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Benefits of Agreement

May 08, 1988

This is my 20th year in the real estate field. Occasionally, I find solid justification for buyer-broker agreements because the broker is so vulnerable without one.

About 8 years ago, I had a buyer involved in a lot split. There were many problems that took, literally, years to overcome. In the meantime, the seller died and the executor decided he didn't want to sell.

Attorneys for buyer and seller negotiated an agreement paying the buyer $30,000 to relinquish any claim to the property. I was told by the seller that any information regarding the arrangements had to come from the buyer's attorney.

The buyer maintained that he had no knowledge of what was transpiring between the attorneys and said he would let me know when he knew something further. About 4 or 5 months later, he revealed the facts about the settlement. I got a copy of the note and trust deed showing that he had signed the documents almost 6 months earlier.

I tried suing the seller for my commission but found that had been invalidated by not presenting the claim within the statutory period.

The buyer felt no obligation to share any of the proceeds of the settlement, even on a token basis. Nor did he admit that he had concealed the settlement for so long a time. Can you imagine any professional, of any category, spending this much time and effort and money (yes, I had expenses, too!) without any compensation?

A buyer-broker agreement would have provided protection for an event such as this. It would have made it legally obligatory for the buyer to keep the agent informed on a timely basis. It would have provided compensation in the same proportion as the regular commission split in the event of an incident such as the above.


Canoga Park

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