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A property owner wished to sell a small apartment building that she owned. She consulted a local real estate agent and listed her property.
A property owner wished to sell a small apartment building that she owned. She consulted a local real estate agent and listed her property. Because she was about to leave on her lengthy winter vacation, she provided the agent with authority to sell the property on her behalf of the terms of any offer received met the terms set out in the listing agreement. A prospective buyer inspected the property during the period of time that the property was listed for sale, but did not make an offer to purchase.
Before the property owner returned from her vacation, but after the agency agreement had expired, the prospective buyer returned and made an offer to purchase the property that corresponded with the terms of the listing agreement. The agent accepted the offer on behalf of the property owner.
After the purchase agreement was signed, the buyer discovered that the agency agreement had expired. He then began a legal action against the agent.
Explain the nature of the buyer's actions and indicated how the case may be decided. Could the property owner ratify the agreement? What factors would affect the ratification?