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Commission question - what is owing in this case?

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  • Commission question - what is owing in this case?

    Got contacted by a broker about a horse on my website (advertises herself as this, does not operate a farm, has no facilities and is not a trainer as far as I know). Was told she had clients looking and we discussed horse. Had a couple phone calls and emails with her. These are apparently customers she finds horses for frequently and has a relationship with. She had lined up a bunch for the clients to look at but none worked so she advised they wanted to look at mine. I gave her bottom line on the horse and it was within their budget.

    She sends client to look at horse but does not come herself (which surprised me). Trainer and client show up. They like horse, they agree to that bottom line price I'd given to the broker. Trainer asks for me to do up the contract. Horse is supposed to get picked up asap.

    Broker now contacts me wanting a commission. Maybe I'm stupid but I was under the impression she was the buyer's agent. She never mentioned anything about commission in our conversations. I had thought her client was paying her. I have never met the lady, she's never seen the horse. I wouldn't have agreed to the price if I'd known I was going to be out a commission, I would have needed more.

    I want to be fair and I don't want to blow the sale but this is not professional on her part either. So what is owing in this situation? How would you handle it?

  • #2
    Well I am not a pro and I don't own any horses, but I would tell the broker that when you gave her a bottom line figure it did not include any commission, that was the lowest price you were willing to accept for yourself. She should get her commission from the buyer. I don't see where there is any implied commission to the broker in your dealings with her.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't see where this broker would have a leg to stand on. First, I hope you saved the emails between the two of you. But if there was no agreement of a commission spoken or written, she can't just assume that you'd know that's how she operates.

      However, is the sale contingent on this broker getting a commission? The trainer that came to see the horse asked for the contract, so I see it as this trainer is now your buying party. I wonder if she is trying to double-dip; she gets a commission from the buyers and then trying to get one from you as well.

      If you can still do the sale between yourself and the trainer, give the broker your apologies, but state that as things were agreed upon, no commission was to be given to her by you.
      Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars

      Comment


      • #4
        That's a toughy. I don't think she was honest with you, that's for sure. Obviously she works for the folks shopping, and not you, since you didn't hire her. If she's wanting a commission from you, that muddies the water with the double representation thing, because I'd almost guarantee she's getting one from the buyer.

        I'd be tempted to tell her to pound sand. But if you really think it will make the sale fall through, and you are really needing it, you might just want to pay it and then vow to never get involved with person again, make a large note of her name and steer clear.

        I personally would tell her "No. I didn't hire you." and see what happens. But that's me. You may feel more comfortable doing something else.
        "Aye God, Woodrow..."

        Comment


        • #5
          No agreed upon commission discussed prior to sale then no commission for this broker.

          I am all for paying brokers and trainers their commission but this is ridiculous. If you wanted to hire a broker you would have found one and and hired them.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            I called the trainer and told her that I thought the broker was her agent and that I was not expecting to pay a commission and straight out asked if she was paying her one. She said that her clients were paying her (the trainer) a commission and that I would pay the broker "because you have an agreement with her, right?". Uhhh nope I didn't! She was very surprised. I don't know these people, don't have the money yet (there is a trial period first) and not really sure how to handle it. Sale is 25k and that was considerably less than I wanted but the market is not great right now so I agreed and frankly times are tough and we could use the money, every penny counts.

            Update - just heard from broker and she says that I owe her 10% and that she had priced the horse at $27,500 to her client to allow the room for her commission so it's MY fault that I agreed to the 25k directly with the trainer yesterday. WTH? Why didn't she tell me any of this in advance then and WHERE was she yesterday to earn her 10% and be the middleman to broker the price and make sure everyone was looked after?!

            Comment


            • #7
              Walk. This is about to get ugly.
              "Aye God, Woodrow..."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ivegotanalter View Post
                I called the trainer and told her that I thought the broker was her agent and that I was not expecting to pay a commission and straight out asked if she was paying her one. She said that her clients were paying her (the trainer) a commission and that I would pay the broker "because you have an agreement with her, right?". Uhhh nope I didn't! She was very surprised. I don't know these people, don't have the money yet (there is a trial period first) and not really sure how to handle it. Sale is 25k and that was considerably less than I wanted but the market is not great right now so I agreed and frankly times are tough and we could use the money, every penny counts.

                Update - just heard from broker and she says that I owe her 10% and that she had priced the horse at $27,500 to her client to allow the room for her commission so it's MY fault that I agreed to the 25k directly with the trainer yesterday. WTH? Why didn't she tell me any of this in advance then and WHERE was she yesterday to earn her 10% and be the middleman to broker the price and make sure everyone was looked after?!
                no. you didn't hire broker, there is no contract between the two of you. You don't owe her a dime. She contacted you, correct?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes, broker contacted OP. There is no obligation on your part to pay this person a commission, if she added an additional $2,500 on top of your bottom line price, then she should have informed you in advance. This broker is at best unethical, I would not be dealing with her, and especially not paying her any commission whatsoever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Nope you don't.

