Craig Franklin Chambers, Attorney at Law

June 16, 2016

A Short Q&A for Hiring a Lawyer to Close A FSBO (For Sale By Owner)

Littleton Real Estate and Family Law Blog

Vol. 1.75  June 15, 2016

By Craig Franklin Chambers, Esq.

The Littleton Lawyer

  1. Does an attorney need to be present at closing?

No. Colorado is a title insurance state. The title company promulgates the closing documents and closes the transaction as per the terms of the real estate contract.

  1. Other than disclosing known material defects, what are the additional disclosure requirements in Colorado?

Colorado case law requires that the Seller disclose all known "latent" defects in the property. This has been interpreted as known "material" defects. For homes built in 1978 and before, the EPA requires a "lead-based paint" disclosure along with an EPA pamphlet to be provided to the buyer at the time of or prior to the time of contract.

As a licensed Colorado attorney and a licensed Colorado real estate broker, I generally recommend using the same standardized forms as required by the Colorado Real Estate Commission for brokers in closing a FSBO.   The standard contract asks for a Seller's Property Disclosure form to be prepared by the Seller, but this is not mandatory; it is a term in the real estate contract. The Colorado Real Estate Commission requires a source of water disclosure and a square footage disclosure. These are not required without a real estate broker involved, but I recommend them.

  1. Are there any special requirements with the sales contract that need to be addressed in Colorado?

Colorado passed a statute that requires the Seller to install before closing a carbon monoxide detector within 15 feet of each bedroom in a home being sold or rented. This term should be in every Colorado real estate contract.

  1. What legal documents does the seller need to provide during closing?

A government ID. All other documents are prepared by the title company unless the deal is an owner-carry. With an owner carry, an attorney needs to draft the promissory note and deed of trust.

5.Are other documents required for the sale of condos, town-homes, etc?

Yes, but the title company contacts the homeowner's association and includes those documents in the closing.

  1. Assume a seller was selling a $250,000 house, You helped the seller withe disclosures, sales contract, and other required legal documents required for the closing. The closing was moved once and one amendment was needed to cover that. How much would you charge for services and documents.

I charge $200 per hour which is typical if not low for a real estate attorney in Colorado. A typical FSBO transaction costs between $700-$800 for 3.5 to 4 hours, including attending the closing.

  1. Are there any other legal fees required at closing? If so, what are they and what do they cost?

There are no other legals fees, but either the Buyer or the Seller needs to pay the title company for title insurance. This cost is a percentage of the purchase price, and for a $250,00 house would run around $1,300. There is also a title company closing fee of approximately $400 that is customarily split between the parties.

  1. What geographic area do you service: the entire Denver Metro Area.

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    Denver Real Estate and Family Law Attorney

    Licensed to practice law in Colorado since 1997, I have a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and a law degree from the University of Denver.

    7851 S. Elati St. #101 Littleton, CO. 80120

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