Escrow role puts broker in hot seat

Law of the Land

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Homeowner Neil Bradford signed a listing agreement under which Coldwell Banker would market and sell his Boston condo for $1.35 million. The total commission Bradford agreed to pay under the agreement would be 5 percent of the purchase price. Under the agreement, Coldwell Banker would pay half the commission to its own listing agent and the other half -- 2.5 percent -- to the buyer's broker or agent, according to court records (see: Zang v. NRT New England Inc.). Once the home was on the market, a Coldwell Banker agent (other than the listing agent) held the home open. Buyer Jonathan M. Zang, who had already called and spoken about the property directly with the seller, attended the open house. Zang contacted the agent who had held the home open once again, and that agent provided him with access to view the property once more. Zang made an offer of $1.2 million and gave Coldwell Banker a $1,000 deposit, which the brokerage took from Zang but didn't deposit, according to co...