As all realtors know, the real estate market is extremely competitive. It can be a challenge to find clients, fulfill their needs and receive payment when there are so many other realtors ready to snatch them away from you through competitive pricing or other alluring perks. If you are a relatively new realtor, you may be wondering if exclusive real estate agent contracts are enforceable under Florida law.
What do exclusive representation contracts do?
There are many types of real estate agent contracts. Some only obligate the client to pay their realtor if the realtor brings them a buyer for their home.
If your contract is exclusive, then you ensure your right to receive payment regardless of who arranges the sale of the house. Even if your client decides to sell the house themselves to a buyer that they found, you can still invoke the contract and receive your due fee.
This arrangement is justifiable because you put a lot of work into arranging the real estate deal, even if your client ultimately didn’t use your services. You deserve compensation for the work that you did regardless.
Are they enforceable?
Florida courts tend to respect people’s freedom to enter into contracts willingly. Thus, your exclusive contract will be enforceable unless a court finds it to be unconscionable. Elements that might make a contract unenforceable include binding a client for an unreasonable amount of time or punishing them excessively if they breach the contract.
What are my options if my clients breach the contract?
Depending upon how much money is on the line, it could be worth it to go through with a breach of contract claim. If necessary, you could use the legal system to seek a court order enforcing the contract.
If you included a liquidated damages clause in your agreement, then you can point to an exact amount that you expect your client to pay you in satisfaction of the contract. You could also include an arbitration clause, which binds both of you to the decision of a specific court for the resolution of your dispute.
Being a realtor is not easy, and you deserve payment for the long hours and constant attention that you give your clients. As long as the terms of your contract are reasonable, you can make it an exclusive representation contract in order to protect your right to compensation.