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In Colorado, home sellers are presumed to have sold their home or property free of material defects, unless those defects have (timely) been disclosed by the seller. Remarkably, most sellers do not understand the law, or the Legal Disclosure Risks that they make by their lack of understanding.
Failure to disclose any known defects may result in legal liability with penalties ranging from civil damages, to even criminal negligence. Real estate sales carry a fair amount of legal risk because of the size and monetary significance of the transactions.
Did you know that almost all litigation commenced in Colorado involving real estate are lawsuits filed against the sellers? Just knowing this, should prompt every seller to take their disclosure obligations seriously.
Why do the legal risks primarily impact sellers? It's because inaccurate, untruthful, and the non-disclosure of certain defects and facts can affect the value, desirability, or even the saleability of a seller's home or property.
Trying to cover-up problems or by not disclosing them, can always have monetary benefits for a seller. That's why some homeowners choose to not fulfill their disclosure obligations openly, or thoroughly.
Surprisingly, some sellers are led to believe that by declaring they are selling the property in “as-is” condition, that will magically prevent them from having to truthfully disclose a defect. This is untrue!
Sellers who choose to disclaim known defects, can be later sued for their failure to disclose under Colorado law. Sellers who attempt to "disclaim" any knowledge of their property's defects, are putting themselves in legal jeopardy.
When defects are eventually discovered, most homebuyers tend to believe that the seller knew of the defects and didn't tell them about it. If the non-disclosure can be reasonably proven, the buyer may have a legal claim against the seller. The buyer will always allege that they were prevented from making informed decisions about the property at time of sale.
The vast majority of home seller disclosures which result in legal disputes are completely avoidable. Most sellers can adequately protect themselves by making careful and business-like disclosures, which will reduce or eliminate their legal exposure.
Because Colorado is a property disclosure state with clear laws, I've prepared a special article about the legal disclosure risks, called "How To Make A Disclosure - Without Losing The Buyer". This helpful article will guide you towards making all of the required disclosures, and minimize any risk of losing the sale. To get your free copy, call Mike today at (303) 514-4000. You can also send the easy form below.
Michael Dagner is an expert in Denver-Area home sales.
Call today, (303) 514-4000, for help with your home sale or purchase.
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The Michael Dagner Group, Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd, 7995 E. Hampden Ave, Ste 100, Denver, CO 80231 Map
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