The Real Property Transfer Declaration was modified in 2019.
The Colorado Real Property Transfer Declaration, known as the TD-1000, has been used for years to help county assessors collect essential information to ensure that the real property assessments are as accurate as possible. At closings of real property in the past, there would inevitably be a delay, as buyers were confused as to how fill out the form properly. Over the years, there have been so many different explanations I’ve heard at closings, it has almost become comical. When I was President of the Boulder Area Realtor® Association (BARA) in 2005, we worked on getting specific instructions about how to fill the form out properly. What we found was that even though it was a state form, different county assessors had different opinions on how to fill out the form. The form needed to be changed to be a little more user-friendly and useful to the assessor. Now in 2019, the form has been revised and updated.
What is it? And why is it required?
A TD-1000 is required to be submitted with any deed transferring title of a property to the county assessor. Every two years, in odd years like 2019, the county assessors across Colorado must appraise all the real estate in the state. Sold prices are taken from the deeds recorded, but the purpose of the TD-1000 is to give the assessor additional information that might be cause for adjustments in value due to additional circumstances, inclusions, or condition. One example might be a property discounted below market value because it is a sale between family members. Other examples might be that the property is in far worse or far better condition that other comparable sales. The assessor does not visit every property, so the information obtained from the form helps the appraisal process be as accurate and fair as possible to all property owners. However, the form needs to be filled out accurately.
Myths about the TD-1000
Over the years, I have heard a variety of comments about the TD-1000 from home buyers, home sellers, real estate agents, and other closing representatives. Here are a few:
- Myth #1 – The county assessor doesn’t do anything with the TD-1000. NOT TRUE! The assessor looks at all forms to determine if there is anything that would disqualify the sale as a valid comparable. Other factors are reviewed, too, such as condition, terms of sale, seller concessions, etc.
- Myth #2 – The TD-1000 doesn’t need to be completed. NOT TRUE! It not only needs to be submitted fully complete, if the reviewer at the assessor’s office finds incomplete information or conflicting information, they will make every effort to contact the parties using the contact information provided to get the full and accurate information.
- Myth #3 – Keep a copy of the form because the county may send you another one to see if you fill it out exactly the same way. NOT TRUE! The assessor won’t sent you another form to test you. You might be contacted if the form is missing or has incomplete information.
- Myth #4 – The TD-1000 is recorded with the deed and is public information. NOT TRUE! The TD-1000 is not public and is available only to the assessor, the home buyer and seller, and the property tax administrator.
- Myth #5 – The home buyer’s broker should not advise clients on how to fill out the form. NOT TRUE! In fact, real estate agents are taught in a recent Colorado Real Estate Commission update how to fill the form out correctly.
- Myth #6 – The assessor’s office can fine you if you don’t send in the form. TRUE! The assessor does have a right by law to levy a fine, but they usually don’t. They are more interested in getting the accurate information than trying to collect fines.
- Myth #7 – The home buyer must be the one to fill out and sign the form. NOT TRUE! Either the home buyer or home seller can fill out the form, but it is most commonly signed by the buyer.
What was wrong with the old form?
The biggest challenge and delay at closings in the past was the question about whether or not personal property was included. The form gave examples of what personal property was, including carpet, kitchen appliances, etc. Suddenly, the closing often became a value-estimating session of what the dollar value was for used carpet and kitchen appliances. Answers would sometimes be a dollar amount, sometimes the word “nominal” or “included” were inserted. Bottom line, no one knew what to put in the blank space, nor what information the assessor was trying to access. As it turns out, the assessor was really looking to find out if any personal property had an affect on the final real property assessment. An example might be a $40,000 vehicle or tractor that was included in the sale. That value would need to be subtracted from the value of the real property.
What’s new in the new form?
First of all, the personal property section is much more user-friendly and easier to fill out. It also says, “If no personal property is listed, the entire purchase price is assumed to be for the real property.”
A few more questions have also been added to help the assessor be more accurate in the valuation process.
- Date of Contract. This tells the assessor when the home buyer and seller agreed to a price. If the property took a year to close, it might have actually gone under contract in different market conditions. It helps the assessor eliminate any sales condition that might disqualify the sale.
- Contracted price (if different from final closed price). This shows market conditions.
- Type of Sale. Check boxes for builder, private, MLS or other.
- Type of Financing section added with a checkbox for “None” (all cash or cash equivalent).
- A new question asking,” Was an independent appraisal obtained in conjunction with this transaction?”
Like any other closing document, it is a good idea to review the TD-1000 prior to closing to make sure it is accurate. The assessor’s office will appreciate the form being filled out properly, and it definitely saves time at the closing table by having reviewed this and other documents in advance.
If you’re interested in learning more about the form and how to fill it out properly, here are resources for your review. The TD-1000 form and instructions can be found under the “Forms” tab on the Colorado Division of Property Taxation website at colorado.gov/pacific/dola/property-taxation and specifically at these links:
- Real Property Transfer Declaration Form
- Real Property Transfer Declaration Instructions
The form and instructions can also be found on your assessor’s website.
Statutory information regarding the purpose and use of this form can be found in Sections 39-14-102, 39-5-121.5, and 39-13-102, C.R.S.
By Duane Duggan. Duane has been a Realtor for RE/MAX of Boulder in Colorado since 1982 and has facilitated over 2,500 transactions over his career, the vast majority from repeat and referred clients. He has been awarded two of the highest honors bestowed by RE/MAX International: The Lifetime Achievement Award and the Circle of Legends Award. Living the life of a Realtor and being immersed in real estate led to the inception of his book, Realtor for Life. For questions, e-mail Duane at DuaneDuggan@boulderco.com, call 303.441.5611 or visit boulderco.com.