This forms part of the Contract to Buy and Sell. Like an inspection, it is optional (unless your Title Company / Lender requires one) but many Buyers choose not to order one to 'save costs'. But like an inspection, you run the risk of facing future problems in the future which you will have no recourse on. Here are some facts on having a Survey
ILC = Improvement Location Certificate
What does it do?
It protects you from hidden components - encroachments, easement violations, unrecorded rights, and disclosure of other adverse findings
What does an ILC provide?
* It provides a scaled drawing that will indicate the lot size, location of the improvements, and adverse survey related matters
* Encroachments on to and off of the subject property
* Indentify property line violations of patios, pools, driveways, garages etc
I heard of a Buyer who bought a home on a few acres of land. It turned out that the Buyer only had rights to the land and not the house .. and found out after the sale when it was all too late.
Like an inspection, it is an additional cost to the Buyer, but well worth it to avoid future problems.