Why review title and survey?
Before buying real property, you need to acertain:
that the seller actually owns all of the interest in the property;
that there are no boundary line issues with adjoining properties;
that there are no easements running where you do not want them;
that there are no unwanted restrictions in any recorded documents; and
that the title company you are using will still be in business and have enough money to pay your insured policy amount if they made a mistake in abstracting and examining your property.
I have worked on a deal where the seller actually owned the property across the street, not the property they were offering. The seller's and the buyer's brokers, lawyers, and title company did not catch the fact that the calls in the survey legal covered the property across the street instead of where they were building their new storefront. Knowing how to read the survey legal is crucial!
I have worked a file where an electric easement ran down the middle of the building, giving the electric company the right to dig up everything on top of the easement in order to fix or upgrade their electric line.
I have worked a file where the title company missed that the building was subject to air rights of a skybridge that attached to the building. None of the parties noticed this prior to the closing.
I have worked numerous files on raw land where the boundary lines were not tied to the adjoining properties when conveyed and the legals used created strips and gores (pieces of land) where the ownership still belonged to prior owners (usually deceased due to passage of time).
I have worked many files where the owner did not have good title to the property because prior generations did not deed the property to the next generation or leave a will, which created a cloud on title and made heirship affidavits necessary and in some cases necessitated court action to "quiet title".
These are just a few of the instances where an experienced title and survey reviewer are needed to identify the problems and assist in fixing them. You don't want to build a multi-million dollar building on a property to only learn 10 years later that a prior owner's Aunt Susie still owns a legal claim to 25% of the property. Or learn that the North property line actually lies 10 feet into your building because no one noticed the discrepancy prior to closing. Yes, that is why you buy title insurance, but do you really want to be tied up in court for several years only to be paid your policy amount from 10 years ago and the property is valued at 3 times that now?
If you are preparing to buy a commercial property, hire me to review your title and survey, prepare your objection letter to the seller, title company and surveyor, and help you get the objectional issues fixed prior to buying the property.
I began learning title insurance in 1983 from the general counsel of Hexter Fair Title Company with Lawyers Title as the Underwriter. I then continued learning title and survey from the General Counsel of Chicago Title. I have worked, learned, and closed commercial real estate in the major title companies and in the DFW real estate market since then and have a great deal of experience behind my reviews.
Email me at to discuss your transaction confidentially. I look forward to assisting you and saving you time and money.