I eventually said to the seller that I thought he didn't want to sell his property, but it seemed he much wanted it for sale. I said I couldn't fgure out why. He only laughed, and neither confirmed, nor denied.
Because the market caught up with his price, we found a buyer. Buyer met every demand, seller changed closing date. Then, seller raised price, when all other stonewalls failed to deter the buyer.
Bingo..... The seller did not want sell. He really wanted a listing agreement, and to prove, for other reasons in business and residency establishment in another state. In essence, he used the broker's advertising $$, and my $$ and time for other reasons. The Broker had the right to collect a commission because the Broker (and I) had performed on our end of the contract. We produced a buyer. The fact that a sale did not result was immaterial.
Check your listing agreement to determine what performance standard must be met before a commission is deemed earned. Consult an attorney for understanding of the contract.
Some contracts are fully cancellable, some have fine print. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Moving forward, you will not owe from this point forward.
Keep it as simple as possible as noted in my answer above. Don't let the legalise of the whole contract confuse you.