Procuring cause in agency

Difference between a broker and an agent: [O]ne who is engaged, for others, on a commission, negotiating contracts relative to property with the custody of which he has no concern; the negotiator between the other parties, never acting in his own name but in the name of those who employed him. [A] broker is one whose occupation is to bring the parties together, in matter of trade, commerce or navigation.

An agent receives a commission upon the successful conclusion of a sale. On the other hand, a broker earns his pay merely by bringing the buyer and the seller together, even if no sale is eventually made.

In relation thereto, the Supreme Court has held that the term procuring cause in describing a brokers' activity, refers to a cause originating a series of events which, without break in their continuity, result in the accomplishment of the prime objective of the employment of the broker producing a purchaser ready, willing and able to buy on the owners terms. To be regarded as the procuring cause of a sale as to be entitled to a commission, a broker's efforts must have been the foundation on which the negotiations resulting in a sale began. (G.R. 171052)

That petitioner had changed her mind even if respondents had found a buyer who was willing to close the deal, is a matter that would not give rise to a legal consequence if respondents agree to call off the transaction in deference to the request of the petitioner. But the situation varies if one of the parties takes advantage of the benevolence of the other and acts in a manner that would promote his own selfish interest. This act is unfair as would amount to bad faith. This act cannot be sanctioned without ac-cording to the party prejudiced the reward which is due him. This is the situation in which respondents were placed by petitioner. Petitioner took advantage of the services rendered by respondents, but believing that she could evade payment of their commission, she made use of a ruse by inducing them to sign the deed of cancellation Exhibit 1. This act of subversion cannot be sanctioned and cannot serve as basis for petitioner to escape payment of the commission agreed upon. (G.R. No. L-5180)