The ordinary authority of a real estate broker deputed to sell real estate is simply to find a purchaser, and he has no power to bind his principal by a contract of sale, unless it was intended to confer such additional authority.23 "Authority to make or sign a written contract is not conferred, where the thing to be sold is land, by giving an agent power, by parol, to sell." 24
" The mere employment of an ordinary real estate broker to effect a sale of a parcel of land, even though the price and terms be prescribed, does not amount to giving present authority to such broker to conclude a binding contract for the same. Moreover, such authority is not usually to be inferred from the use by the principal and broker in that connection of the terms 'for sale' or 'to sell' and the like. Those words, in that connection, usually mean no more than to negotiate a sale by finding a purchaser upon satisfactory terms." 25 In Kramer v. Blair, 88 Va. 463, 464 (1891), the court refers to Grant v. Ede, 85 Cal. 418, to show that the words "we will sell" do not mean that the broker was authorized to sell, and quotes from the California case: "A general authority to sell real estate includes merely the power to find a purchaser therefor, and the agent cannot conclude a contract which will be binding upon his principal." (See Sec. 28-30.)
20 Starr & Cnrtis's Ann. 111. Stats., Vol. 2 (1896), p. 1997, Ch. 59, Sec.2. See Hughes v. Carne, 135 111. 519 (1891).
²¹ Revised Laws (1905), Sec. 3488.
²² Revised Code, Sec. 3960.
²³ Bacon v. Davis, 98 Pac. Rep. 71 ( Cal. 1908), (citing Brandrup v. Britten, 11 N. D. 376). To the same effect are Manker v. Tongh, 98 Pac. Rep. 792 ( Kans. 1908); Hardinger v. Columbia. 97 Pac. Rep. 445 (Wash. 1908); Dotson v. Milliken, 27 App. D. C. 514. 518 (1906); Fnrst v. Tweed, 93 Iowa 302 (1895); Ettinger v. Weather-head, 29 Ohio Cir. Ct. 137 (1906); Schmidt v. Zahrndt, 148 Ind. 447 (1897). (citing Grant v. Ede, 85 Cal. 418; Duffy v. Hobson. 40 Cal. 240; Armstrong v. Lowe. 76 Cal. 616; Condon v. Osgood, 65 N. W. 1003 (la.); Jenkins v. Locke, 3 App. D. C. 485; Ballon v. Bergvendsen, 9 N. D. 285 (1900); Foss Inv. Co. v. Ater, 95 Pac. 1019 (Wash. 1908).
24 Milne v. Kleb. 44 N. J. Eq. 382 (1888). See also Sec. 33 supra.
"Ordinarily, when property is placed in the hands of an agent to sell, the authority conferred is only held to be the authority to find a purchaser at a given price and submit the same to the owner, and not an authority to sell and bind the owner." 26 "A real estate broker or agent is one who negotiates the sale of real property. His business, generally speaking, is only to find a purchaser who is willing to buy the land upon the terms fixed by the owner. He has no authority to bind the principal by signing a contract of sale."27 "The business of agents for the purchase or sale of real estate is simply to bring the parties together. What is done by them beyond this must be specifically authorized or ratified by their principals to make them responsible. They have no implied authority from the nature of their business. They cannot bind their principals as to the terms of sale, or the damages which may arise from the breach of any contract for the purchase or sale of real estate." 28 "Undoubtedly a broker may be given authority to contract, but the mere employment of a broker as such only authorizes him to act as an intermediary to bring the parties together." 29
25 Kelm v. Lindley, 30 Atl. Rep. (N. J. Ch. 1895) 1063, at 1073. See also Sec. 29, 30 supra.
26 Gault Lumber Co. v. Pyles, 92 Pac. Rep. 175 (Okl. 1907). 27 McCullough v. Hitchcock, 71 Conn. 404 (1899).