What are the issues that you and your Managing Broker should be concerned about before undertaking this listing?

Please answer the questions. read the attached files when needed. Thank you.
Please read the case stuQuestion #1:

You are a residential real estate agent (“Agent”) in New York state. A friend (“Seller”) who owns a single family home in the racially and ethnically diverse urban area where you work, and is also a history professor at the local university, contacts you to sell her home.

Agent goes to the home to inspect the house, take some pictures for a marketing brochure, and discuss a listing agreement.

During your walk through the house, Agent notices a booklet on a table that on its cover says “Join the Ku Klux Klan—Keep America Safe for the White Race.” Agent is taken aback, but says nothing, and seller says nothing about the booklet or its apparent topic.

While walking through the basement, Agent notices that the basement smells musty and sees some water running down one of the walls. Agent asks Seller whether water in the basement is an issue. Seller says “it rained heavy last night, and the water sometimes comes in by the window at that end of the basement, but only when we get a heavy downpour. But don’t worry; I’ll mop and dry it up before you show the house; I’ll spray some air freshener to get rid of the musty smell; and let’s make sure we don’t show the house to potential buyers on rainy days!”

When Agent is done walking through the house, Agent pulls a standard Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement from Agent’s briefcase and asks Seller to review and sign it.

Seller notices a clause that says “The owner agrees to pay broker a commission in case of sale of the property within the listing period either by the broker, the owner, or any other person.” Seller says: “I have a lot of friends who might want to buy my house; does this clause mean I have to pay you a commission even if one of my friends buys the house? Maybe I should have a lawyer review this first.”

Agent responds: “Look, I’m just an agent, but I’ve been in this business for a long time, and I can tell you I’ve always assumed that state law requires this clause, and the legal effect of the clause just means that we can always negotiate a fair commission if one of your friends buys the house. So don’t waste your money talking to a lawyer; you can take my advice on that issue.”

Seller takes your advice and signs the Listing Agreement, and you say you will have the Agreement signed by the Managing Broker in your office and return a fully executed copy to her.

Agent returns to the office and the Managing Broker asks “How did it go?”

What are the issues that you and your Managing Broker should be concerned about before undertaking this listing?

Question #2:

You are a commercial real estate developer (“Developer”), and for some time you have had your eye on a piece of vacant land on the edge of the Central Business District of a city in New York State located at Block 101, Lot 1 that you think would be perfect for office development. The lot is adjacent to an old abandoned industrial site that used to manufacture pesticides.

You do some research and learn the identity of the owner of the property (“Owner”) and the exact size of the lot.

Developer contacts the Owner, indicates his desire to buy his lot for office development, and Owner says “I am certainly willing to explore making a deal so that you can build your office building.”

Developer pulls out a sheet of paper and says “Let’s get our agreement down on paper, and we’ll leave a formal contract to be done by the lawyers.” Owner says “Sounds good. What are you offering me for the land?”

Developer says: “Well, I have to do some research on real estate values, but based on my knowledge of the market, I would pay you approximately $30 per square foot of developable office space; I would pay cash with no mortgage contingency; and I would close within a reasonable period of time.” They write on the piece of paper “Memorandum of Agreement to Sell” and under that heading they write down:

“Seller agrees to sell to Developer the property located at Block 101, Lot 1 in City;

Developer agrees to pay approximately $30 per square foot of developable office space;

Developer agrees to pay all cash with no mortgage contingency;

Developer agrees to close within a reasonable period of time after formal contract is negotiated and prepared by the parties’ attorneys and is executed by the parties.”

Both Seller and Developer sign and date the Memorandum.

After signing the Memorandum, Developer does some research and determines that the property is in a “R-2 Zone”, which only allows for high-rise residential development and that a variance will be necessary to build office space. The amount of office space Developer can build will depend on the terms of the variance, if any, that he can obtain from the municipality. Also, a consultant advised Developer that there is always the possibility that due diligence might reveal possible significant contamination. Given these factors, Developer concludes that the approximately $30 per square foot of developable office space that he put in the Memorandum might be too high, but he is still prepared to buy the property. He contacts Owner and says: “I think the approximately $30 price per square foot we discussed is a bit on the high side, but I am still prepared to buy the property, assuming I can get a variance, assuming there is no contamination that we can’t resolve, and assuming we can agree on a final price.”

Owner responds “I was approached by an apartment developer, and as you know, the residential apartment market is very hot right now.”

Developer says: “But we have a deal. We both signed the Memorandum of Agreement to Sell. I expect you to honor our deal.”

Owner says: “I’ve decided to sell to the apartment developer.”

Developer confers with his attorney about suing Owner for specific performance to “comply with our Memorandum of Agreement to Sell.” Is there a binding contract between Owner and Developer that can be enforced? In your response, discuss what arguments each party can make, and which party has the stronger argument. Also discuss whether either party is entitled to damages of any kind, and why or why not. Be sure to cite to case law, if any, which supports your position.
Would your answers above be any different if the City was located in New Jersey instead of New York?
dy files and answer the questions

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