Buyer's Guide
Lansing Area Real Estate
REAL ESTATE
 
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Seller's Disclosure Statement
The seller's disclosure statement is not a warranty of any kind and is not a substitute for a home inspection.
Click here for a PDF version of the Michigan Disclosure Statement

The State of Michigan requires a home seller to disclose all known problems and other facts that materially affect the value or desirability of the property being sold.

The seller is required to make known everything that might be of concern to
 a potential buyer. This includes any environmental issues, parking situations, easements, shared fences or driveways, and the physical condition of the home’s structure, appliances and various systems. Even if the seller has
resolved the problem, such as re-shingling the home to cure a leak in the roof,
it must be disclosed.

The seller is not required to “guess.”  If he doesn’t know the age of the furnace, he should simply state that he doesn’t know. This is common in the sale of an estate property where the seller may have never lived in the home.

The seller is not expected to have expertise in construction, engineering, or architecture and is not required to have inspected inaccessible areas such as the roof or foundation. However, the seller must disclose all that he is aware of, through knowledge or observation.


Lead-based paint
Houses built before 1978 likely have paint that contains lead. This paint is called lead-based paint. Lead-based paint in good condition is usually not a problem.  However, as paint ages it peels, chips, cracks, and develops a chalklike coating.  Disturbing the paint's surface will cause lead contaminated dust to become a part of your living environment. A person can get lead in their body simply by breathing or swallowing the dust created by vacuuming, sweeping, or dusting.

Lead in the human body can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, hyperactivity, slowed growth, high blood pressure, digestive problems, hearing problems and headaches. Lead is more dangerous to children because babies and young children put their hands and other objects in their mouths.

Law requires sellers to provide a disclosure indicating whether or not they have knowledge of the presence of lead-based paint in their home. Most sellers have no idea, since the lead-based paint has often been thoroughly recoated with lead-free paint and in no longer a problem.

Seller’s disclosure forms
Standard disclosure forms are provided to the seller at the time he lists his home through a Realtor. The seller is asked to provide information about each of the following items:

  1. Working condition of the appliances and other systems.

  2. If there have ever been roof leaks.

  3. Evidence of water in the basement or crawl space.

  4. Condition and type of insulation.

  5. Condition of the well and septic, including when the septic system was last pumped.

  6. Any electrical problems.

  7. Age and type of plumbing.

  8. Age and type of the heating system and water heater.

  9. Pest infestation from termites, carpenter ants, and other home destroying critters.

  10. Presence of any hazardous materials, including asbestos, radon gas, fuel  tanks, formaldehyde, lead-based paint, or contaminated soil.

  11. Will mineral rights be transferred with the property?

  12. Are there any encroachments, easements, zoning violations, or nonconforming uses?

  13. Evidence of settling, flooding, drainage, or grading problems.

  14. Proximity to airport, shooting range, farm operation or other nuisances.

  15. Outstanding assessments or fees.

  16. Pending or continuing litigation that could affect the buyer.

  17. Is any part of the property a designated wetland?

  18. Any underground fuel or storage tanks.

  19. Is the property in a restricted parking area?

  20. Is the home located in a historic district?

  21. Are there any leases, encumbrances, or reservations, such as mineral or timber rights?

  22. If the property is currently being used a rental?

  23. Is there any features of the property shared with other landowners, such as fences, walls, shared drive, landscaping?

  24. Are there any "common areas", such as tennis courts, swimming pools, walkways, recreation areas?

  25. Structural modifications, repairs, or alterations made to the property without building permits or licensed contractors.

  26. How long the seller has owned and/or lived in the home.

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