Broker fails in wh​opping claim against Taylor Swift for $1million commission for arranging one property viewing of a Tribeca townhouse

January 26, 2019

This case is a great example of when brokerage commissions can be completely disproportionate to the work undertaken to sell a home.

On January 24th, a federal New York judge joined “Team Taylor” when dismissing a real estate brokerages claim for a whopping $1,080,000.00 for alleged unpaid commissions relating to an $18M Tribeca townhouse Taylor bought in 2017.

Taylor bought the property with a different brokerage almost 9 months after a Douglas Elliman agent arranged a first viewing with one of Taylor’s reps. For their work, they wanted 6% commission which correlated to a seven-figure fee, alleging they were wrongly excluded from the sale and their huge commission.

The judge dismissed the case on the basis that, with such a huge amount of money at stake, there would have needed to be a “formal agreement” relating to exclusive broker representation and payment of the plus million dollar fee. All that existed was an informal email from a broker employee to a Swift representative.

What’s the takeaway? 6% commissions in high-value property deals can result in crazy fees. That’s why at Richr, we are seeing the majority of our users signing up to market their plus million-dollar homes. They are realizing it is worth undertaking the job of selling their own home, in the hopes of saving $60k in commissions.