How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Roger Your Own Question
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31781
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Roger is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What recourse does an real estate agent have in this situation.

This answer was rated:

What recourse does an real estate agent have in this situation. A broker entices an agent to leave his former company with promises of better working conditions, more opportunity for sales and leads, and a very lucrative commission split. The agent leaves the broker he is with to join the new broker because of these terms he is promised. The agent and the broker sign a contract covering the exact terms they discussed, such as commission splits, fees charged, and other items. Nine months into the contract the broker then changes his mind and decides he does not want to honor the terms of the commission split that he originally agreed to and signed a contract stating the same. The commission split the agent is told he MUST live with now is worse than the one with his previous broker. So in reality, the agent left a company (he was happy with) based on a promise of a better split, only to find out now the broker is not honoring the contract he signed and agreed to, which means the agent will lose money if he continues to stay with the current broker. This is after the agent has already made the current broker thousands of dollars from sales. Being that the agent is considered a self-employed contractor, does the agent have any recourse other than leaving the current brokers company? It seems like the agent was lured into a false sense of commitment with promises that the broker never intended to keep. I'm no lawyer, but isnt this fraud? This does not seem ethical, or legal. Keep in mind, that the agent also lost money because he had to buy new business cards, signs, etc. The agent also incurred other business related fees charged by new broker that he did not have with former broker. He would never have had to spend that extra money had he stayed with his former broker. So not only did the agent incur an actual financial loss, what about all the time and trouble and personal heartache he went through leaving a company he was happy with to start over with this new broker? Besides any legal ramifications there might be, are there any rules and/or guidelines with the Real Estate Commission that have been broken, or at least twisted? What do you suggest?
The Agent has a right to sue for breach of contract and detrimental reliance. A person cannot make promises and sign agreement and then just walk away or disregard the terms.

This could be considered fraud, but it is hard to prove because you would have to show that what happened were the person's intentions all along - which can be hard to show.

Edited by Adam Kirk on 7/10/2010 at 12:32 PM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi Adam, I apologize but this is my first time doing this, so I might be a little of a pain. Also, I am used to speaking in person so every question gets answered at once, instead of going back and forth this way. There is a lot involved in my situation, and I need more answers.


I have no idea what "detrimental reliance" is, or why I would sue for it. Please explain.


If I sue, can I make it so the the broker pays my legal fees?


What if the broker just gets fed up and says "your fired"? On the same contract he is ignoring is a clause that states that all business I am involved with at time of leaving the company stays my business, until it closes. And they must honor my commission on all deals. What if he doesn't?


You also did not mention anything regarding the extra expenses I've had to spend that I would not have spent with my old broker. Can I sue for any expenses I had solely because I joined the new broker. You have to understand I took on these extra expenses because he said he was paying me such a better cut, so it would benefit me in the end. Now he's backing out of his promise.


By not honoring this contract he is opening a huge can of worms that could screw my current and future business up terribly.


Are you familiar with the PA Real Estate Commission and what consequences they would have for this type of activity?



Detrimental reliance is when someone makes promises to you and you rely on those promises, and those promises turn out to be false, you've relied on those promises to your detriment.


You can be fired, but if it is retaliatory, you have legal grounds to sue. Attorneys fees can be requested, but there are no guarantees you'll get them.


You certainly can report this to the real estate commission and let them investigate the matter.

Edited by Adam Kirk on 7/10/2010 at 4:10 PM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi Adam, thay helps a lot, but I think this will be my last set of questions. Please dont be frustrated with me, but I need to know what my rights are before I confront my broker face to face with this problem.


You still have not answered if he does fire me, and I decide to sue the man, do I have the right to sue for the expenses I had since joining his company, that I would not have had if I did not join his company? I spent almost $800 for signs and other fees that I did not have to pay for with my previous broker, but I do with my new broker. So as far as I am concerned, he also cost me this extra money. Am I correct or not in thinking I have the right to sue for that money? I need to know if my chances of being awarded this money in a lawsuit is good or not.


I believe in having all the information at my fingertips before I get into situations like this. Please respond to this last question as best as you can.





That's part of the detrimental reliance claim. Any money you spent in pursuit of the promises made to you are recoverable under this action.


So yes, you can sue for these expenses.

Roger and 5 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you