Seller wants me to sign a release of liability form before entering the house...?

5 Replies

Hi BP,

I have a home under contract, with a seller. His mom passed away a few years ago and he is selling as its been vacant for about 10 years.  I explained to him before signing the agreement that I will have to place a lock box on the house as my partners and I will have to get in and out on to get estimates, photos, ect.

He wanted me to sign a release of liability for that release him of all incidents that may occur to me while inside the home. I drafted up a letter and also had it notarized.  Now, he says he does not feel comfortable, (even with the letter) with me or anyone else being in the house alone. He wants to be there anytime someone goes inside and is requesting that each person sign a release form of liability document before entering.

What do I do here? How do I get potential buyers in the home while the seller is there? Thoughts?

The problem is you've let the seller believe you're actually buying it, instead of trying to find a buyer for it.  Start over with the truth, and go from there.  If the seller is still willing, he'll be cooperative.

@Julian McLain

This is an excellent learning opportunity for you.  In the future, make sure that your contract holds sellers harmless in the event that you or any of your employees/contractors are injured on the property.  Also, include a clause about the lockbox.

@Julian McLain

Perhaps his instincts are good and he knows you're being dishonest about your intentions. You're telling the seller that you need to get partners in and out which isn't true by your own admission. 

So, what can you do?  Start by being honest.  Tell them your true intentions as trust is earned, not built via a contract. Let him know that your only objective is to get the home sold to his only buyer which is an investor.  Tell him you will get your investors through the house one time per week at a scheduled time and will have anyone entering sign an indemnity.  

Thanks guys, I should have been more clear on my post. The buyer knows that I am finding a buyer for the house and I will not purchase it directly. He does not have an issue with other's going inside. He is comfortable with this. My only concern is inconveniencing my buyers by having them sign a waiver and also relying on the seller to let everyone inside the home as needed. 

Consult with an attorney and have him draw up documents for you to use relating to non-disclosure and including something to the effect that seller and buyers agree to not transact the purchase of the house without you getting compensation. Anyway tell the attorney your concerns and that you want an agreement drawn up to protect your rights to compensation if one can be drawn up legally. 

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