Real Estate Agents are familiar with the normal course of a real estate deal: 1) find a client; 2) find or market property; and, 3) obtain commission at closing.  Certainly many brokers have experienced both quick successes and lengthy failures;  however, it seems somewhat unfair that in representing those clients who willfully interfere with closing a deal, the agent could possibly end up uncompensated for doing his or her job.

In a recent decision issued by the Worcester Superior Court, a broker may be entitled to his or her commission even if there is no closing.  In Ria K. McNamara, Inc. v. Forecast Shrewsbury Limited Partnership, et al., a Broker was awarded her commission when it was ruled that her client’s bad faith dealing caused a rental agreement with a prospective tenant to fall through.  The court recognized that the listing agent had successfully completed her part by securing a tenant to rent a commercial space.  Her client then used the prospective tenant as leverage to obtain a higher rent from the existing tenant.  Accordingly, the failure to close the deal was “directly and solely due to the bad faith dealing” of her client.  Therefore, the Court stated, the listing agent was still entitled to her commission.

While all brokers strive to have a special relationship with their clients and to represent their clients’ best interests, it is reassuring  to know that in those rare instances where an agent may have a client intent on interfering with a prospective deal, or the even rarer circumstance of a client dealing in bad faith, there is recourse for the agent and that agent can be compensated.

DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You should not rely or act upon any information contained in this article without seeking the advice of qualified legal counsel.

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