Plat vs. Survey What is the Difference?

Plat vs. Survey – What’s the Difference?


In the business of dealing with real property on a day to day basis, we use terms that most of the public do not know or are not aware of in their day to day use.  We hear the term Plat and Survey quite often and most think they are the same thing.  See below as we explain and help you understand what’s the difference.

“Plat” and “Survey” are two terms that are often used interchangeably in real estate. However, there are differences between the two.  Listed below are the differences and similarities between plats and surveys.

What Plat and Survey have in common

  1. Both a depiction of a tract of land
  2. They can both show a very small tract or a very large tract
  3. Each can show the dimensions of the property
  4. They both show the location of the property (county, land lot, district, abutting streets etc.)

What is different with Plat and Survey

  1. A survey will show any dwellings, buildings or improvements (driveways, fences, pools) located on the property;
    A plat usually shows the dimensions of the property before the improvements are made.
  2. A plat will often cover more than one lot or parcel of land. For example, a developer will have a plat of an entire subdivision drawn;
    A survey usually only shows one lot or a limited number of lots.
  3. Plats are often drawn in order to be recorded at the courthouse for public use; surveys are usually only for the personal use of the owner of the property.

Davis Team has access to recorded documents from several counties with a service we pay for with the Georgia Clerks Authority. If the file is not found online it will require a trip to the county court house in person.  Let us know if you have more questions about Plats and Surveys that we can answer.  If you are in need of a survey feel free to contact us for our Vendor List.  We have several that are ready and willing to help.


The cost of a survey can range from $350 up to $500.  We request on behalf of our buyers that the seller provides a survey.  If the seller does not it is then a buyer’s responsibility.  We suggest all buyers request a survey during the due diligence period so they can be sure of what property is actually changing hands at the closing table.  Do you need help with a Plat or Survey?

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