Tips for Hiring a Land Surveyor

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Tips for Hiring a Land Surveyor

There are many cases in which you might find yourself looking to hire a land surveyor. Whether you are building a new fence, buying new property, or resolving boundary disputes with neighbors, a land surveyor is the only person who can provide an accurate and trustworthy depiction of your property lines.

In each of these scenarios, the stakes are fairly high. You want to make sure you are getting a land surveyor that meets your needs, does the job accurately, and fits within your budget. What can you do while hiring to find the best surveyor possible?

Independent versus Company

Land surveyors are experts in verifying property lines. To do this, they go out and search for original property markers, and use these as the basis of measurements. They are also equipped to review county and state property records describing your property.When hiring a surveyor, you should consider whether you want an independent land surveyor or someone who is part of a larger land surveying company. Both options are fine; the best option depends on your specific needs.

An independent land surveyor usually will charge you less money. However, they may be busier, and If you have a tight deadline, they may not be able to meet it.

In contrast, a land surveying company can likely meet with you sooner. However, they tend to be more expensive.

Where to look

So, where do you even look to hire a land surveyor?

The best resources at your disposal are friends, family, and colleagues. People that you know may have used land surveyors before, and can point you towards trusted professional surveyors. This way, you can ensure you are getting someone with a good reputation.

After that, you can go to your state’s land surveyor association website. Many have searchable directories, making for a quick search to find options near you.

Questions to ask

Beyond this, there are a series of questions you want to consider asking before making a commitment. These questions can help you sniff out land surveyor red flags before they become a problem.

Are you fully licensed in my state?

The land surveyor qualifications are extensive. In order to pursue land surveying careers, you must complete lots of education and training. While states have different requirements, in general surveyors have completed a bachelor’s or associates, passed the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying exam, and worked for four years under a professional surveyor. Furthermore, they must hold land surveyor licenses in the states in which they are practicing.

Confirming that the land surveyor has the necessary educational and licensing requirements helps you avoid any legal issues down the road. Furthermore, it will ensure that you are working with a qualified land surveyor that is adequately trained and will do high quality work.

You also may want to consider whether they have any violations on record. You can find this by looking on the state association website.

Do you have liability insurance?

In case something bad occurs while the land surveyor is on your property, it is important to be insured. Furthermore, insurance is generally a sign that the surveyor is indeed professional.

What is the estimated cost?

It is best practice to get an estimate of the land survey cost before starting the process. Most professional land surveyors will be able to give you a ballpark estimate. This enables you to budget appropriately.


Surveyors charge different amounts, meaning the possible range of cost can range as low as $300 to as much as $2000. No matter what, you should expect to pay a flat fee. If the cost is too high, you might want to consider looking elsewhere.

How long will it take?

No two pieces of property are the same, meaning that no two surveys take the same amount of time. Factors such as the size, shape, and geographic features all come into play.

A professional land surveyor will be able to provide an estimate of the timeframe. This will give you a rough idea as you plan your timeline. Remember, though, that sometimes it takes longer than the estimate.

Do you have references?

There are many types of land surveys, ranging from residential properties to industrial construction. A reference can help you ensure that you are hiring the right land surveyor who can conduct a professional land survey on the type of property at hand.

If they do not have a written reference, you can also ask to call their past clients. This helps to ensure you are getting quality service.

What will I get out of your work?

When the surveyor finishes surveying, you should have a survey map that is reviewed, signed, and approved by the county surveyor and recorded at the county recorder’s office. This counts as the surveyor’s stamp of approval.


Ensure that the land surveyor intends to record this document with the county. If they do not, then you will not get the legal documentation that will hold up in court in the case of a dispute. Consider asking the land surveyor if they will be around to support you if you encounter trouble down the road.

On top of this, make sure that the land surveyor can guarantee an accurate survey. A licensed land surveyor should run the field data through a statistical analysis program that guarantees the measurements fall within guidelines established by the American Land Title Association and National Society for Professional Surveyors. If they do not offer this service, look for someone else who does.


Hiring land surveyors is important for any property owner that needs to verify their property lines. In order to ensure you are getting a high quality property survey, there are several steps you can take.

First, seek out a professional surveyor. You may want to consider independent or company surveyors. Next, ask them questions before committing to their services to make sure they are the best fit for you.

Baseline helps provide information on how to hire a land surveyor, including where to look and what questions to ask before making a hire.

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