Read some of our frequently asked questions to Alabama Land Surveyors…

Q:  I am buying a new house. Should the property be surveyed?

A:  Be sure to get a new survey of the property you are buying. The majority of our rural real estate in Alabama has not been resurveyed in a very long time. Pins set in subdivision plats of the early 1900′s to the 1980′s should be checked and verified by a Licensed Land Surveyor. Many landowners and real estate professionals describe parcels as surveyed when pins appear at boundary locations. Anyone can stick a pipe or pin in the ground, a practice often found in and around our area. Be sure you know that what you are buying is located within the parameters of your legal description. Contrary to buyer beliefs, title insurance does not insure for encroachments.

Q:  What things should I consider in regards to surveying prior to construction?

A:   The high costs of construction materials and installing septic systems should be reason enough to get a survey before beginning a project. A survey assures you that your new improvements are being built within your property boundaries. Be sure that your structure is in compliance to local government-required building setbacks. Be especially careful when building adjacent to government lands as they may require the removal of any trespass. Do not depend on your building contractor to determine your building location in relation to your lot lines unless you are very sure where they are. Contractors are not surveyors!

Q:  What is Alabama Land Surveyors service area?

A:   We service the entire state of Alabama with surveying.  Most of our surveying is performed in Montgomery, Prattville, Birmingham, Auburn, Dothan, Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, Dothan, & Mobile, Alabama.

Q:  Will surveying help determine if I have legal road access into my new property?

A:    Legal road access is another area that often arises during a real estate transfer. Our area is integrated with all types of road corridors going in and out of rural parcels. These roads often cross adjoining parcels and may or may not have a legal easement to do so. Easements, when written properly, identify centerline location, width, grantor, grantee, transfer rights, and uses. Attorneys and/or title companies will take a very close look at this when interpreting marketability of title.

Q:  What is Quality Based Selection?

A: Federal law, Alabama Code and the Alabama Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors (Board) require the use of Quality Based Selection (QBS) procedures for the selection of engineers and surveyors for work. Exercise of professional judgment is a key element in the successful practice of these professions, and bidding on work may restrict factors like the time available for job research, thoughtful approaches to job tasks, and consideration of the long term effects of a design or a survey. All of these work against the best interests of the owner.

The general intent of QBS is to select a highly-qualified individual or firm because that will produce highly successful results. An important distinction of this process is that price does not become a consideration until the qualifications have been reviewed and have been found highly-qualified or determined to be the most-qualified when several firms or individuals are considered. The cost of retaining that firm or individual is a factor only if the owner finds the cost unreasonable. Although the specifics of the QBS process may change from agency to agency or state to state, there are three common elements:

(1) Submittal of qualifications to perform the engineering or surveying desired by a client;

(2) Evaluation of submittals and selection of the most-qualified firm(s) or individuals; and

(3) Negotiation of price, with the possibility of rejection by the owner, who then negotiates with the next most-qualified firm or individual

Q:  How does Quality Based Selection affect the client?

A:  QBS procedures are required by Board Rule 330-X-14-.05 Practice and 330-X-14-.06 Ethics.

These rules allow the submission of statements of qualifications to perform the work, but do not allow the providing of cost information until after being judged as the most-qualified to provide the services required for the proposed project.

Due to QBS requirements, the bidding process for surveys may differ slightly from what clients are used to from bidding out other services. When you call Alabama Land Surveyors for a survey project, we will provide a scope document that will include our qualifications to perform your project. If you deem that Alabama Land Surveyors is the best fit for your project, we can then provide detailed pricing information.

How do I choose the best surveyor for my project?

When choosing a surveyor, you should consider their qualifications, certifications, experience, areas of expertise, and other factors specific to your project.

Q:  Will conducting a survey benefit the seller in a real estate transaction?

A:    Providing your realtor with a current survey will definitely improve your chances for a quick, trouble-free transaction. Often, buyers make offers contingent on a survey. This not only adds time to the situation but if any problems arise as a result of the survey, you may lose a good, qualified buyer. Knowing the accurate locations of the property boundaries will also make for a much better presentation by your agent when showing the property.

Q:  Does surveying help with taxable acreage verification? What about shoreline footage?

A:     At times we have been asked to verify the acreage of a parcel in comparison to assessed acreage. County Assessors require certified surveys in order to make taxable acreage adjustments.

Q:  I believe my neighbor’s new addition has crossed over onto my property. Can a survey help?

A:     As people build, remodel and expand, the possibilities of building on your neighbor’s property or your neighbor encroaching on yours increases. If you suspect the location of your adjoiner’s improvements, there is only one way to prove it: get a survey. Suspicion carries no weight in land boundary disputes. A certified survey showing the locations of the trespass in relation to the boundary is the first step toward resolution.