In the Florida real estate market, brokers are faced with more and more disputes with sellers, buyers and co-brokers over commissions. An understanding of the law and how to take steps to protect your rights to commissions are essential. It is generally preferable to have an executed written brokerage agreement. That agreement should set forth the commission, the entity that is responsible for the payment of the commission, when that commission is earned; define procuring cause and how disputes should be adjudicated. Our firm drafts these types of preventive contracts and also litigates if the written agreement and/or oral agreement is breached.
Most brokerage disputes involve a disagreement as to whether the broker was the procuring cause of the transaction. In the typical brokerage transaction, the broker is employed by the seller or buyer to procure or identify property at terms acceptable to the parties. Often times, after a broker has located a prospect, introduced the principals and commenced the negotiation process, the principals contact each other directly and ultimately consummate the deal to the exclusion of the broker. In response to the broker’s claim for commissions, the parties argue that the broker’s minimal role in the transaction precludes the earning of a commission. Our firm has litigated these types of claims where a broker was forced to bring suit to collect his or her fee for “procuring” the buyer/lessee.