Scott you are on shaky ground! Remember, your "contractural right" to a commission is with the listing broker and through the Seller, not the buyer. Usually, in many states, it specifies (a) listing agent is entitled to a commission IF the seller cancels the listing, (b) upon the completion of escrow evidenced by a change in ownership, or (c) maximum of one-half of any forfeited buyer deposits into or through escrow, or the amount of your commission, if it is less than one-half of the forfeited amount. Your specific question is whether you have any legal grounds to pursue the "Buyer" for damages to you as a result of his defaulting on the escrow? I think the answer is clear...If the listing agreement with the Seller allows the listing broker to participate in the forfeited earnest money deposit, you would be entitled to share in it as the selling agent. However, you do not have legal standing to go after the buyer, unless you have something in writing, from the Buyer (with knowledge and approval of the Seller), granting you a commission, fee, or a right to all or a part of the defaulted earnest money deposit. Lick your wounds and move on...That's just a part of the business!
Nov 23, 2010