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Seller’s Disclosure: What Buyers Should Know

Seller's Disclosure - Bittinger Team, REALTORS

When getting ready to purchase a home, you may find yourself falling in love. However, even though the home may look perfect, things are not always what they seem. This is why it’s crucial that as a new home buyer, you take the time to read over the disclosure reports provided to you.

What is a seller’s disclosure? Property disclosure statements are flaws documented by the sellers that affect the home’s value. To protect buyers, a seller’s disclosure statement is required by law.

It’s crucial that buyers find a trustworthy and experienced Realtor, like the contributors of, Bittinger Team, REALTORS. They help buyers understand all the paperwork and processes that come along with buying a home, giving clients peace of mind.


What to Expect in a Seller’s Disclosure

Sellers must complete a variety of disclosures. These are often done in the form of a checklist. The kinds of problems covered are:

  • Bad or faulty foundation
  • Leaky roof
  • Windows that don’t work properly
  • Pest and mold issues
  • Environmental risks (wildfires, floods, etc.)
  • Repairs made with insurance claims
  • Repairs or renovations completed without a permit

There are also some federally mandated disclosures throughout the United States. These include the presence of lead-based paint, asbestos, and other safety risks.

Some states require sellers to submit a “stigmatized disclosure” if there was ever a murder, serious crime, or death from an infectious disease in the home. However, Michigan state law does not require sellers to disclose these issues.


The Seller’s Disclosure Protects Everyone

If you’ve chosen the right Realtor, they’ll help you understand all the details in your seller’s disclosure statement, and advise on how to move forward. If the disclosure reveals something negative, he or she will bring the issues up with the sellers and their agent. This may lead to further price negotiations or you needing to start the search again.

Finding issues on the disclosure doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. You may find the house had mold or asbestos, but if you see it was taken care of properly, this is a sign that the rest of the house was cared for as well.

It’s important to realize that disclosures protect both the buyer and the seller. Honesty is important during the home buying and selling process. For sellers, providing all the information they know means no fault if there are any future issues.

If a seller violates disclosure laws, it is grounds for a buyer to cancel the transaction. In the state of Michigan, if the closing has already taken place, a buyer has legal recourse against the seller for fraud due to omission or misrepresentation.


The Bottom Line

The seller’s disclosure is crucial and necessary to the home buying process. So is choosing the right real estate team.

It’s the best way to guarantee a positive home buying experience. is provided by Bittinger Team, REALTORS – experts at Southeast, MI real estate. Are you ready to learn more about what we can do for you? Contact us today.

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