Real Estate Lawsuit with Happy Ending

The Houston Chronicle just ran the story of Urban Living (a local real estate brokerage) losing a court fight over a commission dispute. Urban Living had a signed exclusive agreement with a potential buyer. Evidently, beyond a cursory first look, they did nothing to find the buyer a house. The buyer later went on to buy a house through another agent, but Urban wanted a commission nonetheless.

Lawsuit with Happy Ending

Lawsuit with Happy Ending

I believe in the sactity of contracts. However contracts should be entered into with full understanding of it by both parties. An agreement shouldn’t be signed to be someone’s representative, then do nothing to help the person. It’s standard practice to get these agreements signed. However, you should be sure you want to work with the agent first. Alternatively you can sign it and add the stipulation that it is for the one house. You have options. If you don’t want to sign it, then don’t. In this case you won’t be treated as a client (with full fiduciary responsibilities by the agent), but instead, you’ll be their customer, with lesser duties required.

Either way; be aware of what you are signing, and with whom.

I am not an attorney. I am not giving legal advice. I am a realtor, and I side with the buyer in this case. If a Realtor is going to represent someone, then they should do so…wholeheartedly, not a half-ass job. Do your job, or release the buyer from the agreement. That must have been the thought of the jury too. So, I thought this suit had a happy ending.

Quote from the Chronicle: a verdict was reached Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by local real estate firm Urban Living. The jury agreed with the homeowner that no commission was due to the broker, even thought there was a signed exsclusive agreement with the broker.

Read the whole article here: A Harris County jury sided with a homeowner in a dispute over a commission payment an Inner Loop realty firm claimed it was owed.
The verdict came down from the jury Tuesday afternoon after about a day of deliberation. The jury also said the Urban Living would be responsible for paying about $150,000 in legal fees to the man they sued. An attorney for the company said it would move to delete these fees at a later hearing.

Urban Living, or www.Urban Inc., filed a lawsuit claiming breach of contract against Houstonian Chris Drummond, who purchased a townhouse with a real estate agent from another firm while under an exclusive agreement with Urban to represent him. Urban sued to recover the commission it believes it was owed, but jury did not agree.


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