15 S.W. 1076 (Tenn. 1890), Cheatham v. Yarbrough

Citation:15 S.W. 1076, 90 Tenn. 77
Opinion Judge:CALDWELL, J.
Party Name:CHEATHAM v. YARBROUGH et al.
Attorney:Slokes & Slokes, for plaintiff in error. Dickenson & Frazeer, for defendants in error.
Case Date:December 15, 1890
Court:Supreme Court of Tennessee

Page 1076

15 S.W. 1076 (Tenn. 1890)

90 Tenn. 77




Supreme Court of Tennessee.

December 15, 1890

Error to circuit court, Davidson county; W. K. MCALESTER, Judge.

Slokes & Slokes, for plaintiff in error.

Dickenson & Frazeer, for defendants in error.


This action was brought by Yarbrough, Maddox & Davis, real estate agents, to recover from W. B. Cheatham certain commissions alleged to be due them for services rendered him with respect to a sale of real estate. He defended and resisted a recovery, on the ground that the sale was never in fact completed. The circuit judge, trying the case without the intervention of a jury, held that the plaintiffs had done all that the law required them to do as agents, and gave judgment in their favor for $205, and costs. Defendant appealed in error. Cheatham placed certain real estate in the hands of plaintiffs for sale, agreeing to pay them a certain commission out of the purchase money for their services. They proceeded, and presented a proposed purchaser, who was acceptable to Cheatham, and who was ready, able, and willing to buy at a price and on terms entirely satisfactory to Cheatham. But, on examination of Cheatham's title by the purchaser, after the plaintiff's had brought them together, it was found to be defective, and for that reason alone, without any fault on the part of the plaintiffs, the trade was not consummated. Cheatham had said nothing to the plaintiffs about his title, and they had no knowledge of its defective character, until discovered and disclosed by the purchaser. Such is the case briefly stated. Under these facts, the agents were entitled to compensation, the same as if the sale had been completed, for they had done all that the law required them to do under their contract. The just and well-settled rule of law requires that the agent shall be paid his compensation when he procures a purchaser who is acceptable to the principal, and ready, able, and willing to buy on the agent's terms, though, in fact, the sale be not ultimately consummated; provided its consummation is prevented by the fault, refusal, or defective title of the principal. Mechem, Ag. §§ 966, 967; 2 Amer. & Eng. Enc. Law, 578, 581; 2 Add. Cont. (Morgan's Ed.) § 931; McGavock v. Woodlief, 20 How. 221; Kock v. Emmerling, 22 How. 69; Fraser v. Wyckoff, 63 N.Y. 448; Cook v. Fiske, 12 Gray, 493; Vinton...

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