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Ask Debra Your Own Question
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 99929
Experience:  Lawyer
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I'm a Realtor in BC and had an accepted offer on a property.

Customer Question

I'm a Realtor in BC and had an accepted offer on a property. When the Buyer (dual agency situation) could not complete but asked for an extension, the Seller's lawyer intervened (whom I have had issues with in the past) and forbid the Seller to speak to me or the Buyer, when the Buyer asked to extend the completion date to allow for more time to arrange financing.
The Seller ended up re-listing with another agent (referred to by the Seller's lawyer) who then went back to my Buyer who ultimately purchased and completed on the said property.
Do I have a case of 'conspiracy' in small claims court against the lawyer, the Seller and the agent, to recover lost commissions?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
This has nothing got to do with a conspiracy. But, you do have a strong case to sue for the lost commission.
You had a contract with the seller and from your post it appears that the seller has breached the contract.
You are entitled to whatever commission you would have been paid (plus interest) had the seller not breached the contract with you.
Let me know if you need further clarification.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

To be a little more clear with the circumstances, the Buyer did not complete as per the contract. The Sellers lawyer's position then was that the Buyer was in breach and therefore the Seller's could re-list with another agent. The lawyer and/or the buyer provided the new listing agent the Buyer's contact info and originally agreed purchase price...which is what the property ended up selling for. Also, to conceal the original Buyer's identity, my research shows that the Buyer changed director's of a BC company he owned to a party that ultimately purchased the property with the intention of concealing the identity of the real Buyer. To add insult to injury, the Sellers purchased another property through a different agent who is also good friends with the Seller's lawyer. Does this change you opinion? Would I still be able to sue the Lawyer for damages?

Also, would I have grounds to report the lawyer to the Bar?

I know these are sensitive questions to be asking a Lawyer.

Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
I never suggested that you could sue the lawyer -- the lawyer is not your lawyer and did not owe you a duty of care. Your cause of action is against the buyer with whom you had the contract.
As you introduced the buyer to the property, you are entitled to the commission even if the buyer, seller, and new agent engaged in subterfuge. A court would consider your facts and would be able to determine that the buyer remained the same.
The lawyer would not be guilty of misconduct, unless he advised this subterfuge.

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