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Michigan Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: What happens to a revocable land trust when is terminates/expires?

I am a co-trustee on a revocable land trust originally designed to generate cash for our children's education. Neither child needed it for that purpose. Our divorce agreement states it will terminate upon our youngest turning 30. It does not specify what happens at termination. I am not aware... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Jun 30, 2022

We would need to see the trust agreement to determine whether the property reverts to the grantor(s), or whether title vests in the beneficiaries. If the trust is still revocable (because the grantor(s) are alive, the grantors could revoke the trust and own the property as they choose. There is... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Is a land contract legally binding in MI if owner dies or is incapacitated? Does it have to be entered into their will?

We were advised by another free legal aid that it has to be entered into their will in order to be binding in a court of law if the next of kin wanted to challenge it. I printed out a Codicil for the seller. Is that sufficient?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jun 26, 2022

You don't 'enter' a land contract 'into a will'.

And a codicil is usually the 'worst of all possible worlds' to avoid a will challenge.

And finally, preparing a legal document for someone else potentially constitutes the practice of law which, if...
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0 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Is a seller liable after closing for misstatements made on disclosure statement?

After closing on my home, but before moving in, my neighbor had his property surveyed. Among other things, there is a semi permanent structure built by the sellers husband, who is deceased, that the survey shows is encroaching on his property. On the Disclosure Statement, the seller stated there... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Is a seller liable after closing for misstatements made on disclosure statement.

After closing on my home, but before moving in, my neighbor had his property surveyed. Among other things, there is a semi permanent structure built by the sellers husband, who is deceased, that the survey shows is encroaching on his property. On the Disclosure Statement, the seller stated there... Read more »

Michael Zamzow
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Michael Zamzow
answered on Jun 22, 2022

Just going into the initial question in the title. It is possible you'll have some options. But, you'll want to talk to an attorney about your case, if any.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Is a seller liable after closing for misstatements made on disclosure statement.

After closing on my home, but before moving in, my neighbor had his property surveyed. Among other things, there is a semi permanent structure built by the sellers husband, who is deceased, that the survey shows is encroaching on his property. On the Disclosure Statement, the seller stated there... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Jun 24, 2022

The answer to this question is: maybe. There are two different issues. The first is the encroachment onto the neighbor's property. The second is the basement work done without proper permits.

As to the first (encroachment issue), the seller would not be liable to you for that unless...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I’m buying a house on land contract the seller is trying to switch contracts what can I do
Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Jun 16, 2022

You have not provided enough information for a meaningful response. However, if you have a signed and enforceable land contract, the seller cannot change the terms without your agreement unless the contract provides for the change. You may wish to consult an attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for Michigan on
Q: A year almost and nothing done and I’m still getting damage done every time with heavy rains

Court order a culvert install under the new drive way they installed and all water must flow to the drainage ditch with the new culvert installed they have done nothing it will be a year in 2 months and when the spring comes again I will have major water problems again Do I need to contact a... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Jun 13, 2022

I concur your best results will be with a local real estate attorney in your corner.

But be prepared to provide that lawyer with facts like a copy of the judgment, who 'they' are and why YOU can't just install the culvert and charge them the cost (I assume because they did...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for Michigan on
Q: A year almost and nothing done and I’m still getting damage done every time with heavy rains

Court order a culvert install under the new drive way they installed and all water must flow to the drainage ditch with the new culvert installed they have done nothing it will be a year in 2 months and when the spring comes again I will have major water problems again Do I need to contact a... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on Jun 13, 2022

You could start with an attorney-drafted letter, but you may more expeditiously move for enforcement of the court's order. Either way, you'd be wise to hire an attorney.

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I’d like to keep house I bought with girlfriend but she will not let me buy her out nor will she agree to sell…

She is 50/50 on deed in Michigan and Mortgage is in just my name …Do I have options ?

David Soble
PREMIUM
David Soble
answered on Jun 2, 2022

A real estate attorney will need to see how the title on the deed is held. Being 50% owner is not enough for a court to intervene with legal instructions as to how a property may or may not be partitioned. Real estate law is steeped in centuries of legal history - Deeds contain "magic"... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: If a agent sells me a house without disclosing that the next door neighbor is a drug house or drug dealer, can I sue?

If yes - How do I determine damages?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on May 10, 2022

Mr Geers is exactly correct, and I would add, if you don't know what your damages are, they likely won't 'stand up' in Court. The FIRST thing you need to think about when litigation is possible is 'what are my damages and how much might I expect to recover?'... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: How long does a person to complete a court order judgement in Michigan-- Repair easement and install a colvert

I settled back in the fall of 2021 The court order is to repair the easement and install a colvert so the water can flow back in to the drainage ditch like it before they changed it How long do i wait or do they have to do this court order before i have a letter or refile back in court

David Soble
PREMIUM
David Soble
answered on May 9, 2022

It will depend on what the court order or settlement agreement (if applicable) requires. If there is not a time set to complete the work, then it should be done within a reasonable time frame. However, most court orders will have a set time for a party to follow the court's requirements.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Can I add wife to house title and them make postnuptial agreement stating that she owns nothing in case of divorce?

