Realtors, the “Procuring Cause”, and … Fairness!

Realtors, the 'Procuring Cause', and...Fairness! Reyes Law Group BLOG post by Carlos J. Reyes. Esq.

Realtors have been the back-bone of Florida’s real estate market for decades.

Realtors invest time and effort in education, spend hours making cold calls looking for listings, and work days on-end tracking down sellers to sign listing agreements or find buyers to represent.  And, despite the internet age, realtors continue to add what seems to be an infinity of mileage to their cars as they show property after property.  There is no doubt that “good realtors” earn their commission.  At the same time, most property owners are sensible, fair, and appreciate what a good realtor can bring to the table.  Yet, not surprisingly, some realtors and owners routinely find themselves at odds when it comes time to paying commissions.
I instantly thought of this dilemma when a realtor called me this past weekend to ask me about a situation she was dealing with and whether she was entitled to her commission.  She asked me whether her efforts at bringing together a buyer and seller entitled her to a commission when the parties fail to enter into contract immediately, but wait and later enter into a contract that excludes the realtors’ commission.  Simply answered, yes – the realtor is entitled to their commission!
The key factor when analyzing this question is whether the realtor was the “procuring cause” of the transaction.  The most recent and pertinent case restating and defining the “procuring cause” doctrine can be found in the 2005 Florida Supreme Court case of Rotemi Realty, Inc. v. Act Realty Co., Inc., 911 So. 2d 1181 (Fla. 2005).  The Rotemi case makes clear that absent an exclusive listing agreement, the procuring cause is said to occur where the agent…
1) Initiated negotiations by doing affirmative acts that bring a buyer and seller together.
2) Remains involved in the negotiations, unless intentionally excluded by the parties.
Under these circumstances, you are entitled to the commission.  Further, the Rotemi case boils down the question to one forthright value – Fairness.  Holding the “mirror of fairness”  up to those owners who oppose paying a commission – when analyzing and reviewing how and why a parcel of real estate or property was sold – shines a light of truth which ultimately is hard to deny.
Good realtors earn their commission.  Good owner sellers realize that a realtors marketing and property exposure efforts can bring them a fast contract.  When you run into the “bad owner seller” despite being the “procuring cause” of the sale, the courts can and will recognize the realtors commission.  Why? It’s only fair!
Assembling the right team to handle each of the critical functions of the transaction – realtor, lender, closing attorney – is critical. The right team will increase the odds of experiencing a smooth and enjoyable lead up to and through closing.  Feel free to call the Reyes Law Group Real Estate Legal Team to assist you. We provide pragmatic and practical counseling, advice, and due diligence review. We deliver quality legal work and title insurance coverage to help the parties close that next “American Dream” or investment property.

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Carlos J. Reyes  is the Principal of Reyes Law Group. He has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1988 and practices state-wide.  Carlos has been awarded a rating of “AV Preeminent” which is the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards by Martindale-Hubbell – a well-recognized legal resource. The RLG Legal Team also include attorneys Melissa J. Ulloa and the RLG Legal Support Team to bring you a dedicated, experienced and dynamic legal team to handle your legal needs.

We also assist clients in the areas of: Civil LitigationReal Estate LitigationResidential Purchase & SalesCommercial Acquisitions & SalesResidential Landlord-Tenant LitigationCommercial Landlord-Tenant LitigationShort Sales NegotiationsLoan ModificationsFamily LawCorporate Work, and Labor & Employment Law.

Call us for a FREE consultation at (954) 369-1993. Se Habla Español.

Visit our firm website and review our credentials.

We are located at 150 S Pine Island Rd #210, Plantation, FL 33324


The Reyes Law Group BLOG is intended to provide information to firm clients, friends and potential clients about various legal related topics. Nothing in this BLOG should be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should not act upon the information contained in this BLOG without seeking the advice of legal counsel.

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Reyes Law Group

Reyes Law Group represents clients in a multi-disciplinary legal practice involving real estate transactions and litigation with a “footprint” that covers the State of Florida. Over the firm’s first 10 years, Reyes Law Group has closed over $100M in commercial closings, representing buyers and sellers in contract negotiations, due diligence, and the related title review and policy issuance related to closings. In litigation, the firm has commercial litigation experience focused on prosecuting or defending claims such as breach of contracts, partition actions, trade secret violations, and breach of non-competes. However, our firm’s MAIN FOCUS is assisting asset and loan portfolio managers, investors and private lenders with a “ 4-PILLAR APPROACH” to the legal challenges they face with non-performing assets: 1) LOAN WORKOUTS; 2) COMMERCIAL FORECLOSURES (across the State of Florida); 3) COMMERCIAL EVICTIONS; and 4) REO COMMERCIAL CLOSINGS.30+ years’ legal experience means - WE CAN HELP!

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