Jacobs v. LocatelliAnnotate this Case
Jacobs, a licensed California real estate broker, had the “exclusive and irrevocable right” to sell a Marin County parcel for one year. The listing price was $2,200,000; if Jacobs procured a buyer during the listing period, Jacobs would receive a commission of $200,000. The agreement specified that if one named party bought the property, Jacobs would receive no commission. Locatelli signed the agreement as trustee of the Locatelli Trust, but there were blank signature lines for five additional parties. Jacobs claimed that Locatelli stated that he was authorized to act on behalf of the other owners and that she can obtain a written “agency agreement” through discovery. When Jacobs noted interest in the property by TPL, Locatelli was angry and asserted that he had been speaking with TPL for three years and that he wanted to change the agreement. Jacobs claimed that she investigated and that her TPL contact told her that he did not know Locatelli and had not been aware the property was for sale until he was contacted by Jacobs. Later, the owners and TPL entered into a sales contract. The sale was never consummated, apparently because issues arose between the parties. Jacobs sued the owners and TPL. The trial court dismissed without explanation. The court of appeal reversed, finding that the claims were not barred by the statute of frauds or the parol evidence rule.