Where a broker opens negotiations for the sale of property and the proposed purchaser abandons the broker, the owner may sell to the same purchaser induced to purchase by another broker, without becoming liable to the first broker for commissions.72 But where the principal interferes and assists another broker to bring about the sale by authorizing the second broker to sell for less than the first brokers were authorized to sell, and this while the first brokers were still negotiating with the proposed purchaser, the principal cannot escape liability to the first broker on a sale made to such proposed purchaser.73
Although the parties are originally brought together by the broker, but no terms are agreed upon, and some weeks later the matter is taken up by another broker who finally consummates the sale by bringing the parties to terms, the first broker is not entitled to commissions. To earn his commission the broker must do something more than get authority from the owner to negotiate the sale. He must be the effectual cause of the sale. He must find the purchaser, or at the very least induce a purchaser to buy the property at a price acceptable to the owner.74
Where one whose attention was called by the owner's broker to the fact that certain property was for sale refused to make such broker an offer, but immediately afterwards bought the property through another broker whom she represented to the owner to be entitled to the commissions, it was held that the owner's broker could not recover his commissions from either the purchaser or her broker.75
71 Hlalrerman v. Leining, 45 Misc. 397 (N. Y. 1904).
72 Wylie v. Marine Nat. Bank, 61 N. Y. 415 (1875); Burch v. Hester. 109 S. W. 399 (Tex. 1908); Maracella v. Odell. 3 Daly 123 (N. Y. 1809).
73 Holland v. Vinson. 124 Mo. App. 417 (1907). See also "Employment of Ser-eral Brokers." 88 97. 98 supra.
74 De Zavala v. Rogaliner, 45 Misc. 430 (N. Y. 1904). But see Crone v. Trust Co., 85 Mo. App. 601 (1900).
It is further held in the same case - Oppenheimer v. Barnett, 13.1 App. Div. 614 (N. Y. 1909)-that where the owner's broker calls the attention of a person to the fact that the property is for sale, that in no way obligates such person to make the purchase through him; on the contrary, such person may go directly to the seller and make the best trade he can with him, or he may purchase through some broker whom he selects himself. In either case, the broker whom the seller had originally employed would have no cause for complaint against the purchaser or against the broker to whom the seller paid the commissions. If the broker is entitled to commissions at all, it is from the seller, and if the broker is the procuring cause of the sale, he must look to him and not to the purchaser. The purchaser of real estate is not obligated to see that a broker employed by the seller gets the commissions to which he claims he is entitled.
In another case where the broker at least opened up negotiations which were concluded in good faith by another broker, the first broker was awarded a recovery of commissions. Here defendant placed certain property in the hands of various agents for sale, and plaintiff, who was one of them, showed the property to a prospective purchaser, who objected to the price, whereupon it was agreed between plaintiff and defendant that the latter should negotiate with the prospective purchaser, and see if terms could not be reached. Defendant tried to obtain an interview with the purchaser, but was unsuccessful, after which the purchaser employed a broker to purchase the property for him, and defendant, without knowledge that the sale was for the benefit of the same purchaser, contracted to convey the property to the broker's party for a less price. Held, that plaintiff was the procuring cause of such sale, and was entitled to commissions.76
75 Oppenheimer v. Barnett, 131 App. Div. 614 (N. Y. 1909).