It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that an agent who locates a buyer and brings about an unconditional contract must be in want of their commission.
In a recent matter we acted in, an agent was engaged to sell our clients investment property. They located a buyer and negotiated a contract, however our client was at that time unwilling to enter into the transaction on those terms.
The agents engagement lapsed, and a number of months later our client engaged another agent to try and sell the property. The same buyer came to the second agent (full in the knowledge that the first agent had negotiated that particular deal), and put the terms of the offer to that second agent.
The second agent put those terms to our client, whose circumstances had changed. The client accepted those terms and settled the contract.
Both agents, of course, claimed their commission.
At law, and agent is entitled to their commission where they are an effective cause of the transaction.
Here, it was pretty clear that the second agent took the benefit of the first agents work and acted simply as a secretary. They were therefore not an effective cause of the sale and in our view not entitled to claim commission.
It is important that in any dealings with agents (whether for residential property, commercial property or a business) that you don’t have any loose threads trailing behind you.