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ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey for Commercial Properties

An ALTA/NSPS (formerly ALTA/ACSM) Land Title Survey is a complex survey product designed to assist all parties involved in a commercial real estate transaction. Whether being used by the title insurer to delete or determine exceptions, or by the buyer and seller to assess potential risk, it is a comprehensive product that allows for a detailed view of an existing property.

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It is best to use the services of a land surveyor experienced in ALTA surveys, as the survey is based upon very specific survey standards with requirements put into place by the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the National Society for Professional Surveyors (NSPS). These survey requirements and standards must be accepted and followed. NV5 and its National Surveyors Network provide such experience.

For a hardcopy of the updated 2021 NV5/ Bock & Clark Commercial Due Diligence Handbook, please email Laura Hengle,

What is an ALTA/NSPS Survey? (Formerly ALTA/ACSM Survey)

In 1962, The American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the former American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) came together for the first time to develop a survey product that would meet the needs of the title insurer to delete the standard survey exceptions from their title policy. The product that was developed was defined as an ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey, and the land surveyor’s responsibilities were outlined in the “Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys.” Since then, the requirements have been revised approximately eleven times, to the most current requirements that took effect on February 23, 2021, and are now retitled the Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys.

Though initially designed for users in the title insurance industry, the ALTA Survey has grown to become a thorough representation of an existing property and is now utilized by nearly all involved parties of a commercial transaction. The ALTA Survey can answer relevant questions, such as:

  1. The surveyor’s findings about property boundaries.
  2. Any observed easements and exceptions to coverage in the title commitment.
  3. The improvements, utilities, public access and significant observations on the property.

Additionally, it provides the option to select specific Table A items which can reveal facts about the property relating to zoning, flood hazards, topography, parking and more, when negotiated with the land surveyor.

What are ALTA Survey Requirements?

The ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey is designated as such based upon a specific set of detailed requirements set forth by ALTA and NSPS to guarantee that the end user is provided with a professional-quality, appropriately uniform, complete and accurate representation of a property. The ALTA Survey Requirements give specific instruction on items such as the Surveying Standards, Field Work, Plats, Surveyor Certification and Deliverables. The Requirements are reviewed frequently and updated by a committee to reflect the demands of the industry, and each new version supersedes the prior version and must be adopted by land surveyors in their preparation of the survey. Along with these requirements is a set of twenty-one Optional Table A Items that can be negotiated with the surveyor at the time of request. The current ALTA Survey Standards took effect on February 23, 2021.

What are ALTA Survey Standards?

Members of ALTA have specific needs unique to title insurance matters, and are often asked to insure title to land without exception as to the many matters which might be discoverable from survey and inspection. These are not evidenced by the public records. In order to meet the needs of clients, insurers, insureds and lenders, the user is entitled to rely upon surveyors to conduct surveys and prepare associated plats or maps that are of professional quality, appropriately uniform, complete and accurate.

At NV5 we are committed to providing our customers with superior service, high-quality products and competitive pricing. For more information on our ALTA surveys, contact us today.