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Real Estate Brokers and the "Procuring Cause" Doctrine

A real estate broker is a person who acts as an intermediary between sellers and buyers of real estate, more often than not, in exchange for some sort of commission. Generally, the amount of compensation owed to a real estate broker is governed by the terms of the applicable contract between the broker and the buyer or seller. When the terms of the contract are clear regarding when and how a real estate broker is paid, the terms of the contract control and compensation related issues seldom arise. On the other hand, when the terms of the contract are ambiguous or silent as to the standard for the broker's commission, a broker will only be entitled to a commission if the broker was the "procuring cause" of the sale.