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LawGirl, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  I am familiar with this area of law.
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Real estate commission dispute California---In the ...

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Real estate commission dispute California---In the old days they always said a commisson was payable if you produced a buyer ''READY, WILLING AND ABLE".                                        &nbs p;                                         &n bsp;       I am licensed and produced a ready, willing and able buyer that did purchase. There was some lack of activity on my part in helping close the deal and I was not paid.     I have been told by unreliable sources that the old standard has been amended and more is necessary to earn the commission.?????
What does your contract with the client say? That is the most important factor in this analysis. If your contract says rwa buyer then you may have earned your commission. If it uses a different standard, then that standard would apply. Fee disputes like this will primarily be resolved on the contract language in the particular case.

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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
This question needs someone that is current with California practice and case law. As there is only a contract between the buyer and seller in which seller agrees to the commission percentage, the fine points of this dispute, and the lines along any resolution by the parties and/ or court revolve around California practice, California listing boards rules and case law.
I will opt out and hopefully a CA lawyer can help you.

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?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thanks CA Gal--
My assistant and the buyer saw a sign on a house and called. Offer submitted. There was a big push by the sellers agent, some absolute deadline that had to be met and he would run over at times and get signatures etc from the buyer. My assistant was very lax,one of those supersalesmen types.
I am licensed under my name and a DBA. I was lax and we came to the day the loan docs were expiring to find out they had not put my name on the final papers. And I could not risk the loan docs expiring: and let them close.
Now that there is not much business I decided to open some old files.
I do have a draft set of escrow instructions showing my name as buyers agent. So in court they would have to do some explaining, hopefully shifting some of the burden to them.
I am semi-retired and had enough attorney work done that I believe I can easily meet the old ready willing able standard, with draft escrow documents in my name--its just I had heard that this was not enough any more.
I am sure that if you practice in CA in this area that a paragraph answer will give me as much information as I could expect for this service. Thanks


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.

Good Luck!


LawGirl, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4606
Experience: I am familiar with this area of law.
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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Very very good work !!! Thank you
I was not familiar with the term “procuring cause”. Since the sale closed, not like those terrible rwa situations where there is no sale, it would seem that procuring cause is a rather low level to overcome.
Are you interested in drafting the complaint??
My plan would be to start out as the plaintiff and have a non-real estate attorney that I work with take over if it gets beyond me.
I would be also naming the escrow company, so should that should bring in the pro attorneys. I consider that positive as their expenses will exceed mine, initially.

I come from an engineering background and would be able to draft up the facts, concentrating on what attorneys want to hear and leaving out the irrelevant.

I guess you would like to see my draft before quoting that is if you are interested.
This distasteful work would take me a few weeks to make up the draft.
Thanks again!!!

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.