No Liability on Buyer's Fall . . . Have a Nice Trip Part II

Real Estate Broker/Owner with | Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time Licensed State of Oregon

In May this year I wrote a post entiteld:  Have a Nice Trip . . . See You Next Fall

Today, I read a very nice bookend to this tale.  In The National Association of Realtors Legal Summaries the case in Colorado has No Liability on Buyer's Fall -- the actual appellate ruling is found here.

Risk management, and risk sifting are always nice to know about.

My post in May was about a home inspection, and having people who are NOT party to the transaction there.  It's a good read.

Today, I read about a case which was affirmed on appeal (and I can't even imagine it GETTING APPEALED) and the result was there was no liability when a buyer fell.

Here's what happened:   Buyers were on the premises of the property without anyone knowing about it.  


The buyers claimed, in their lawsuit against the owner,

that since there was a FOR SALE sign on the property,

it gave them permission to enter the property.



OMIGOSH . . . I have had 15 years in the legal industry prior to becoming a real estate licensee and I can't believe a lawyer filed a lawsuit based on that premise of "implied or express" permissiowere the Buyn -- from a FOR SALE sign?!?!?

The FOR SALE sign does one thing, and one thing alone:  It puts the general public on notice that the house is . . . FOR SALE . . . duh!

Never once in the history of selling real estate does a FOR SALE sign imply permission to enter the property.

This was a no brainer ruling, in my opinion.  



Since when does FOR SALE mean . . .



I have a question for the Frickey Law Firm, P.C. and Hower Flicker, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs . . . if my car has a FOR SALE sign on it  , , , does that mean the general public can climb in and take it for a test drive without my permission?!?


This is my first entry to my new series:  Scratching My Head in Real Estate

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Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results


Representing Buyers in the Portland Metro Real Estate Market | Clackamas Multnomah and Washington Counties | Since 1999

Carla Muss-Jacobs, REALTOR®, ABR, CEBA, ePro
Principal Broker/Owner

Direct: 503-810-7192 | |

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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Carla- good grief!  Where in the world has common sense gone?  But so many people are under the delusion that a For Sale sign means come one, come all, any time, with or without permission!

Oct 27, 2016 10:26 AM #1
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

That's insane.  And to think agents used to be afraid of the do not call list when it came to FSBO signs.  This makes that concern look like nothing.

Oct 27, 2016 11:17 AM #2
Diana Zaccaro
Veterans Realty of Brevard is not just for Veterans! - Cocoa Beach, FL

That is just crazy...using their logic, I shudder to think what they would say "Open House" means...


Oct 27, 2016 11:49 AM #3
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I had a new listing last week that looked substantially empty in the MLS Photos but the sellers are camping out in it. A buyer stopped by to check it out and knocked on the door. The seller let them in and a day later it was under contract. 

Just because it looked empty it may not be. My seller was cordial (I cautioned her to not let people in without an agent and appointment but she did it anyway) but she did it anyway. It turned out okay this time. Next time it might not.

Oct 27, 2016 01:02 PM #4
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

LOL...I love your last paragraph. That is so good. 

I heard about this story. I'm glad the woman lost her case. One of my big pet peeves is when people think they can walk around a property because it's for sale. I use to list a lot of bank owned houses, and I got so many calls from buyers that were on the property looking in windows. I had no qualms about telling them they were trespassing. So many of them didn't get it even after I told them so. 

Oct 28, 2016 09:00 AM #5
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

This doesn't make a lick of sense! Scary about the Attorney thinking it was okay to file a frivilous law suit.  The home owner ought to file one on Mr. Frickey!

Oct 30, 2016 11:01 AM #6
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

It kind of makes you wonder what the world is coming too with the thought that you can sue just about for any reason. Looks like a lot of wasted time and money for that buyer IMO.

Nov 02, 2016 08:30 PM #7
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Definitely a scratch-your-head moment!  WOW!  So, I THOUGHT 'For Sale' was TWO words and that those two words are not defined as the single word, 'Enter' - am I wrong?!!  LOL  Frivilous law suits - another of the ridiculous problems we have in America!

Nov 05, 2016 12:16 PM #8
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale

This is a sue crazy society....and unfortunaely you don't have to look hard to find a lawyer who will sue for ANY reason .

Nov 06, 2016 08:52 PM #9
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

That lawyer had to either be new, greedy or just ignorant. LOL

Nov 07, 2016 12:45 PM #10
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Carla, good catch on that 'fall'. It's really unbelievable what people will try & get away with.

Nov 28, 2016 03:38 PM #11
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