Vincent Metro, LLC v. Ginsberg
Where nothing in the listing agreement conditioned the broker's right to a commission upon consummation of the sale's contract, and the defendant's failure to finish construction of a unit as promised in its sales contract was solely its responsibility, the broker's right to recover a commission in connection with the sale of that unit could not be defeated by the defendant's unilateral failure to meet the construction schedule. Vincent Metro, LLC, a licensed real estate broker, commenced this action to recover commissions allegedly earned under an exclusive listing agreement against Kenneth Ginsberg and his company, YAH Realty, LLC, and two customers, John and Rose Fitzpatrick. During the listing agreement's term, the plaintiff procured a buyer, John Fitzpatrick, for a listed commercial condominium unit. John Fitzpatrick and YAH entered into a written purchase and sales agreement for unit 16. Construction was not completed by the closing date or 60 days thereafter. John cancelled his contract. Two years later, John and Rose Fitzpatrick jointly purchased units 12 and 13 from YAH. YAH never paid the plaintiff a commission for units 12, 13 or 16. The court denied the plaintiff's application for a prejudgment remedy against YAH. The plaintiff appealed. The Appellate Court affirmed and reversed the judgment, in part, agreeing that the evidence established the plaintiff's right to recover the commission for unit 16 but, not for units 12 and 13, which were sold more than two years after the listing agreement expired. The listing agreement did not require the plaintiff to bring the parties to an enforceable contract to recover its commission or require consummation of such a contract. The agreement entitled the plaintiff to recover its commission upon the procurement of a ready, willing and able purchaser, either upon the terms and conditions of the sale or upon other terms and conditions acceptable to YAH. It was undisputed that the plaintiff introduced John to YAH and that he and YAH entered into a contract for the purchase and sale of unit 16 during the exclusive listing period. The trial court's reliance on the 1991 Connecticut Appellate Court case of Ditchkus Real Estate Company v. Storm was misplaced including because the plaintiff's right to recover the commission could not be defeated by YAH's unilateral failure to meet the construction schedule.