Metes and bounds is a slang term used for "metes and bounds survey." These surveys are completed by a professional and provide a legal definition of a piece of real estate. They are usually part of the required documentation for a real estate sale to be recorded. A professional surveyor produces a metes and bounds survey by looking through PST documentation of neighboring property and by visiting and surveying the site of the piece of property in question. From this, he or she provides a legally binding document defining the exact borders of the property. This survey is then used throughout the rest of the sale process to define the property. Depending on local laws, metes and bounds surveys are usually required to be updated when a property is bought or sold. It is common for there to be slight variations between surveys of the same property due to differing instrumentation, weather conditions and small shifts in the property caused by natural forces.