Deer Run Properties LLC (Deer Run) listed a number of condominiums for sale with a real estate broker in September 2005. The listing agreement gave the listing broker the exclusive agency to sell the property for 12 months at a 10 percent commission. The broker listed the property on the local multiple listing service (MLS), offering a 5 percent commission as compensation to cooperating brokers/MLS members who cooperated by being the procuring cause of a sale.
Several months later, some prospective buyers contracted with Deer Run directly to purchase several of the condo units. Keys to the Lake Lodgings Co. (Keys), the buyers’ broker, recorded a broker’s lien notice against the units and notified Deer Run of the lien. Deer Run sued to remove the lien notice, and Keys counterclaimed on grounds that Keys was the procuring cause of the sale and, thus, was entitled to a commission.