If you’re selling a home in Michigan, you’re legally obligated to fill in a seller’s disclosure. On the surface, it’s not a particularly difficult document, but it begins getting complicated once you dig into the details.
Below, we’ll discuss exactly what a seller’s disclosure is and what information it needs to include. Of course, if you’re selling a home in Michigan and find the seller’s disclosure confusing, My Total Move is here to help.
What is a Seller’s Disclosure?
A seller’s disclosure is a written document submitted by the property seller. It lets the buyer know the condition of the property so they can make an informed decision about the sale. A seller’s disclosure is submitted before any binding documents are signed.
In Michigan, it’s required on all properties between one and four units. For example, you’d need a seller’s disclosure for selling a family home or for selling an apartment block with up to four apartments.
There are certain exemptions to the seller’s disclosure laws that mainly revolve around transfers to a family member or certain situations relating to estate management or court orders. If you think this might apply to you, contact My Total Move to discuss your specific situation.
What to Include in a Seller’s Disclosure in Michigan
As mentioned, a seller’s disclosure must include information about the property’s condition. It’s broken down into features including HVAC units, the roof, fixtures, appliances, and the basement. The seller must state the feature’s condition and any problems, such as environmental issues, legal problems, and so on.
Seller’s disclosure conditions vary by state; some can get very in-depth about the property’s history and condition.
Michigan’s seller’s disclosure paperwork leans more toward a standard checklist of features. Better still, the law states that you only need to fill in the disclosure using the best information available. In short, it means you don’t need to do any investigations or pay for surveys relating to this specific form. However, if you’ve already completed a survey that relates to an area on the disclosure, you must submit that information.
Considering you work on the best information available, it’s perfectly acceptable to tick “unknown” on the form. Of course, you must answer truthfully to the best of your knowledge.
Lastly, if any of the information changes after you submit the seller’s disclosure but before the sale is completed, you have to amend the form. For example, the roof starts leaking while the sale is ongoing. As the seller, you must notify the buyer and change the form.
Failing to Disclose on Your Michigan Seller’s Disclosure
So, what happens if you fail to state something on your Michigan seller’s disclosure? Well, it all depends on the nature of your failure. As mentioned, you’re expected to fill in the form to the best of your available knowledge.
This means that if something happens outside of your available knowledge, such as an issue deep inside your HVAC system, you’re not necessarily liable.
However, if you knowingly fail to disclose something, the buyer can cancel the sale (providing they haven’t closed on it). If closing has happened, the buyer can sue you for fraud on the basis of misrepresentation.
A realtor isn’t liable as part of this lawsuit unless they conspired with you to misrepresent the property’s condition.
Of course, proving liability in this sort of case can be difficult. As the seller, just make sure you fill in the seller’s disclosure to the best of your knowledge and ability. While it might be tempting to “forget” about an issue with the property, it can be far more expensive to knowingly leave it out.
Where Can I Find a Seller’s Disclosure Form in Michigan?
Despite Michigan’s seller’s disclosure form being very standard, you must ensure you use the state’s own form to fulfill statutory requirements.
You can click here to view and print a Michigan seller’s disclosure form.
My Total Move is Here to Help
My Total Move is a team of senior real estate specialists with long histories selling homes. We ensure the selling process runs smoothly by supplying our clients with all the necessary legal documents and knowledge for a pain-free sale.
Contact us today with any questions about the Michigan seller’s disclosure or home sale process.