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After the closing: What happens when brokers battle over commissions


“Perhaps some brokers will say they’re going to shoot you before they pull out the gun, but they’re still taking out the gun.” At the heart of every real estate commission – whether it’s a residential or commercial deal – is the legal idea of ...

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By Rich Bockmann | January 30, 2018 07:00AM (Photo Illustration by Lexi Pilgrim for The Real Deal) When a busted partnership between a pair of brokers at Newmark Knight Frank gave rise to fight over a $1.1 million commission, a panel of three colleagues stepped in to settle the dispute. The senior broker, Lawrence “Chip” Porter, claimed he was entitled to the 50/50 split for the Urban Soccer lease at the Brooklyn Whale Building

His argument was that they had verbally agreed to the split as partners, and their relationship with the tenant began while they were still a team

Junior broker George Valliades had a different take

He argued that Urban Soccer broke off talks after that initial meet and then came back to the table

He felt he was under no obligation to split his haul with his former partner. What separated this quarrel from a run-of-the-mill commission dispute was the fact that Porter happened to be the son-in-law of Newmark president Jimmy Kuhn.

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