Cases of Note

McPherson v. William E. George, Inc., 2010 Tenn. App. LEXIS 276

April 20th, 2010

 Plaintiff hired defendant auctioneer to sell his home. After defendant purchaser was the high bidder at the auction, it signed a sales contract and made a substantial down payment on the property. The down payment was retained by the auctioneer as his commission. Shortly after that, the auctioneer promised the purchaser that the purchaser's real estate agent would be paid a commission on the sale. Later, defendant auctioneer refused to pay the purchaser's agent a commission and, consequently, the purchaser refused to close on the sale. On appeal, the purchaser argued that the trial court erred in granting the seller's motion for summary judgment and in awarding him damages for the purchaser's breach of the sales agreement. The instant court found that because the purchaser did not argue in the trial court that either the auctioneer or the seller fraudulently induced the purchaser's execution of the sales agreement, the purchaser could not avail itself of this argument on appeal. The instant court also found that the sales agreement plainly permitted the seller to declare the contract canceled in the event of a purchaser's failure to pay.

OUTCOME: The judgment was affirmed. (Click here for opinion)

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