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FACTS:                    

The agent severed his license and moved to a different brokerage firm while a transaction was pending.  The independent contractor agreement between the brokerage and agent does not address how commissions will be paid on pending transactions.  The transaction was not in any way transferred to the new brokerage firm after the agent was severed.  Close of escrow is a week away and the agent, through his new brokerage firm, has instructed the title company in writing to pay the commission to the new brokerage firm.  The title company is refusing to pay the new brokerage firm because they already have the irrevocable commission instructions for the old brokerage firm.

ISSUE:                      

Is the new brokerage firm entitled to the commission?

ANSWER:                

See Discussion. 

DISCUSSION:         

Listings and pending transactions belong to the brokerage firm, not an individual agent.  Commonly, independent contractor agreements address what is to happen with listings and pending transactions when an agent severs.  However, the independent contractor agreement here does not address the issue.  Accordingly, the transaction belongs to the original brokerage firm and the title company is acting properly in refusing to pay the commission to the new brokerage firm.