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I have a realtor trying to enforce a listing agreement. I told her what I needed to get through the sale was 250-275k.

Van Nuys, CA |

The offer came in at full price but after closing costs and taxes, I end up with only 220.00. I rejected the full price offer and explained that I need to counter at 850k or stipulate that the buyer pays all commissions and closing costs. Now the realtor wants to sue....but she failed to consider the end result that was needed.

I spoke with her broker....real dickhead, so that's a dead end. Any hope available?

Attorney Answers 3


What you describe is a classic ambiguity: you remember "net" and the broker remembers "gross".
I suggest that you mediate this matter or litigation will devour the entire difference on a sales price of this amount.
Mediation seeks a "win-win" instead of litigation which is inherently "win-lose".

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

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You should try to work things out with the realtor before he files suit.

I'm a real estate broker as well as an attorney.

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Respectfully, your listing agreement is not based on net. The listing agreement specifies a gross sales price. Your net will vary according to when the property is sold, liens against the property at closing, and your conduct between execution of the listing agreement and sale. Your net of $250K-$275K is, by definition, ambiguous and will not support your demand.

IMO, you are responsible for the numbers, not your agent. If you lose the sale, you may be responsible for the full commission due the agent. You may also be faced with a specific performance lawsuit from the buyer. I agree you should promptly mediate the issue if you cannot immediately resolve it between yourselves.

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