For a long time, the real estate industry has referenced a product by the name of “spot survey”. I hate to be the bearer of bad news – but it’s actually illegal in the state of Missouri to call a “spot” a “survey” (MO 20 CSR 2030.19.010.5). The legal name of the product is: Surveyors Real Property Report. In my opinion, the SRPR has two main functions:
- Prove there is a house on the lot. Yes, it sounds absurd that a house be built on the wrong lot, but it does happen. A SRPR is a cursory check of the property and the main thing we want to verify is that the home is indeed located on the right lot!
- Show the easements. Part of the surveying process is to review the easement deeds that are listed in a title commitment and show them graphically on the survey drawing. The easements listed in the title commitment and on the recorded subdivision plat are reviewed by the surveyor and then shown on the drawing. In approximately 10% of the surveys we perform, we find some type of easement issue with the property.
Because property corners aren’t marked and because the state statues require a minimum amount of work to be performed, a “spot” really shouldn’t (and can’t) be called a “survey”. Calling it a “survey” is misleading and misrepresents what the client is receiving. Remember, it is only a cursory check by a licensed land surveyor.
Information provided should not be considered legal advice and all buyers, agents and title companies should consult their attorneys for legal advice.