The above cases mark several important issues that are confronted by brokers and agents on a daily basis. Brokers and agents should be aware of them, so hey can avoid the problems encountered by the parties in these cases. And while the above decisions justify the fact that brokers and sellers are not legally required to investigate the ownership status of a particular property, or even to have a signed listing agreement to allow them to collect a commission, it is still very important for brokers and agents to ensure that they are indeed thorough and that they request important documents at the beginning of the agent-client relationship. While it seems at first glance that a broker or agent should not have requests to their selling clients or oral agreements, this usually happens in long and costly litigations without any assurance that the broker or agent will be successful. The court found in its decision that, while there were few precedents, “… Knowledge of the co-ownership relationship by the real estate agent is a key factor. On the basis of several cases cited in the decision, the court found that a commission had been issued when the broker was not aware of the “co-ownership relationship”. As in Hilpl, that court relied on the “knowledge factor” and found that the broker would be entitled to a commission if a real estate agent did not know there was a co-owner or if a co-owner did not disclose to the broker that the property was jointly held with another party, the broker would be entitled to a commission. , if he or she is a “ready, ready and capable” buyer. As soon as a seller employs a broker, even if that seller is not the sole owner, and requires the broker to find a buyer “preparing, willing and capable” and actually procures such a buyer, the commission is considered won. The Bowman case is important for two reasons: (1) If there is a written agreement between the parties, the courts will be reluctant to “rewrite” the terms of an agreement negotiated and concluded by the parties and (2) it is important to ensure that all owners, if the sale of a home is involved, execute and accept all agreements (e.g. B, sales contract, list contract, exclusive agency, etc.) with the property in question.
With respect to item 2, the woman attempted to enter into a listing contract with another brokerage firm and no longer wanted to use the brokerage company agreed to by both spouses in the transaction agreement. Unfortunately, in light of the separation agreement, which provided for special rights and obligations with respect to the relationship between the parties and the sale of the property, none of the spouses had the right to enter into a listing agreement with another brokerage company without renegotiating the terms of the original transaction agreement and without first obtaining judicial authorization. With respect to item 1, courts generally apply the “four corners doctrine” to adjudicate contractual disputes. The courts will literally deal with the “four corners” of the disputed agreement and attempt to determine the rights of the parties solely on the basis of the provisions of the document. If there are rights that are not included in an initial agreement, the courts are reluctant to add terms to an agreement. In Bowman, the judge basically rewrote the entire transaction agreement and imposed rights and duties on the couple that they had never consented to. It is essential for brokers and sellers to obtain the signatures of all owners and co-owners of a property, or an exclusive agency list agreement can be considered invalid and without force and effect from the beginning. In addition, brokers and sellers must ensure that they are not directly related to a seller or seller they know is in contract with another brokerage firm.