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

  • 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.

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.