How can I accurately identify property lines?

Hello all!
Are there any successful tools that land investors use to help get potential buyers to their land? I am currently using GPS coordinates ( dropping a pin) with google maps but it still doesn’t give the potential buyer boundary lines. Also, sometimes I feel like it still doesn’t get them there accurately. I seem to always get “im here but which lot is it?” I know listing with an agent would solve all of this headache, but still working on finding the right one, and my price point is still on the low side.
Any advice Or tools to help get over this hurdle of accurately explaining/ showing the boundary lines virtually?

I would Appreciate any insight!

Thanks in advance!

@TDLandNLot I think this is very dependent on the property. if it's out in the middle of nowhere, it will be difficult to identify the lot lines. I've used google maps and followed myself walking to the theoretical lot corners. Trying to tell a buyer to do this may not work. Even providing GPS coordinates is a challenge for some buyers. I have sent them the location on their phone if they can receive google map messages.

Some properties have markers, such as electrical poles, water meter, neighboring fence, etc. And on higher priced properties, you can request a "mark the corners" type survey. Hope someone can suggest a tool/app to help with this.


Without paying for an actual survey to be done, I don't know of a perfect way to do it. You might want to take a little time to learn the different ways that property lines are mapped, whether metes-and-bounds, rectangular, or lot and block. This information will be on the deed in the legal description. They aren't terribly complicated to learn, but take a little bit of focus to actually implement on site. You would still be telling potential buyers something like "Start at the corner of this street and this street and walk 100 feet west." Also, platted subdivisions should have a plat map available through the county that will show exactly where property lines are. I think your best method would be to mark a map as accurately as possible based on available public information, then give the potential buyer some basic instructions such as X feet in Y direction from Z landmark.

Also, county GIS programs should show you a rough, not-exact property line.

For smaller, less expensive properties, I would try to get one landmark to work off of and direct buyers from there. For larger, more profitable properties, you could pay for a survey if you think it will provide value and/or an easier/better sale.


Great input here from both @VictorNoriega and @DanielC - the only thing I would add (which is just another resource, with the same imperfections as a GIS county map) is Parlay 2.0. I've been using it for years in conjunction with Google Earth and it's been very handy to have. Here's a video that shows how it works:

Again, it's no substitute for getting an actual survey (that's the only way to be 100% sure, and unless the deal has a huge profit margin, it's not always economical), but if you're in the habit of using Google Earth anyway, this can be a pretty nice tool to have at the ready.


Ok, so your number one way if going to be drawing the lots boundary in Google earth. You can then take photos to show buyers or even do a little video.

Sometimes we will draw on earth using the county GIS maps. Sometimes using deeded datat or gps pins. Seth mentioned parlay but I have found it only shows lot lines in counties that already have GIS mapping.

@VictorNoriega thank you For your insight!

@DanielC thank you! Definitely makes sense to use the GIS to map out the distance (In feet) from a specific physical boundary. Then give the buyers directions based on the findings. I will implement this! Thanks again for your response

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@retipsterseth thank you for the resource Seth. I watched the video and will look into using this because it will definitely help with the creation of my listings and make the boundaries more clear.

One question I do have, in the video you mention Land Glide using your phone.. is this a GPS service that also has the boundary lines? If so, could you have your buyers use this service to potentially get to the land?

I will look further into it myself but just curious if you or any one had any experience/feedback on this particular resource.

Thank you again Seth, this forum has already helped me quite a bit with my business the last few months.

@jawollbrink appreciate it, I’m currently using google earth and taking screen shots using tech smith (snag it) then creating my listing with different views/ variations of the screenshots. The short video is a great idea, are you creating your listing material within google earth? I saw they have a presentation option within google earth but I’m not familiar with it. I’m going to look into it more. I feel like a short video could answer many of the redundant questions from potential buyers and help clarify the location. That is if they watch it! Even now I can put in the listing title “1 acre For sale” and still get asked “How many acres is it?”

Thank you again


I have seen many people do the video route (ie Luke Smith style), so on a couple recent properties I did it. I smimply used free OBS software with screen capture and with the obs you can put your webcam of you in the bottom corner. I made a few powerpoint slides with local attracitions, the property info and and a final one with the pricing and financing, and my website link. I recorded and intro in powerpoint then went to google earth and zoomed in and highlighted paths to get to the property, then went back to the powerpoint to talk about attraction and the pricing. The lot sold in a day, so I think this helps people a lot.

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@TDLandNLot - you could definitely use it for this. However, they would have to be close enough to have cell data service, and I believe the free trial of LandGlide runs out a some point... so maybe not the most seamless option, but it could work.

I think there's another, similar app called HuntStand that can do a similar thing, though I've never used it myself. Might be worth looking into as an alternative.

An even simpler solution is to printscreen to a .jpg file the county GIS map, and then overlay the photo in google earth. You can put the overlay photo at 50% transparency and the adjust the image to fit, then draw your lot lines.

Free and takes about 10 min. We do the same with platt maps in counties that have no GIS coverage. I may do a tutorial video on this soln.

@victornoriega I know a few dealers that will send a gps device to the potential buyer with instructions on how to locate the property lines. The interested party must pay a refundable deposit and ship the gps back to the seller.

@tdlandnlot There’s another way to know “exactly” where your property demarcs are. GPS is not exact and will generally put you to within 5-10’ of the actual demarc you’re looking for.

A little known fact that many are not aware of, is when a surveyor stakes a property they pound rebar into the lot demarcs. So what, you might be saying, right?

Well… if you have the GPS coordinates, of which many have discussed on this thread, you can get within 5-10 feet of where that surveyor pounded in their rebar.

Then you just need a metal detector and viola, you know exactly where it was originally staked and where the surveyed boundary lines are.

That’s my cheap mans lot survey.

Hope that helps,


Note: This applies to lots and plat maps that have been surveyed in the last 100 years. Older stuff is not going to have that.