If my real estate broker “quit” and the contract runs for serveral more months, what is my recourse?

The contract appears to be the standard texas broker contract. They were paid a flat fee up front.

Asked on September 26, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the broker for breach of contract.  The reason the broker quit will determine whether or not the broker has a defense to enforcement of the contract.  For example, if he quit because of a serious illness or some other factor that made it impossible for the broker to perform his or her duties, the broker may have a defense to enforcement of the contract.  There are many other factors that can provide a defense to enforcement of the contract.  This is only one example.

If the broker does not have a valid defense to enforcement of the contract, and you prevail in a lawsuit for breach of contract,  your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover) could be the contract price unless some work had been done by the broker prior to quitting and the contract performance could be deemed divisible.  If some work had been done, then your damages would not be the full contract price, but would be a portion of the contract price for work that was not completed by the broker.  You will also need to mitigate (minimize) damages by attempting to find another broker to complete the work, who would charge a price comparable to what your original broker was charging. In the interest of mitigating damages,  you would not be able to select a very expensive broker as a replacement for your current broker or your damages will be reduced accordingly.


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