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Posted by: Landry Butler on Feb 27, 2017

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Nicholas Black, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Jerry Sandifer and Tennessee Realty Pros, LLC.

Attorneys 2:

Scott D. Hall, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Clay Harris Dalton.

Judge(s): SUSANO

This case involves a dispute over the commission earned from a real estate transaction. The parties disagree as to whether the plaintiff, Clay Harris Dalton, is entitled to a part of the commission on the transaction. Jerry Sandifer is a principal real estate broker licensed in Tennessee. He is the sole proprietor of Tennessee Realty Pros, LLC (TRP), a Tennessee limited liability company. Dalton is an affiliate real estate broker licensed in Tennessee. On September 6, 2013, Dalton registered his real estate license with Sandifer and TRP (collectively the Brokerage). On November 1, 2013, TRP secured a commercial exclusive right to sell listing agreement from a seller. The agreement encompasses the real estate sold in the transaction at issue. Eventually, TRP procured a buyer, and on March 23, 2014, the buyer executed a commercial purchase and sales agreement. That agreement listed Dalton as the Buyer’s Designated Agent and selling licensee. It listed Sandifer as the Seller’s Designated Agent and listing licensee. On September 30, 2014, the real estate closing took place, resulting in a total broker’s commission of $97,400. Because only one brokerage was involved in the transaction, the entire commission was paid to TRP. Dalton claims that he is entitled to a share of the commission. He further asserts that he had an agreement with Sandifer that Dalton would be paid a share of the commission on the buyer’s side of the transaction. Because the Brokerage refused to disburse any of the commission to Dalton, he filed a complaint seeking his share of the commission. The trial court found that, based on the customary and contractual commission split at TRP, Dalton is entitled to $34,090 for acting as the buyer’s agent. The court also found that Dalton was entitled to $2,000 for his efforts in listing real property for the Brokerage. Accordingly, the trial court awarded Dalton a total judgment of $36,090. The Brokerage appeals. We affirm.