Court Denies Real Estate Agent Claim to Entitlement of a
Commission in the Amount of $925,000.00
In Westside Estate Agency, Inc. v. Randall, a California appellate court denied a real estate agent a commission in the amount of $925,000. In Westside, plaintiff agreed to help friends locate a home in Los Angeles. They did not have a written agreement. Plaintiff eventually identified a property, which was listed at $65 million. Over the next month, the defendants and the seller exchanged numerous offers and counter-offers. The seller finally accepted the defendants’ offer of $45 million, subject to certain conditions. The buyers rejected those conditions. Three months later, the defendants made a $47 million offer through a different broker. Escrow closed a month later with a final purchase price of $46.25 million. The broker’s commission was $925,000.00.
Plaintiffs sued the buyers for breach of an implied contract seeking $925,000.00 in damages. The trial court denied that claim based on the fact that there was no written broker agreement. The plaintiff appealed and the appellate court affirmed, holding that a broker may not sustain a claim for a commission unless there is an “agreement authorizing or employing an agent, broker or other person to purchase or sell real estate.” Civil Code §1624.
Shannon B. Jones