Housing sellers who suffered flood damage must come clean, expert says

Michigan has a hot real estate market but recent heavy rainfall that caused massive flooding has taken some of the sizzle out of the housing market

"There were homes that looked nice had finished basements that are just wrecked now," said Nasser Alqirsh who is looking to buy a home in Dearborn.

Real estate industry experts say if you are selling a home that has been damaged by the recent weather events it’s best to call your agent right away because the condition of the home has changed

"Now it becomes, does the buyer want to move forward with the sale," said Jeanette Schneider, president of RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan.

If the buyer decides to move forward, there are options.

"Let the seller repair it, let the buyer come back to observe the work being done," said Schneider.  

But the buyer may become reluctant to move forward - and legally they can pull out.

"A knee-jerk reaction might be, 'I just want to walk away and that may be the right choice," Schneider said.

If the home you were interested in buying was damaged by the recent storms, it may open the door to renegotiate the price.

"It certainly opens that door that probably would not have opened, before something like this happened," Schneider said.

And for homeowners looking to cover up instead of fixing flood damage, there’s a hefty price to pay when you get caught.

"Sellers have to fill out a disclosure form and they are stating in there what they know to be the condition of the home," she said. "You do not want to be in a position of not being honest or truthful, because that could come back and bite you."