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Drake v. Hosley

Alaska Supreme Court
713 P.2d 1203 (1986)


Facts

Paul Drake (defendant) owned property in North Pole, Alaska. He entered into an exclusive listing agreement with the Charles Hosley Company, Realtors (Hosely) (plaintiff), granting Hosley the authority to sell Drake’s land. Under the terms of the agreement, Hosley was entitled to a ten percent commission if: (1) Hosley found a buyer willing and able to purchase the land pursuant to terms set by Drake, or (2) Drake entered a binding sale during the term set by Drake. Hosley found a group of buyers and entered a purchase and sale agreement on March 23, 1984. The buyers and Drake signed the agreement, which required closing within ten days of clear title. Drake and Hosley also signed an addendum to the agreement, under which Drake agreed to pay Hosley a commission of ten percent of the purchase price. On April 2 or 3, Hosley received a preliminary commitment and report from a title insurance company. The report noted that a judgment awarded to Drake’s ex-wife was the only encumbrance on the title. Drake’s attorney, Tom Wickwire, explained that the judgment would be paid with proceeds from the sale. A few days later, Wickwire contacted Hosley and stated that Drake desired to close the sale by April 11. Wickwire had negotiated a reduced settlement with Drake’s ex-wife that required payment by that date. Wickwire claimed at trial that Hosley agreed to close on April 11, but Hosley states that he only agreed to close as soon as possible. On April 11, Wickwire contacted Hosley again. Hosley stated that the buyers could not close that day and that they would not have the down payment before May 1. Wickwire suggested that Drake stop the sale and, in a letter dated April 11, withdrew Drake’s offer to sell. On April 12, Drake sold the land to other buyers. That same day, Hosley submitted checks from his buyers for a down payment. Wickwire refused to accept the checks, explaining that Drake had already sold the land. Hosley brought suit, arguing that he had satisfied the terms of the exclusive listing agreement and that he was entitled to payment of a ten percent commission. The trial court granted summary judgment in Hosley’s favor. 

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