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Right to Sell Questions

An exclusive right to sell agreement in real estate is an agreement between a real estate broker and a homeowner. The agreement means that no other broker can list the property for sale, and if the property is sold the broker receives a commission regardless of who brings the buyer to the transaction during the period of the listing agreement. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about the Right to Sell that has been answered by the Experts.

If a person signed an exclusive right to sell on their property in Ohio with two different realtors, thinking that one had been released from contract, what could the individual do when both realtors want to be paid for the transaction?

Most generally laws vary from state to state, therefore under Ohio law the individual would be bound to both contracts. However if the first realtor did not perform the work that led to the sale, the person would have grounds to renegotiate the commission based on a theory of “unjust Enrichment”. The facts leading the person’s original belief of a release and the less overall work the original realtor has done, the better chance of making an unjust enrichment claim.

If a real estate broker had an exclusive right to sell a property and about ten days before the contract ended the seller would not allow them to show the property and told them to give up the keys, pick up their sign, etc. Would the realtor have a case in court to recoup commission that was lost?

Typically since the sale happened so close to the end of the contract, it would appear that the broker could possibly have a case. However, most contracts require that the broker gives the owner a list of people that they have contacted about the property. Finding a real estate attorney that would work on contingency would be a step in the right direction, and would at least make the odds of a settlement in court likely, depending on what the broker can prove and this means in writing since any verbal agreement would likely be denied by the other party.

If a landlord decides to sell a house that is currently rented, would the landlord have the right to put a lockbox on the property in order for the realtors to show the property while the tenants are away?

In most cases the land lord must provide the tenant with reasonable notice of their intent to enter in writing, and can only enter during reasonable hours. Also the tenant is not obligated to allow a lockbox on the house unless their lease stipulates otherwise. Typically the landlord is the only one with the right to enter, so if the tenant cannot be there during a showing they should insist that the landlord be there instead.

If a couple is separated, could one individual sell property that is in their ex spouses name since they were married without the consent of the other party?

Most generally the person with their name on the title would be the only one that could legally sell the vehicle unless a court order is obtained. However, the individual could petition for Legal Separation and request for an order from the court that the vehicle be sold to repay the debt so the property is not jeopardized.

If an individual verbally promised to sell their deceased grandparents vehicle to another party who has already paid for a airline ticket to pick up the vehicle does the individual have to reimburse them for their expenses when backing out of the sale?

In most cases, with no will, the individual would still own the car and can do whatever the like with it. However, if the individual has agreed to sell to the other party, and based on that agreement the party has already purchased a plane ticket, then according to the legal concept called detrimental reliance, the individual would be required to sell the car at the price agreed on or pay the other individual for the damages that they have suffered by relying on the spouse’s promise. In order to recover the loss the individual would likely have to sue in Small Claims court.

There are several different ways to interpret the right to sell. Real estate is the most obvious, involving several different rights to sell listings and agreements. Estate law would also have several different ways to incorporate the right to sell. And financial institutions could and have written many volumes on the subject of the right to sell. Many questions will be raised when on this subject, questions that can use the insight of the Experts.

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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
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Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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Tina
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