Mellos v. Silverman

367 So. 2d 1369 (1979)

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Mellos v. Silverman

Alabama Supreme Court
367 So. 2d 1369 (1979)

Facts

Thomas and Anthi Mellos (defendants) entered into a brokerage contract with real estate broker Joel Silverman (plaintiff) to sell their restaurant. That contract expired with no sale, and the Melloses signed a brokerage contract with Associates Realty, Inc. (plaintiff). In this contract, Associates Realty agreed to list the restaurant for a period of time. If the property sold during the listing period, Associates Realty would receive a commission. Under the contract’s extension clause, if the property sold after the listing period, but Associates Realty had either introduced the buyer to the Melloses or caused the buyer to be interested in the restaurant during the listing period, Associates Realty was entitled to a commission. During the listing period in the Associates Realty contract, Nikola Nikolic (defendant) learned about the restaurant listing from Silverman. Silverman helped Nikolic prepare a purchase offer. With permission from Associates Realty, Silverman acted as Associates Realty’s agent and presented the offer to the Melloses. The Melloses countered with a higher offer, which Nikolic declined. When the listing period in the Associates Realty contract expired, the Melloses signed a new brokerage contract with a third broker. Several weeks later, the Melloses were motivated by health issues to contact Nikolic directly with a sale offer that was less than Nikolic’s original offer. Nikolic accepted this offer and purchased the restaurant. The third broker told the Melloses that they did not owe him any commission. The Melloses did not pay any commission to Silverman or Associates Realty, either. Silverman and Associates Realty sued the Melloses and Nikolic, seeking a commission for the sale. The trial court found that, under the terms of the extension clause, Associates Realty and Silverman were entitled to a commission. The Melloses appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Torbert, C.J.)

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