Knowing how to follow disclosure requirements when selling a home in Colorado is a challenge. Colorado real estate seller disclosures help guide buyers in what to look out for in a home. Without the guidance of a qualified local broker, you could invalidate a sale by making a mistake.
While home buyers in Colorado realize they’re always taking a risk in buying a home, disclosure requirements in the state help to protect them. Colorado real estate seller disclosures both build trust with potential buyers and help sellers to attract buyers with some of the features you can list on them. Every state has its own specific laws regarding real estate disclosures, so you need to be aware of what’s required in Colorado before buying or selling.
Here’s everything you need to know about real estate disclosures in the Centennial State.
Basics of the State Law
Colorado is one of the many states that clearly outlines what it expects of homesellers when it comes to disclosing issues with a home. Their laws cover tax issues, criminal history, and what lies beneath the ground of the property.
Colorado’s disclosure law includes details about whether or not the property sits inside of a special taxing district. It allows a buyer to even find out where they can learn about whether the property lies within one of those districts. If it resides within a common interest community, the buyer can know in advance whether they’re required to be a member of it and whether or not they need to pay assessments to it.
If the home was once a methamphetamine laboratory, Colorado’s disclosure requirements will tell potential buyers. Unless it was fully remediated, it should be on the public record.
Buyers can find out about any transportation projects that have been proposed if they’re meant to have an impact on the property. As a buyer, you can find out about where the drinkable water comes from and whether there are mineral estate rights like oil or gas below the surface.
This is all on top of the standard ethical and legal requirements that brokers are required to notify buyers about in general. These often cover structural issues or any weather events that have damaged the home.
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What Federal Laws Require
Federal laws for disclosure supersede state laws and Colorado home sellers who fail to disclose certain issues will throw their sale into jeopardy. Failure to disclose can turn a sale null and void if sellers don’t offer all of the information they have to buyers.
One of the most important laws regarding home sale disclosures has to do with lead-based paint. Any home that was built prior to 1978 needs to come with a disclosure about lead paint allowing buyers to know about whether or not it has it on the property. Even if a home was built after 1978, most sellers offer information about paint content thanks to the help of the state of Colorado.
The statewide Colorado Contract to Buy and Sell has a lead-based paint disclosure form as part of its requirements. It needs to be completed prior to the signing of any contracts. Even the brokers need to have signed this or else the contract is going to be void in the eyes of the state.
Standard Seller’s Property Disclosure Forms
The state of Colorado has made lots of standardized forms for helping sellers to make their disclosures. While it’s not legally mandated to use them, it helps buyers to feel that sellers have covered all the relevant information they need. Using the forms also allows all sellers to cover every bit of information they need to cover according to the law.
The main form is called "Seller’s Property Disclosure" and there are two forms depending on whether you’re selling a residential property or another type or property. If you’re selling a residential property, you can use either type of form.
The reason for the two forms is that there are lots of issues that arise in a non-residential property. These issues are left out of the residential form. With the help of these forms, sellers and brokers comply with the law and help to assure their buyers that there are no surprises to come if they invest in a property.
The Green Disclosure Form
As climate change becomes a very real issue for property owners and real estate investors to contend with, more states and local governments are taking action. Some of that comes in the form of demands on developers and contractors but it now even falls on property owners and homesellers.
Colorado’s relatively new Green Disclosure form is completed by the seller and covers the energy-related issues of the property.
As a buyer, you get to find out the seller’s current knowledge about any energy-saving or energy-inefficient issues on the property. The form gives sellers the opportunity to share knowledge about sustainable materials, air quality issues, and construction type. Buyers even get the chance to list ENERGY STAR appliances and other additions that have been made to improve efficiency on the property.
Since the MLS now allows brokers to market properties as "green," this form is part of the process to help designate the property as such.
Colorado Real Estate Seller Disclosures Help All Parties
While some sellers might fear disclosure forms and what they could force them to tell potential buyers, most brokers will encourage you to fill them out. It’s important to have a local agent on your side to let you know what you should be disclosing, as well as which forms to fill out.
Contact one of our Clever Partner Agents for help deciding what to disclose and how to use information about your home to help get it sold
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