Westside Estate Agency, Inc. v. Randall


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