Real Property Transfer DeclarationThe Real Property Transfer Declaration is one of the forms that Buyers complete at a real estate closing transaction. One of the questions on this form asks "Did the buyer receive any personal property in the transaction?  If yes, give the approximate value as of the date of the sale." Most of my buyers look to me for guidance on how to answer that question, what items to include and how to arrive at values for the property.

According to the Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 39-1-101 household furnishings can include free-standing appliances and wall-to-wall carpeting. At a minimum, the list should include all personal property that is included as per the sales contract.

Some buyers will give a "garage sale" value to the personal property, some a total sales price and some a percentage of the sales price. There is no correct, or wrong, answer. The County Assessors use this information so they can deduct significant non-real estate items, like vehicles, from the value of the sale. 

I recently spoke to one county official who indicated that this particular county takes the information from the reports and "puts it all into the melting pot" of data used in determining the valuation of properties within the county. He also indicated that adjustments of property values are rarely made based on this information. Most of the counties randomly send the new property owner their version of the "Real Property Transfer Declaration" form and these are usually, if not always, mandatory for the owner to complete and return. Additionally there are other information participation requests that some counties have mailed to the new owners where participation is optional.

A common misconception is that the buyer will be taxed on these items. There is no tax on personal property in the state of Colorado. 

Bottom line? I recommend to my clients that they put close to the actual value of the property items when completing this form at closing. I alert them to keep a copy for reference so they can transfer the information to the county form if they receive one after closing.