Legal Update 2020
Instructor: John Henderson
Regarding Amount of Commission the Firm Should Pay a Broker
Leanne Silver v. Chase Props., 814 S.E.2d 486 (2018)
North Carolina Court of Appeals
Facts: Silver, a licensed real estate broker, accepted a position as broker-in-charge of Chase, a real estate firm. Negotiations proceeded over splitting the commissions on contracts written once a planned second broker would be hired. Silver stated she did not want to split commissions with another agent and wanted to receive 1.25% commission "regardless of her status." Silver wrote 15 contracts under Chase. Seven of these contracts closed and she was paid 1.25% commission for each. Chase again requested Silver agree to split commissions stating that they would be unable to hire a second broker if they did not do so. Silver refused and this ultimately ended their relationship. Closings for the remaining eight contracts occurred after Silver stopped working for the company. Chase paid Silver the full 1.25% commission on three which closed within 90 days of her departure, partially for four which closed between 90 and 180 days after and did not compensate her at all for the one that closed more than 180 days after. Silver filed suit arguing she was owed 1.25% commission on all eight contracts. The trial court found the oral contract constituted a valid contract and Plaintiff was entitled to 1.25% commission on all the contracts, regardless of whether they closed before or after Plaintiff's working relationship with Defendant had ended. Chase appealed.
Issue: Whether Plaintiff was owed full commission on contracts for purchase when the Plaintiff did not work for the Defendant at the time of closing but there is an alleged oral contract which stated Plaintiff would receive 1.25% for all contracts written, regardless of status in company.
Held: Affirmed. The oral contract was valid and binding. Plaintiff was to receive 1.25% commission for all contracts written, regardless of status within company at the time of closing. Defendant owed plaintiff remaining balance for 1.25% on all contracts.