How To Do Your Own Property Due Diligence

How To Do Your Own Property Due Diligence

What is Due Diligence?

Due diligence means doing your homework on the property before you buy.

Who Handles Due Diligence?

Vacant land buyers are responsible for conducting their own independent due diligence.

Won’t the Seller or Agent Tell Me Everything I Need to Know About Land?

The answer is no. The seller and agent do not have all the information that might interest you. Sellers and agents are legally responsible for disclosing facts they are aware of about the property- and that’s it. They are not your personal assistants.

The seller will tell you what they know about the land. If you choose to close with a title company, instead of self-closing, the title company will provide a report as well as a map of plotted easements.

That’s it! That’s all you get!

The information provided by the seller and or title company might not be enough.

It is your responsibility as a buyer to research other matters on your own.

For example, the seller may not know the precise location of corners of the land. If it’s not in the agreement, it is not the seller’s responsibility to mark the corners for you. If you want to know where the corners are, it is your responsibility as a buyer to pay for a survey. Most property reports that land sellers have on hand include the GPS Coordinates of each corner or just the center of the property. While that is not an official survey, it’s close enough for you to know the area of your land. You can also go out with a metal detector and search for old survey markers.

It is also not your seller’s responsibility to determine what you can build on your property. You must study the zoning description or speak to a city or county planner to see what zoning allows. This also includes water, electric, enforcements, schools, demographics, and roads.

While this might all sound like a lot- it is- but you’re buying raw land. And it’s an adventure! Some counties don’t really care what you do as long as it’s not a crack house. Some counties nitpick every detail. Even though every county pretty much as the same permissions and restrictions, it’s up to you to find out what is and isn’t enforced in your area.

Land of the Free Team