I’m married and in the process of buying new home from my own personal money. Friends are telling me to add my wife to the new house title, so in case of my death, she can keep the property without the hustle of going through the court system to keep it. But at the same time, I told her that this... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on May 4, 2022

No. Once she's on the deed, she is an owner. You should consider a lady bird deed. But keep in mind that in case of divorce, a spouse always has a property interest in real estate regardless of what you do, absent a well drafted post-nuptual agreement.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Michigan on
Q: Is it illegal for a real estate agent to digitally remove A Property Surveyors Property Markers from a Real Estate Listi

Our property is shown in the Real Estate For Sale Listing of our neighbors. However our Property Survey Markers have been digitally removed as well as No Trespassing signs?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on May 4, 2022

You mean in the PHOTOS of the listing?

It may be a bit 'iffy' to digitally retouch photos in a real estate listing but it isn't 'illegal'.

I remember as a young adult looking at a house that was in my price range and the photos in the listing were all...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Closed on a home. Seller asked for two days to remove items. They have moved out . They have not. Can we change locks?

They moved to Florida months ago and left some furniture behind. We closed gave them 2 days per the closing agreement and they are still dragging feet on removing the items. Can we take possession of the house and allow them to come and get their stuff later.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Apr 27, 2022

It sounds like you should be able to take possession and change the locks, but to be sure you should take your documents to a real estate attorney for review. In situations like these I usually tell people they can put the items in storage and give the former homeowner notice that they can come get... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: we sold our cottage on a land contract. The buyer is asking for a quitclaim deed so she can get help with repairs since

she is now handicapped and habitat for humanity is saying she needs this in order for them to help her out. My concern is the loss of money owed to fulfill the contract.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Apr 24, 2022

There are significant differences between land contracts and mortgages and before you do anything I’d confirm directly with the habitat attorney they won’t help if someone has equitable title instead of legal title and then consult with your own attorney before you do anything.

Most...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Can my partner evict me from our home that we both share our names on mortgage or force me to sell the house?

My girlfriend wants her name off the mortgage that we both share. She wants me to refinance and pay her half of equity that's in the house. If I can't afford to pay her half of equity can she force me to sell the home? I have already been approved to take over the mortgage loan by myself.... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Apr 25, 2022

This is essentially a 'divorce' and you need to approach it that way. PLEASE seek local legal representation so you can both get the answer to 'what can she do' (as Mr Harris has pointed out the answer will be different depending on how you own the house!) and what YOU should do... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Michigan on
Q: Hi, what evidence do you need to prove a contract in small claims court? Will texts and emails be sufficient? Thx

I recently bought a condo and the seller agreed to share some repair costs with me. It was supposed to be done before we closed, which is why we don’t have anything signed but she got really sick at the end and didn’t get it taken care of fully. Only 2 things fixed vs 4 on the list. I tried to... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Apr 20, 2022

Enough? Anything's possible I guess. The fact that your evidence is mostly emails and texts doesn't dictate whether you have a winning case or not. There are ways to get those into evidence, so the trier of fact can weigh it. But keep in mind evidence is not proof.

Think if it...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: How do I file a lawsuit against a company I paid to transfer a timeshare, but now refuses to answer phone calls

The company is headquartered in Indiana, I signed the contract in Michigan.

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Apr 14, 2022

We don’t have enough information to determine which state has jurisdiction, and the proper venue for a suit. There may be diversity jurisdiction in federal court. Consult with an attorney to determine whether, and where, to file suit.

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2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I have a private road easement on my land. New owners bought the land behind and are widening and cutting trees and want

To gavel the road. They are tearing up my yard with machinery and parking it on my land. I live in Michigan and on my deed it says my land abuts up to a private road but it runs through my land not on the edge. And in Michigan it needs to be 33 feet wide with a turn around big enough for a fire... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
answered on Apr 14, 2022

The permissible use of an easement is based on the language of the easement grant. Uses of an easement that unreasonably exceed the grant of easement can be enjoined in court. You will need to set up a consult with a real estate attorney in your area so the attorney can review the documents... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Sold my home and closed. Buyer claims damage to subfloor due to pet stains. Buyer wants to keep $2,000 escrow.

Condition of floors did not change in the one months time the buyers had showing, performed inspection, had final walk through and a walk through again 30 days after closing (30 day occupancy clause). Buyers have been in house for a week and they have two large dogs and I have yet to see proof of... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
answered on Apr 10, 2022

Without seeing the accepted offer, closing package and any escrow agreements you signed at the time of closing and before, it is impossible to answer your question cogently.

Did you have an attorney review the closing package and offer? If you accepted an offer without an attorney review,...
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