                    1) You didn't contact or contract with her to sell the horse.
                    2) She didn't bother to tell you that she tacked on her 10% to YOUR horse.
                    3) She didn't bother to keep on top of HER clients (trainer and their customer) so that she got her 10% with her revised price.
                    4) If she wants to add on her commission to YOUR price she needs to TELL you that before hand, not spring it on you after. WTH.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This broker is at best unprofessional and quite potentially unethical in not disclosing this up front. She should have been upfront with you and allowed you to accept or decline her services. You owe her nothing. Hopefully she takes this as a learning experience and handles herself more professionally in her next deal.

                      I hope this resolves itself. If the buyer really likes the horse, it should work out.
                      Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        She's a piece of work!!!!

                        You don't owe her, run don't walk

                        n

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Seal Harbor View Post
                          Nope you don't.

                          1) You didn't contact or contract with her to sell the horse.
                          2) She didn't bother to tell you that she tacked on her 10% to YOUR horse.
                          3) She didn't bother to keep on top of HER clients (trainer and their customer) so that she got her 10% with her revised price.
                          4) If she wants to add on her commission to YOUR price she needs to TELL you that before hand, not spring it on you after. WTH.

                          Call the trainer be 100% upfront and say you want the deal to go forth...you have no relaltionship with this so called "Broker"...who in my opinion is not anything but a phone call lead ..and worth maybe $500.00....Also the Trainer should have would have known there was a "mark-up" on horse to "Client/Buyer" that included a rather hefty commission for a phone call.
                          A legitamte Broker would have requested video's done a site visit and walked the customers thru the whole process from trial to PPE to reading/negotiating contract.
                          You owe this person ..ZERO...and there is no Ugly, you never negotiated a finders fee did not ask for her help and she is working supposedly on behalf of this trainer..its all on the trainer and if she didn't talk to you privately to discuss the price and include commissions then its not any of your problem. It is 100% between the so called Broker and the Trainer you are not in that loop...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            WOW what a shady broker!

                            If YOU had contacted HER and asked her to find you buyers, then yes, you might owe her a commission.

                            Instead, she contacts you and then LIES to the buyer about the commission? Ridiculous.

                            The sad thing is, these bullying tactics have likely worked for her in the past. Don't let them work on you.

                            This sounds like something off of a Judge Judy episode. Make sure to document everything in case you get a casting call.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If the "agent" quoted $27,500 to the buyers or their trainer, and the buyers only had to pay you $25,000, then, it is very clear that they are the ones who should pay the $2500 commission that they had planned to pay based on the horse's originally quoted price..

                              DO NOT pay this person. I hate it when everyone has their hands (arms/shoulders) out, expecting $$$$ in a sale.

                              If I were you I would call/email the buyers directly and explain this. They need to know that their agent is expecting $$$ from you, which you had never agreed to pay. And that you gave them your rock bottom price since you had not planned to take care of THEIR agent.

                              Personally I would also tell them that if this is going to create a problem, then perhaps they should send the horse back immediately since you do not want to be the cause of unpleasantness.

                              I think the buyers should see just WHO is causing the problem. And it isn't you.
                              "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                              Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Send her a check for $250. Write on the bottom in red ink 'cashing this check acknowledges that any commission due from [you] to [so-called broker] regarding sale of [horse] to [trainer/client] is hereby paid in full. '

                                Like you say, times are tough; she may go for the $250 in her hand.
                                ...somewhere between the talent and the potato....

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The broker should have asked you to sign a brokerage agreement before she even started marketing your horse. She didn't say a peep, which tells me she isn't a good business person. If I worked on commission (and I have), I make sure that the person paying commission knows it upfront and understands exactly what it will cost.
                                  Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
                                  http://www.ironwood-farm.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I agree with the above posts! Totally unprofessional!

                                    She contacted YOU. Then she upped your asking price to build in her commission without notifying you, which caused an odd moment with the buyer/trainer.

                                    I say try to work things out with the trainer and buyer if you think that is a possibility. If not, drop it.

                                    Selling, buying, and the commissions due to the "middle men" can be awkward even in a normal situation, but this one is glaringly obvious. That broker is AT BEST owed a commission by the buyer...but in reality, it seems like she really didn't do much... Either way, that is NOT your bill to pay!
                                    Originally posted by Nickelodian
                                    We jump horses. Over sticks. For fun.
                                    Never take life too seriously. Nobody makes it out alive anyway.
                                    Regulus RDL

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Do Not Take Anselcat's advice. Do not do anything that would be construed as action on your part indicating that you believe you owe her anything for a commission. Paying her $250 could be misconstrued as a concession that you owe her something. Deal with the buyer and the buyer's trainer.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        DO NOT PAY THIS PERSON ANY MONEY.

                                        Have your attorney write her a certified letter than any further communication from her via phone, email, or otherwise will be considered harassment, and that she was in no way involved in the sale of this horse (did not send you her contract when she sent her clients to look at the horse, did not come with her clients and their trainer on that day, didn't show up asking for money until after her clients had agreed on a sales price, etc).

                                        Also, be extremely firm with the buyers that you consider this behavior harassment. Make sure they know you have no contracted agreement with THEIR BROKER and that she is THEIR responsibility if she expects some sort of reimbursement for her service (which she provided to them, not to you). Make sure they know she has already heard from your attorney.
                                        Here today, gone tomorrow...

                                        Comment

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