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Joy DeLucia, Real Estate Pro in Holmdel, NJ

Can someone tell me where I can find the definitive rulings on unconditional withdrawels. If a listing office receives an offer on a house, informs

Asked by Joy DeLucia, Holmdel, NJ Sat Sep 12, 2009

seller and forwards offer to attorney, then the seller demands an unconditional withdrawal, relists and then accepts the same offer through the new listing office. is the office that marketed the house for months and ultimately brought the offer entitled to payment....we got nothing.

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Angie HI......I am not upset - I was just trying to clarify it for you, as I thought you might have misread Joy's question........

I do not know what, if any, conditions might allow Joy to collect any sort of commission. That's why I, and others, have suggested that the only place she can turn to is her Broker/manager. In fact, I'd be happy to know what the boker has said in regard to this.

If I am going to speculate as to what type of situation might allow her he collect part or all of the commission, I suppose if the unconditional release was given due to fraudulant statements given by the seller.....that might enter into it. I am not an attorney, not do I currently sit on an arbitration board...nor do we have all the minutia involved with this.......so I cannot make any judgement as to what Joy's rights are.

As I stated twice already, an unconditonal release, without any conntingencies attached, is just that....uncondtional!!!! I don't think Joy has a case here, but that is my opinion, and certainly not the last word.
I am sorry for your situation, Joy............besides turning to your Broker, you can also call your board of realtors, and ask for clarification on their rules regarding this.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 13, 2009
Joy: Thanks for your graciousness in thanking those of us who responded. To be honest, the Real Estate business is strange one and I'm not sure that it, much like Wall Street, could not benefit from a thorough shake-up of the way we do business.

As my wise and gracious colleague, Debbie Rose has said, we have far too little information to respond specifically and even if we did, we would not be the ones judging what those facts meant. I would say that nothing you presented seemed to be a reason to cancel the listing contract. You could have negotiated a lease-purchase and the resultant commission payment schedule as well as the new Realtor, for example. That is, unless your brokerage insisted on terms that were not to the seller's liking, of course.

For Ms. Perez: I have a bit of advice for you. We work under the laws and regulations of the state of New Jersey and any municipal ordinances that pertain. That seems to be missed by many out of state correspondents who offer opinions without a clue to our laws. The laws come first. Second, we have an Association of Realtors, with ethics rules and procedures. Lastly, the local Realtor associations, on the county level, have set up Multiple Listing systems. These systems have yet a third level of rules and regulations. They may be the first level of ruling to consult but are superceded by the other two levels, since they derive their legitimacy from those levels. Therefore, citing the MLS rules as the source for all decision is patently incorrect. The Realtor Association, not by the MLS, sets up the arbitration panels for example.

I would counsel anyone who was fairly new at this and who would post a statement such as this one of yours " Thanks! I'm learning as much as I can, " to refrain from offering advice unless it is couched in very "iffy" language. I try to do that myself at all times, even if I have seen one case in point. Little facts change big pictures in ways we do not anticipate!

Bill Holt
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 15, 2009
Angie - not to belabor this, but......Joy stated in her question that the house was RELISTED with ANOTHER broker follwing an unconditional release. That negates the clause in the MLS that you referenced which pertains to the current broker receiving a commission if the house is purchased by someoe who was shown the home DURING the listing period, AFTER the listing expires.....it is a protection clause for agents.
It is not applicable in Joy's case.
"This clause shall not apply if the property has been listed by the Owner with another broker by written agreement. "

Whether Joy is part of the GSMLS or not, I am sure most mls clauses have simiilar rules.

As I stated, an unconditional release is just that..............Unconditional! Why that was unconditional release was granted MIGHT play into the outcome of this unfortunate situation for Joy. None of us have enough information to anser, and att this point, the only person who can be proactive is Joy's broker/manager.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 13, 2009
Angie - the seller DID relist the house with another broker, so that MLS clause is meaningless in this case.

Joy......this is a frustrating situation for you, and we can all empathize........ as was mentioned by Bill - this is an issue your broker/manager needs to address. No one on trulia can help you.

None of us know why the "unconditional release" was given, so there are issues we aren't aware of.
Because of that, the only advice anyone can give you is to have your broker take any steps needed to resolve this. It's all in the details!

Most unconditional releases are just that - unconditional..........you may be out of luck, but that is for arbitration to decide. No matter what, I certainly feel for you.........but this is the world we live in called real estate!

Good luck. to you........
Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 13, 2009
Joy: It would seem to me you have a case but the unconditional withdrawl may void any rights to commission. Why didn't your broker name this buyer as an exception to the release? You may want to take this to the Standards of Practice committee at your Board of Realtors. They can tell you if you should file or if you really have a complaint worth pursuing. Good luck to you.

Camille Miller
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 12, 2009
Thank you all...though I didn't get a definitive ruling on this, your answers were very helpful. It is interesting to get so many different takes on the situation. I am sure you understand why I didn't give particulars and details. My understanding from the seller was that it was no fault of mine.

I will keep in mind for the future the exemption of buyer from the withdrawal.

I haven't persued this other than these comments and questions and I did bounce it off my manager and broker. The listing broker that received the commission was well aware of the situation, the seller wanted to lease purchase one of her listings. There is so much more, but I will chaulk it all up to an expensive learning experience. Thanks again and best regards to all.
Web Reference: http://www.JoyDeLucia.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 14, 2009
@Debbie Rose.

Thanks! I'm learning as much as I can, I am not trying to upset you, but I am interested in knowing what situation would allow an agent like Joy to collect a commission after an unconditional release is given?
I do not understand why the reasons would matter in this case. The unconditional release was given and as you stated, it does not come with terms.

I do not participate in all MLS; so I did not want to make a generalization that all MLS have similiar clauses. I referenced the clause because I felt that the listing agreement answered her own question.

Audeliz "Angie" Perez
Weichert, Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 13, 2009
@Debbie Rose

I am not sure which MLS Joy participates in, which is why I referred her to the clause in the Garden State. If she is a GSMLS member, that clause answers her question per details in her question post.

I feel for you as well Joy. I would be interested in know how it all turns out if you do not mind sharing.

Audeliz "Angie" Perez
Weichert, Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 13, 2009
I have some follow-up questions before I respond fully:
1. What board/MLS are you apart of?
2. What were the terms of the unconditional release?

I am not sure which MLS system you listed the property with, but section 6 of the GSMLS Listing Agreement answers your question:

Owner agrees to pay the Listing Broker the Commission if the Owner, acting on the Owner's own behalf, within 90 days after the Expiration Date conveys or agrees to convey the Property to any Buyer shown the Property by the Listing Broker or any person during the term of this Listing Agreement. This clause shall not apply if the property has been listed by the Owner with another broker by written agreement.

The GSMLS has another section with regards to tenants who currently live at the property and end up buying said home. Not sure if this was a single or multi-family property or if the buyer was a tenant.

Audeliz "Angie" Perez
Weichert, Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 13, 2009
Joy: This is a matter for your Broker-manager. Commission disputes are handled by an arbitration board. Attorneys are not usually involved. Usually the brokerage decides what id best to be done and the request for arbitration must come from the brokerage.

What is in your listing contract to begin with (for example, most contracts allow a new listing agency to benefit from any further activity from old contacts) and what modifications were accepted by both parties (in writing) may bear on the specifics of the case. There may have been other corespondance as well. Each case stand on its own set of facts. Each case is decided individually by an arbitration panel based on how they interpret those facts.

Best wishes on your quest for fair play.

Bill Holt
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 13, 2009
What is the rest of the story - why did you give an unconditional withdrawal?
What does your broker's attorney say?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 12, 2009
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