I practice in California and have a couple of follow up questions. Were you the seller's agent? Was there a listing agreement? Even though you were did not help close the deal, did you still broker the deal? Or, did your clients rely on another broker to get the deal done?
Thank you for your question.
It sounds like you did not have a written broker agreement with the Buyer. In which case, the buyer may be able to terminate your services at any time and argue that you are not entitled to a fee. By California, you may need to prove "procuring cause" of the ready, willing and able buyer.
Commission disputes boil down to what is referred to in the industry as "procuring cause." The agent who ultimately caused the buyer to purchase the home and earned the commission is the procuring cause agent. That procuring cause agent might not be the agent who obtained the offer from the buyer, presented the offer and successfully negotiated the seller's acceptance of that offer.
Now you have draft escrow instructions showing your name as the buyer's agent, if the buyer had a change of heart, feeling that you did not undertake your duties and were not the procuring cause agent, that would be an argument they could put forth to the court.
Your best argument is that your assistant introduced the buyer to the property and submitted the offer to purchase to the seller. Thereby arguing that you were the procuring cause and that you created an implied-agency agreement, so you are entitled to the commission.
Please let me know if you have any other questions, or require clarification of this matter. Otherwise please hit "ACCEPT", so I may receive credit for my response. Tips and feedback are also appreciated.
No problem. I am glad I could help.
I would be happy to review your facts. Generally, we are not to give out our personal contact information through the site; however, I am happy to speak to a site moderator about that policy. In the meanwhile, you could work on your Statement of Facts and check back with me.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).