Where the broker is employed for a definite time, as where he is to sell the property within a specified time, he is not entitled to compensation if he fails to procure a purchaser within the time.1
This is so though a sale is subsequently made to a purchaser who negotiated with the broker within such time, provided the owner acted in good faith, and did not interfere with the broker's efforts to make the sale within the specified time.2
Add to footnote 3:
Howard v. Street, 125 Md. 289; 93 Atl. 923 (1915).
Add to footnote 5:
Newman v. Dunleavy, 149 Pac. 970; Sec.5460, Rev. Codes Mont.
The broker's authority may be expressly revoked, but, unless so revoked, it continues for a reasonable time. There are authorities which hold that in order to establish a contract, an offer must be accepted as made, and that a counter-offer is a rejection. That rule, however, does not apply to offers made by a broker, for the reason that the relation between the broker and the employer desiring to sell is not such as involves an offer by the owner to sell his land to the broker. What the owner really does is to offer to employ the broker, and that offer is accepted, and the contract of employment becomes complete when the broker undertakes to act as broker and to use his best efforts to find a buyers The broker does not, therefore, put an end to his employment by reporting offers lower than the price named by the owner, and this is especially true where the broker has been expressly directed by the owner to submit all offers which may come to the broker.3
1Hughes v. Daniel, 65 So. (Ala.) 518 (1914). 2Murray v. Miller, 166 S. W. (Ark.) 536 (1914). 3Martin v. Crumb, 216 N. Y. 500; 111 N. E. 62 (1916).
In at least one state it has been sought to regulate the duration of the employment by statute. In Maine it is provided that "all contracts entered into after August 1, 1911, for the sale or transfer of real estate, and all contracts whereby a person, company or corporation becomes an agent for the sale or transfer of real estate, shall become void in one year from the date such contract is entered into unless the time for the termination thereof is definitely stated."4
Where the principal consummates a sale brought about by the broker, the principal cannot claim that the sale was not made within a reasonable time.5
Where brokers were put in charge of selling 258 lots under an agreement which specified no particular duration, and the brokers had sold only two of the lots in four months, it was held that, "they had demonstrated their inability to perform, even though they were entitled to a reasonable time within which to do so, and for that reason the defendants (the principals) were justified in terminating the contract" by notice to the broker to that effect, and that as the authority to sell was not coupled with an interest it could be revoked at any time before a sale took place, if the principal acted in good faith without incurring any liability by the principal.6
At page 82, at end of text, add:
See Rand v. Contrite, 64 111. App. 208 (1896).
Where the evidence is conflicting, the good faith of the principal in terminating the broker's authority and at once selling to the same purchaser through another broker, is a question of fact for the jury.7
Add the following footnote:
See Sec. 237 of Supplement.
Add to footnote 27:
Teal v. McKnight, 110 La. 256; 34 So. 434 (1903).
Add to footnote 28:
Smith v. Fowler, 57 Tex. Civ. App. 356; 122 S. W. 598 (1909); White v. Hoskins, 121 Iowa 354; 96 N. W. 876 (1903).
Add to footnote 29:
Schusterman v. Kraus, 148 App. Div. 727; 132 N. Y. Suppl. 758 (1912).
4 Ch. 157, L. 1911, Me. See Odlin v. McAllaster, 112 Me. 89; 90 Atl. 1086 (1914). 5Morgan v. Keller, 194 Mo. 680 (1905).
6 O'Hara v. Murray, 144 App. Div. 113; 128 N. Y. Suppl. 1009 (1911); citing Stier v. Imperial Life Ins. Co., 58 Fed. Rep. 843.
7 L'Ecluse v. Field, 154 App. Div. 685; 139 N. Y. Suppl. 383 (1913).