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Case Study Does Just Showing a Home Mean I’m the Procuring Cause?

When two Realtors show a couple the same home two days apart, who gets the commission?

Brad and his family are ready to move into a larger house. Brad and his family decide to look for a property in the neighborhood of his golf club. Brad’s wife, Alana, lists their house with Realtor Billy. Billy explains that he can also help the family find a new home. Alana and Billy spend the day touring properties. That night, Brad explains to Alana that all the golfers use Realtor Tammy, who is a resident in the golf community. Brad asks Alana to explain to Billy that they will not need his assistance in buying a home.

The next day, Alana meets Tammy and tours a property that she had seen the day before when out with Billy. She and Brad love the house, and Tammy knows that another buyer is about to make a full-priced offer. Alana and Brad write an offer through Tammy above asking price and proceed to closing. Simultaneously, Billy gets a full-price offer on Alana and Brad’s home. He inquires about how the buying process is going. Alana explains that she forgot to tell him that Brad insisted she work with Tammy, but not to worry—they bought the third house he showed her. Billy is troubled—if she bought a house he showed her, isn’t he the procuring cause of the sale?


The Outcome?

At the arbitration, the following facts were revealed:

• Tammy had no idea that Alana had seen the home previously.

• Four offers came in on the house at the golf club, all above asking price. Tammy counseled the couple to come up 20 percent to get the house. Further, Tammy knew the owners and facilitated a meet and greet with Brad and Alana; the couples bonded instantly.

• Billy showed four houses to Alana; who never asked to make an offer. Billy told her that homes in the golf club were overpriced. Further, Billy understood that Alana would not make final decisions without Brad’s input.

• Billy communicated with Alana, only about the sale of the property they listed, although he knew they needed to move to another house after closing.

• Billy testified at the arbitration that he counts on his buyers to follow up with him, not vice versa.


The decision on the winner may vary based on the panel of arbitrators who hear the case. The best solution is mediation where both sides work together to arrive at an amicable solution.