What's the best way to approach this situation - "who showed the property first?"

In 2008, I showed a property listed under one broker to my client (an entity). After a thorough deliberation, they decided the price was too high. In 2010, we saw the listing again at a reduced price and I was asked to make an appointment to look at the property again. When I contacted the new listing agent to schedule an appointment I made mention of the few details my client was concerned about. Immediately he realized he had just shown the property to the same client the day before. What happened was, one of the decision-maker (newly appointed) and not knowing the procedure made a mistake of contacting the listing agent.
What can be done in this situation? What right do I have if I am still their official buyer's representative?
Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
Zee
In General Area - Asked by Zeny L. - Aug 28, 2010
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Neil B.
Broker/Agent
Louisville, KY

Of course the issue here is the thorny one of procuring cause and that may change from state to state. You need to consult an experienced real estate attorney.
As a practical matter there are a number of solutions, all dependent upon cooperation and approval of your client, whose best interest must be paramount. Here are a couple:
(1) Inform listing agent that before proceeding you need him to acknowledge that regardless of who is procuring cause, he waives any claim to commission. He may still claim that he agreed under duress, but so be it....the fight is on! You may want to mention a few alternative properties you will be showing your client.
(2) Any agreement signed must be signed by listing broker and listing agent and you and your broker.
When you say you are still the official buyer's representative I assume you mean you have a current binding exclusive buyer's agency agreement. If so, you may have a right of action against your client (I would NEVER advise this) for the commission or other compensation, depending on its terms.
Whatever you do, do it in consultation with an attorney.
Good luck!

Sep 7, 2010
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