How current events impact your business and real estate holdings

Thursday, January 09, 2014

The Plight of the Broker

Many look with envy at the good fortune of the broker, who reaps a large pot from simply introducing the parties to the deal, but to those who do not live in his shoes, think this:

"[A] broker is never entitled to commissions for unsuccessful efforts.

The risk of failure is wholly his.

The reward comes only with his success.

That is the plain contract and contemplation of the parties.

The broker may devote his time and labor, and expend his money with ever so much of devotion to the interests of his employer, and yet if he fails, if without effecting an agreement or accomplishing a bargain, he abandons the effort, or his authority is fairly and in good faith terminated, he gains no right to commissions.

He loses the labor and effort which was staked upon success.

And in such event it matters not that after his failure, and the termination of his agency, what he has done proves of use and benefit to the principal.

In a multitude of cases that must necessarily result.

He may have introduced to each other parties who otherwise would have never met; he may have created impressions which, under later and more favorable circumstances, naturally lead to and materially assist in the consummation of a sale; he may have planted the very seeds from which others reap the harvest; but all that gives him no claim.

It was part of his risk that failing himself, not successful in fulfilling his obligation, others might be left to some extent to avail themselves of the fruit of his labors."

This is the life of a broker as articulated by NY's Highest Court in the case of Sibbald v. Bethlehem Iron Co. in 1881, which remains true to this day. A broker deserves everything he gets as he must live in an all or nothing world. Here is to the broker who makes the deals happen!