Surveys and T-47's
Does your Seller have an existing survey that accurately depicts the property as it is currently situated? Be sure to ask for it at your listing appointment, as it could save the parties a lot of money. Also, be sure to have your seller sign, have notarized, and deliver a T-47 Affidavit to the Buyer along with the survey at the time of Contract execution.
When submitting an offer, prospective buyers will often check Par. 6C.(1) of the TREC Contract in hopes of saving the cost of a new survey. Before accepting the offer and signing the contract, a seller must make sure that they actually DO have an accurate survey in their possession, and have signed and notarized a T-47 Affidavit (the T-47 is a sworn statement of seller that the existing survey is still an accurate depiction of the property in its current state; i.e. no additions, pools, fences have been added or changed since the date the survey was performed). Failure to timely produce either of those documents will result in Seller paying for a new survey. If the seller DOES timely produce the survey and affidavit, then seller has met his/her obligations under this paragraph, and buyer (if the buyer box is checked at the end of the paragraph) must pay for a new survey if the existing survey doesn’t meet lender or title company needs for some reason. A prudent seller’s agent will be sure to have the survey and affidavit in hand before allowing their client to sign a contract with Par. 6C(1) checked; never assume that it can be found after the contract, or retrieved from a prior title company. If not in hand, don’t sign the contract until located.
Finally, please note that a T-47 form that has not been notarized does not meet the requirements of Par. 6C(1). The document arguably does not amount to an Affidavit until notarized. If the seller delivers a signed but un-notarized form, they may be liable to pay for a new survey, even if their existing survey is otherwise accurate.
This Title Tuesday Tip is provided courtesy of Rattikin & Rattikin, LLP, attorneys and counsel for Rattikin Title Company and is not a legal representation or statement of law. Please confer with your legal counsel for any and all legal questions.