Can the buyer of my house that is for sale refuse to wire money and close and force me to sign a release of liability?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Irvine, CA

There were 2 trees in our yard that caused slight damage to our neighbors roof . We removed the trees and repaired the roof and paid for it in full . . The buyer refuses to close Escrow unless we sign a release that says we will be liable for any damage that was caused to the neighbors for our trees while we lived there . Can she legally hold up Escrow for this reason ?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Albert Lee Crosner

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I would contact a real estate attorney in Irvine if I were you. If I understood what you said, you indicated that what the buyer now wants in writing has already been done. Looks like an attempt to stall and then to ask for her down payment back. Good luck.

    Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The... more
  2. Nicholas Basil Spirtos

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . It depends on the purchase and sale agreement, the escrow instructions, all the facts involving the issue with the neighbors and other matters that you should discuss with a local real estate attorney.
    Ask the neighbors to sign a release. That should satisfy the buyer.
    Even so, you would want an attorney to prepare any release and review the documents before signing anything.

  3. Michael T Millar


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I am not a CA attorney, laws vary from state to state, therefore you should always consult a local attorney.

    Your buyer is required to follow the contract of sale. I'd wager there is nothing in the contract of sale that would permit them to make this demand. You could make a time of the essence closing to force them to close.

    Having said that, if you have already made the repairs and removed the trees, what is the downside to signing a release? Your buyer would not be responsible for any event that occurred prior to his or her purchase of the home. Liability is premised upon when the damage occurred - not when it was discovered. Thus, the buyer would not be liable for after discovered damage anyway. You are not really giving anything up.

    You should consult with a local real estate attorney.

    If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education... more

Related Topics

Residential property

Residential property is real estate that has been developed or zoned to be used for living, such as single family houses, apartments or mobile home parks.

Real estate buy and sell agreements

A buy and sell agreement is a binding contract outlining the terms under which ownership of a piece of property will be transferred from the seller to a buyer.

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