A property report is a comprehensive document that outlines the details of a property. Everything from the address, the name of the property owner, a physical description of the property or site such as the layout and design, the history of the property including improvements made, sales and listing activity, local market statistics, neighborhood demographics, and foreclosure activity can be found in a property report.
Real property reports, prepared by licensed surveyors, are legal descriptions of a property’s boundaries and footprint. A property report is an essential document that prospective property buyers, property sellers, mortgage lenders, real estate professionals, and lawyers rely on to make real estate transactions. A property report contains important information that should be considered before making a real estate transaction. Consider these three critical reasons why a property report is important:
1. A legal description of the property.
A property report clearly defines the property boundaries, lot size, and established easements or encroachments. This detailed legal description is important for clearing up disputes related to the property. It’s especially useful for new property owners planning to build a new house, build an addition onto an existing house, or make any other exterior modifications. The detailed report describes the easement rights of utility companies for maintaining and repairing water lines and sewer pipes and includes the zoning classification of the property.
As many homeowners would agree, a home drainage system takes a lot of wear and tear. Grease, toilet clogs, blockages, shower leaks, and corrosion can all lead to costly plumbing issues if not addressed. A property report would be an essential document to possess if any potential plumbing damages should occur. If you live in Atlanta for example, an online search of, “drain repair company in Atlanta” and the surrounding areas can provide you with a list of technicians that specialize in trenchless pipe repair, drain pipe bursting replacement, sewer line repair, and sewer installation. A plumbing contractor can help prevent costly plumbing damage by providing drain cleaning services but their jobs would be a lot easier with a report of the home’s utility details.
2. Information about liens or outstanding debts.
Within a property report is a title report which provides detailed information regarding liens and outstanding debts against the property. This includes unpaid property taxes and unpaid invoices to contractors who have worked on the property. If the property title isn’t clear, a prospective property owner won’t be able to secure policy or begin the transfer of title until any financial issues are resolved. When liens or outstanding debts are discovered prior to a sale, the buyer can request the seller to either pay the judgment or deduct the amount from the final selling price so that the buyer can settle the issue.
3. Property use restrictions.
Any restrictions regarding the use of the property are outlined in a property report. Homeowner’s associations often have strict rules regarding additions, exterior paint colors, and landscaping expectations. A property report also details any restrictions on construction size, whether a commercial building can be built on the property, and whether any part of the property is considered communal use, such as a shared driveway or water feature access. It’s important to know about such restrictions and regulations before making a commitment to buy.
Having a clear understanding of the selling price of previous sales of the property, comparable sales in the area, economic information about the neighborhood, and the estimated value of the property will help guide buyer-seller negotiations and investment goals. On sites such as Loans, you can get the answer to “what is a property report?” and secure a free copy of a property report in order to make an informed real estate investment decision.
Any buyer, seller, or real estate investor should always refer to a property report. The more information available about a property, such as its estimated value, sales history, and details about the neighborhood, the stronger your position.