Owning Land

Negotiating a Boundary Line Agreement

Where does one property begin and another end? It seems like a simple question, because most landowners have a sense about where their land starts and ends. But over a period of years, neighbors can develop vastly different interpretations as to where the boundary line exists.

A boundary line issue (or dispute) might arise from survey discrepancies, overlapping legal descriptions, assumptions based on existing fences or landscape boundaries, or a myriad of other reasons. Often, they have been lost in the many times their property has changed hands over the years. The conflict is usually initiated when one landowner decides to build on their land or sell land. Boundary line issues don’t occur very often, but it’s critical that the matter be resolved.

In this video, Pat Porter, broker at RecLand Realty, sets out to assist a client who is purchasing land for sale. Watch to see the outcome as Pat helps his buyer client negotiate a boundary agreement with the adjacent landowner. He recommends starting with an amicable and fruitful conversation in order to reach a mutual agreement on what to do with the land. In most cases, both parties will not mind signing a boundary line agreement. Seeking a resolution away from a courtroom saves time, is less expensive and could save a relationship with a neighbor.

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About the author

Pat Porter

Pat is the owner / broker for RecLand Realty. RecLand specializes in selling hunting land, timberland, farms, & ranches in LA, AR, MS, TX, IA, & MO. See their company website at RecLand.net.

Pat, his wife, and three boys are land owners and enjoy hunting, shooting, and an outdoor lifestyle. They live in northeast Louisiana and are usually in the woods somewhere several times a week.


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  • Good job.
    A boundary line agreement is in order when a competent Land Surveyor cannot place the line on the ground with certainty. Most competent Land Surveyors can follow deeds and records back to see which documents created boundary lines. There are really no overlaps of land because you can’t convey what you don’t own. Deed overlaps usually arise from deeds written from incorrect surveys. Only the adjoining land owners can agree on a new line and only a subsequent recorded boundary line agreement deed can create the agreed line. If landowners will agree, boundary line agreements are sometimes an easy and efficient way to resolve a mess but only should be used if a competent Land Surveyor cannot place the boundary line on the ground with confidence.

    Ted Benbow, PLS, GSI, CFS, NC Real Estate Broker

  • Well said, Ted. That was the issue hereā€¦an inaccurate and old legal description carving out the adjoining property.

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