buyer).

For those planning particular property renovations or development projects in urban areas, a surveyor may be needed even if the property is not changing hands (those needing survey solutions can trust these urban surveyors).

Another reason why surveyor assistance may be required is if you are subdividing an existing piece of property. Even if the property itself isn’t immediately changing hands, a survey will be needed to accurately assess the division.

Of course, a survey will also be needed if any particular change to the property is taking place. Even in rural areas, a major change in the form of a new construction (a barn, a new house or even a swimming pool are some examples) may require a survey in order to be legally constructed. Ultimately, these requirements will have to be verified with your local surveyor’s office.


It is safe to assume that in any instance where property is being bought, sold or altered in some way, a surveyor will be needed. Surveyors play a valuable role in our daily lives and ensure that property boundaries and characteristics are accurately documented and verified. If you are planning any changes to your property, then contacting a local surveyor is highly recommended.

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