Last month's decision in Westside Estate Agency, Inc. v. Randall (Cal. Ct. App. - Dec. 1, 2016) began its opinion saying:
"We are all familiar with the phrase, "caveat emptor": Buyer beware. This case deals with its less renowned cousin, "caveat sectorem": Broker beware."
Section 1624 of the Civil Code says that a real estate broker can only be a broker for someone - e.g., get a commission - if there's an agreement in writing. The broker here didn't get a signed agreement authorizing his status as a broker, but instead relied upon an alleged oral agreement.
That's not good enough.
Which means he loses out on a $925,000 commission on a $45 million sale.
Follow the statute. Get the agreement in writing.