“I’m sorry, but we have a problem”…..solemn words no one wants to hear from their Broker as a closing is approaching with commitments on the table. Most lots with houses have been scrutinized for title/survey issues numerous times and usually close without a hitch. However, land is uniquely different. We sell land for families who acquired under a King’s Grant. Other sellers have passed land down through several generations. Many made cash purchases without an attorney examining the title. Our timber industry clients offer individual tracts that come out of package sales that have exceeded 100,000 acres. When considering the many potential problems, it is evident that title/survey obstacles and land deals are synonymous.
We have been helping people buy and sell land in the Upstate for over forty years. Our surveyor did his first plat for us in 1971. The company attorney did his first closing with us in 1976. Our civil engineer has over thirty-five years of experience. To successfully close many of our sales it is necessary to comply with a myriad of ordinances and regulations that vary from county to county. Legal issues routinely involve prescriptive easements, limited warranty deeds, mineral reservations, timber deeds, hunting leases, unknown heirs, abandoned easements followed by an infinite number of problems involving deed restrictions. Environmental issues within the past year alone have ranged from buried World War ll explosives and family dumps to DHEC stormwater regulations. I can’t begin to even touch on the deal-to-deal survey problems that can jeopardize a sale. When you finally think you have seen it all, a new issue arises like an improperly closed road that is currently holding up a 70 acre sale.
If you are buying or selling land, you need an experienced land broker. Then when he calls and says “we have a problem”, it will be followed by “but we have seen it before”