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Conflicting Claims for Estate Agents Commission

 
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General requirements for entitlement to commission are:

  1. Existence of a mandate (sole and exclusive OR open)
  2. Performance of the mandate (terms of the mandate must have been fulfilled)
  3. Effective cause

Three important cases relating to the question of effective cause are:

 

1. Webranchek v L K Jacobs – 1948 (Appeal Court)

 

Seller gave several agents mandates to find a buyer at an asking price of 40 000 pounds
Agent 1 introduced a buyer, and buyer was so interested that a sale was about to be concluded and was prepared to pay between 39 000 & 40 000 pounds
Buyer also contacted agent 2 (who also had a mandate) and after much bargaining 2 reduced his commission making it possible to conclude at 39 500 pounds

 

Court:

  • many causes contributed to the sale
  • agent 1's efforts were the effective cause as it was through his efforts that the situation was right to crystallize into a sale and real sales resistance had already broken down

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