Does a for sale sign mean sellers are liable for injuries?

An appeals court case in Colorado decided whether a buyer was trespassing or invited
  • A Denver, Colorado, couple placed an offer on a foreclosed property for their daughter who could not afford to buy a home.
  • The mother, Ellyn Rucker, wanted to view the home and made an unscheduled visit. During the visit, she fell on an uneven sidewalk and injured herself.
  • Rucker sued the bank that owned the home and the bank's listing real estate broker, arguing the sign in the front yard made her an invitee, thus making the bank and brokerage liable for her injuries.
  • The court denied Rucker's claim and said for sale signs standing alone do not invite strangers to enter the private property of others.

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Does a for sale sign in front of a house constitute an invitation to walk around the property -- and also imply homeowner liability if someone gets hurt doing just that? That's what one Colorado woman argued when she slipped and fell on "an uneven part of the sidewalk" while visiting a house that her husband had put an offer on that same morning. A visit gone wrong In June 2011, Kristin Rucker began searching for a new home in Denver, but she couldn't afford the prices sellers were demanding. In an attempt to help their daughter, David and Ellyn Rucker decided to buy a home that Kristin would then rent from them. David found an unoccupied foreclosed property owned by Federal National Mortgage Association, and he requested a tour of the home from an agent representing Heter and Company, Inc., FNMA's listing real estate broker. David and Kristin liked the home, and David made an offer on the morning of June 5. On the afternoon of June 5, Kristin returned to the home with her ...