A distinction is drawn, too, between authority to sell and authority to convey land. "Authority to convey land must be conferred by an instrument of equal dignity with the instrument of conveyance; but authority to sell and to make a binding contract of sale may be conferred verbally."1
/'The powers of a general agent extend to the doing of all acts connected with the business of his principal and his authority will be deemed to include all usual means for the effective performance of his duties.
If the limitations upon the agent's authority to act are known to the person with whom he is dealing, or if the transaction is such as to charge him with the duty of inquiring into the extent of the agent's authority to do the particular act, the principal will be protected if the act be unauthorized, or in clear excess of the agent's powers, and if the principal be an innocent actor in the transaction.2
If a person dealing with an agent knows that he is acting under a circumscribed and limited authority, and that his act is outside of and transcends the authority conferred, the principal is not bound, and it is immaterial whether the agent is a general or a special one, because a principal may limit the authority of the one as well as that of the other.3
Add to footnote 3:
Fleming v. Hattan, 92 Kan. 948; 142 Pac. 971 (1914).
It is perfectly well settled and generally understood that the entire duty of a broker employed to sell or to assist in selling property i.- to search out a purchaser and to act as the intermediary to bring the seller and the purchaser together. In the absence of a special and well-defined authority it is no part of a broker's duty to actually make the sale in behalf of the owner." It is immaterial that the broker may have represented to the purchaser that he had authority to contract in behalf of the seller, for one cannot make himself an agent of another by merely asserting his agency.4
1Davis v. Spann, 122 S. \V. 495; 92 Ark. 213 (1909); citing Forrester-Duncan Land Co. v. Evatt, 119 S. W. 282; McCurrv v. Hawkins, 83 Ark. 202; 103 S. W. 600.
2 Cullinan v. Bowker 180 N. Y. 93; 72 N. E. 911 (1904), by a divided court.
3 Quinlan v. Providence Washington Ins. Co., 133 N. Y. 356; 31 N. E. 31; 28 Am. St. Rep. 645 (1892).
"It has been so often held that it must be regarded as settled in this state that authority to a broker to procure a purchaser is not authority to enter into an enforceable contract of sale."5
It has been held that "an agency to sell land carries with it no implied authority to bind the owner to furnish an abstract of title."6
In Watkins v. Thomas,7 the court inquires whether it is possible that a broker's authority to sell contemplates that he will find anyone who would be willing to buy without first learning that the vendor had title, "and how could one know that he had such title unless he had an abstract to so show? The court takes judicial notice of the custom in such cases that the authority to sell carries with it the obligation to furnish such abstract."
Add footnote 9a at end of Sec. 30 (p. 38):
Record v. Littlefield, 218 Mass. 483; 106 N. E. 142 (1914).
In Missouri, agent's authority to contract must be in writing.8
Add to footnote 23:
Keim v. O'Reilly, 54 N. J. Eq. 418; 34 Atl. 1073; Brandrop v. Britten, 11 X. D. 376; 92 N. W. 453; Rhode v. Gallat, 70 So. (Fla.) • 471 (1915).
It is held that where a broker is instructed "to go ahead and close the deal," he can sign the contract of sale for his principal.0
4 Stone v. V. S. Title Guaranty & Indemnity Co., 159 App. Div. 679; 144 N. Y. Suppl. 849 (1913).
5 Lawson v. King, 56 Wash. 15; 104 Pac. 1118 (1909); citing Cartens v. McReavy, 1 Wash. 359: 25 Pac. 471; Armstrong v. Omkley, 23 Wash. 122; 62 Pac. 499; Foss Inv. Co. v. Ater, 49 Wash. 446; 95 Pac. 1017: Hardinger v. Columbia, 50 Wash. 405; 97 Pac. 445; Hutching v. Wertheimer, 51 Wash. 539; 99 Pac. 577.
6Anderson v. Howard, 155 N. W. (Iowa) 261 (1915).
7 141 Mo. App. 263: 124 S. W. 1063 (1909).
8 Young v. Ruhwedel. 119 Mo. App. 239 (1906).
9 Furse v. Lambert, 85 Neb. 739; 124 N. W. 146 (1910).