Real Estate Non-Disclosure Disputes in Colorado
When you sell real estate in Colorado, you’re required to make certain disclosures under the terms of the Seller’s Property Disclosure statement. This statement is included in the contract to buy and sell real estate. If the seller fails to disclose certain property defects in this statement, it often leads to litigation because either the seller didn’t understand their obligations, or the buyer thinks the seller’s obligations were greater than they really are.
What’s the Seller Required to Disclose?
A seller is only required to disclose defects or issues they have actual knowledge of. This means the seller is not responsible for disclosing problems that they should have known about, even if that defect would be obvious to a reasonable and ordinary person. For example, even if the home obviously smells of mold, the seller may not be liable unless the buyer proves that the seller actually knew about the mold.
Although the disclosure form protects sellers in numerous ways, it also places a duty on the seller to notify the buyer of any known defects. State and federal law dictate that the seller must make certain disclosures. For example, the seller must disclose whether:
• The home was a meth house,
• The home has a source of potable water, and
• The home is part of an HOA common interest community.
The most common mistake made by sellers is assuming they don’t have an obligation to disclose previous problems that were repaired. This means that if a problem ever existed, even if the issue was repaired, the seller must disclose the problem – especially if the defect is latent or concealed. Typically, the disclosures that cause lawsuits are the ones related to leaks and other water-related problems (i.e. roof leaks, window leaks, mold
Hiring a Real Estate Attorney
It’s important to engage a real estate broker or attorney to help you file the disclosure forms if you’re selling your home. At RVM Law, LLC, we work hard to resolve any real estate issue that may arise when selling or buying a home with exceptional expertise.