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STROUT REALTY v. GRACE E. HAVERSTOCK (03/06/89)

filed: March 6, 1989.

STROUT REALTY, INC., APPELLANT,
v.
GRACE E. HAVERSTOCK, APPELLEE



Appeal from Order entered February 18, 1988, in the Court of Common Pleas of Huntingdon County, Civil, No. 84-1571.

COUNSEL

Lawrence L. Newton, Huntingdon, for appellant.

David A. Ody, Huntingdon, for appellee.

Wieand, Olszewski and Tamilia, JJ.

Author: Olszewski

[ 382 Pa. Super. Page 341]

This is an appeal from an order of the trial court denying appellant's motion for post-trial relief following a verdict in favor of appellee. For reasons discussed below, we reverse.

On July 20, 1983, appellant and appellee entered into a Business Property Listing Agreement (hereinafter "agreement") for the sale of a funeral home located in McConnellstown, Huntingdon County. The agreement provided in pertinent part:

I (we), the seller(s), employ you to procure a purchaser, ready, willing and able to buy this property at the listed price and terms, or at a lower price and terms acceptable to me and to accept a deposit thereon . . . .

If you procure a purchaser as defined above, I agree to pay you a commission of 10% of the selling price, or a minimum commission of $200, whichever is greater . . . . I reserve the right to sell the property to a buyer procured by myself or through another agent and in such case no commission or other charge shall be due you, provided such sale or transfer is not made directly or indirectly to or through your prospect . . . . The listing of this property, and the continued endeavor of STROUT REALTY, INC. or its representatives to sell the same shall constitute a good and sufficient consideration for this agreement.

[ 382 Pa. Super. Page 342]

This agreement is irrevocable but shall terminate with the sale of the property or by either party giving a withdrawal notice in writing which shall become effective thirty days from the date received. This agreement shall expire one year from date without notice unless otherwise terminated as above, or unless I renew or extend it in writing. However, if within six months after the termination date of this agreement, I sell or transfer this property to a prospect procured by you prior to its termination, I shall pay you your commission . . . .

On January 16, 1984, Burgess A. Smith, an agent of appellant, contacted Reverend F. Tim Shafer regarding the subject property. Reverend Shafer, pastor of Heritage Independent Baptist Church, was looking for a permanent meeting place for his congregation. Reverend Shafer informed Mr. Smith that he would contact him if purchase of the property was feasible. Subsequently, on January 16, 1984, Mr. Smith mailed appellee a report concerning his contact with Reverend Shafer.

Mr. Smith showed the property to Reverend Shafer on February 14, 1984. Appellee was also present during the inspection of the building. Reverend Shafer expressed an interest in the property subject to the procurement of financing.

On June 9, 1984, Reverend Shafer informed Mr. Smith that he was in contact with representatives of Stewardship Consultants, Inc. (hereinafter "SCI"), a consulting firm that finances and/or purchases church buildings for young and/or financially troubled congregations. Mr. Smith, on the same day, mailed appellee an information report notifying her that Reverend Shafer was negotiating financing with SCI and the representatives of SCI would inspect the property.

On June 14, 1984, appellee showed the property to representatives of SCI and Reverend Shafer. Mr. Smith was not notified of the meeting and when asked, appellee indicated that a realtor was not involved. SCI negotiated with ...


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