Due to the COVID-19 crisis, real estate transactions in Colorado are encountering several hurdles and new uncertainties. In addition to social distancing recommendations, this past week alone we have seen state-wide Executive Order D 2020 013 and Public Health Order 20-24 mandating the reduction of in-person work requirements by at least 50 percent for non-essential businesses, and “stay in place” orders in some counties further limiting the ability of parties, including notaries, to appear in person for closings.
At present, some real estate transactions may be stalled, with no standard Real Estate Commission-approved form in existence for these unique circumstances. Without a standard form, brokers and/or parties to the transactions either need to work with an attorney or are attempting to draft addenda on their own, with potential adverse consequences.
The Colorado Bar Association (“CBA”) has approved a COVID-19 Addendum to real estate contracts, that real estate brokers can use to “pause” pending real estate transactions where the parties want to close but cannot due to circumstances caused by COVID-19.
Independent from the Real Estate Commission’s authority to promulgate standard forms, the CBA is authorized to create forms for broker use under section 12-10-403(4)(b)(V), C.R.S. Brokers may only use the form when a Commission-Approved form does not exist or is not appropriate for the transaction. The form may not be altered by the Broker other than by completing any blank spaces in the form. The Broker may advise the parties as to the effects thereof.
COVID-19 Addendum is approved for use by real estate brokers, attorneys, and parties to pending real estate transactions.