What is the T-47 Residential Real Property Affidavit
Are you a home seller in Texas? Are you familiar with the T-47 Texas Residential Property Affidavit? Read on to learn more about this crucial aspect of selling property in Texas.
Important: The information below is not legal advice. Always consult with your real estate agent, the title company, and an attorney as may be needed. Do not rely on this article or any other information online if you're concerned about any legal ramifications of filling out the T-47.
What is the T-47 Texas Property Affidavit?
The T-47 form is a notarized document in real estate transactions and complements a survey. The document's purpose is for the seller to inform the buyer what they know about the property's boundaries. The T-47 is required when using an older survey for the home seller to attest to the survey's accuracy. The document ensures that information about the property boundaries is accurate for title policy issuance.
Who is the T-47 For?
While the home seller completes the T-47 Residential Real Property Affidavit, the form usually benefits the buyer by allowing the title company and lender to determine if a new survey may be required. Most buyers would prefer to use an existing survey, as it saves them the cost of obtaining a new one (although who ultimately pays for a new survey is a point of negotiation).
How to Complete the T-47 Texas Property Affidavit
Obtaining a Copy of the Form:
The form is readily available online. However, it is best for the seller to obtain a copy from their real estate agent or the preferred title company. It is vital to use the most recent version of the form, as modifications may have been made. For extra assurance, consulting with the title company or a local real estate attorney is recommended if any information on the form appears uncertain.
Below we'll discuss each section of the form. However, to understand the reason for the form, we must first reference the part of the Texas Resale Contract which pertains to the survey and the T-47.
Paragraph 6, Section C (Survey)
Paragraph 6.C. SURVEY: The survey must be made by a registered professional land surveyor acceptable to the Title Company and Buyer's lender(s). (Check one box only)
(1) Within ___ days after the effective date of this contract, Seller shall furnish to Buyer and Title Company Seller's existing survey of the Property and a Residential Real Property Affidavit promulgated by the Texas Department of Insurance (T-47 Affidavit). If Seller fails to furnish the existing survey or affidavit within the time prescribed, Buyer shall obtain a new survey at Seller's expense no later than 3 days prior to Closing Date. If the existing survey or affidavit is not acceptable to Title Company or Buyer's lender(s), Buyer shall obtain a new survey at Seller's Buyer's expense no later than 3 days prior to Closing Date.
(2) Within ___ days after the effective date of this contract, Buyer shall obtain a new survey at Buyer's expense. Buyer is deemed to receive the survey on the date of actual receipt or the date specified in this paragraph, whichever is earlier.
(3) Within ___ days after the effective date of this contract, Seller, at Seller's expense shall furnish a new survey to Buyer.
We'll only focus on Option 1 above since a T-47 is unnecessary when completing a new survey. Option 1 only applies when an existing survey can be used with approval from lenders and title companies involved in the transaction. However, this should all occur within a set timeframe as highlighted by bolded text; otherwise, buyers may order their survey at the seller's expense.
The T-47 Affidavit - Important Sections
The top section of the T-47 Residential Real Property Affidavit form is for the most basic information, including the date, name, address, legal description of the property, and county the property is located in.
The GF number is an internal file reference used by title companies related to the transactions; generally, this field would stay blank. The legal descriptions should also appear accurately on all relevant paperwork; such data can often be sourced via tax records or obtained from realtors assisting throughout the process.
1. We are the owners of the Property. (Or state other basis for knowledge by Affiant(s) of the Property, such as lease, management, neighbor, etc. For example, "Affiant is the manager of the Property for the record title owners.”):
If you own the property, there is no need to answer any questions in this section. However, if someone else has granted your authority over the property on their behalf, this section describes the nature of that relationship.
Section 2 & 3:
2. We are familiar with the property and the improvements located on the Property.
3.We are closing a transaction requiring title insurance and the proposed insured owner or lender has requested area and boundary coverage in the title insurance policy(ies) to be issued in this transaction. We understand that the Title Company may make exceptions to the coverage of the title insurance as Title Company may deem appropriate. We understand that the owner of the property, if the current transaction is a sale, may request a similar amendment to the area and boundary coverage in the Owner's Policy of Title Insurance upon payment of the promulgated premium.
Sections 2 & 3 are self-explanatory. By signing this form, you acknowledge familiarity with the property and any related improvements. Furthermore, Section 3 details any conditions or exceptions to area and boundary coverage as specified by the title policy.
4. To the best of our actual knowledge and belief, since ____________ there have been no:
a. construction projects such as new structures, additional buildings, rooms, garages, swimming pools or other permanent improvements or fixtures;
b. changes in the location of boundary fences or boundary walls;
c. construction projects on immediately adjoining property(ies) which encroach on the Property;
d. conveyances, replattings, easement grants and/or easement dedications (such as a utility line) by any party affecting the Property;
EXCEPT for the following (If None, Insert "None" Below:)
Section 4 contains two important details, the first of which is the date, which is often confusing. Many sellers put the date they purchased the home, but this is only correct if they obtained a new survey when purchasing. It is common for the date to be from two or three owners prior if no changes have been made. Bottom line: according to Texas Realtors®, sellers should use the date of the most recent survey, whether it's recent or many years prior.
The other important detail is if any changes have been made which aren't reflected on the survey being used. It is essential to list all changes impacting any of the property elements listed in items A. through D. since the last survey. If no alterations have occurred, write "None" as the form instructs.
Final Steps: Having the T-47 Notarized
Now that you've completed the T-47, the next step is to find a notary and sign it in person; in most cases, you can go to the title company chosen for closing and have them notarize it for you. After being correctly notarized, the T-47 should be delivered with the survey before the deadline outlined in the purchase & sale contract.
Further, most agents will upload the document to the MLS so that buyer agents will have easy access (although being available for download does not constitute formal delivery, so ensure your listing agent is following up on this).
T-47 Frequently Asked Questions
Who completes the T-47
The T-47 Affidavit is for the seller to complete since they are attesting to the validity and accuracy of the most recent survey. The buyer and title company then decide if they can rely on the existing survey. Your real estate agent cannot complete the form for you.
When should the T-47 be completed?
It's suggested that the form be completed and notarized before the home is listed for sale, however, this is not required. All that's important is for the seller to deliver the notarized form and associated survey to the buyer according to the date agreed to in Section 6, C. of the contract.
Why should the seller complete the T-47?
In brief, it's to save either the buyer or seller money and to give the buyer confidence that nothing substantial has changed with the property since the last survey (after all, a buyer wants to know what they're buying). However, it is common for sellers not to have surveys or not to provide a T-47. In this case, if a new survey is desired in a cash transaction, or if one is required by a lender (it will be), then it is up for negotiation who will pay for a new survey. In this case, a T-47 is not needed.
Can I draw on the survey if minor changes were made to the property?
This is very common to do for minor changes. For example, if you added a new concrete patio, you could draw a simple square on the survey. However, what constitutes a minor change can be subjective. Always ask the title company or consult with an attorney on this question.
Does a T-47 have to be notarized?
Yes, all T-47 forms must be notarized to be considered a valid sworn statement that the existing survey is accurate.
What is the GF# on a T-47?
The GF number is simply a file number used by the title company to reference the transaction; it stands for "Guarantee File" and is most often used by title, escrow, and lenders to track the transaction. As a buyer, you'll also likely reference this number when wiring money to the title company.
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