Posted by JohnBoy on October 22, 2003 at 22:07:08:
Depends on the contract the seller signed with their agent.
The seller hired the agent to sell the home. The agent did their job and brought the seller a buyer. The seller then decides not to sell, for whatever the reason, and breaches their contract with the agent and with the buyer. The seller should be held accountable for paying the commission plus any costs and damages to the buyer for breaching the contracts.
Now if the BUYER flaked out for whatever reason, then the seller would not owe a commission. They didn’t bring a valid buyer to close on the sale. But in this case, it’s the SELLER, who hired the agent to do a job, which the agent did, and where the seller agreed to sell and enter into a sale agreement with the buyer, and now the seller flakes out and refuses to sell. The seller owes the commission plus costs and damages to the buyer for breach of contract.
The only exception would be IF the listing agreement gave the seller the right to back out of the sale after entering into a sale agreement with a buyer and stating no commission would be due. I doubt the listing agreement has any wording to that effect. So the agent is owed the commission since the agent did their job they were hired to do. They brought the buyer together with the seller and the seller signed a purchase agreement with the buyer. It’s the SELLER who has flaked out and refuses to honor the contract, not the buyer.