Similar cases have been heard in Massachusetts, with the same judgements.
Broker Entitled to Commission Even If Seller Pulls Out
A federal court in Maine has ruled that a real estate broker could collect a commission if a jury concludes that a seller prevented the closing of the transaction after the broker had obtained a ready, willing, and able buyer.
Robert Crowe Sr. listed his business for sale with Richard A. Mathurin and Associates LLC, a licensed real estate brokerage. The brokerage obtained a buyer for the property, and both parties signed a letter of intent stating an agreed-upon price. But the transaction never closed because Crowe refused to turn over documents concerning the financial condition of the business to the buyer. Crowe then took his business off the market.
The brokerage sued Crowe seeking payment of its commission. Crowe filed a motion with the trial court seeking judgment in his favor.
… Under Maine law, a broker is entitled to collect a commission when it produces “a customer who is ready, willing, and able to meet the exact terms and conditions of sale proposed by the seller.” A completed transaction is not a prerequisite to recovering a commission in Maine, unless the parties have agreed otherwise.
… The court agreed that a jury could conclude that the brokerage had obtained a ready, willing, and able buyer, and that only Croweâ€™s actions prevented this transaction from being completed. Thus, the court denied Croweâ€™s motion for judgment and allowed these allegations to proceed to the jury.
Source: National Association of Reatlors website