Ash Park, LLC v. Alexander & Bishop, Ltd. (WI)

Summary: A breached contract for sale of real property was an enforceable contract that entitled the broker to its commission.


Ash Park, LLC v. Alexander & Bishop, LTD., 866 N.W.2d 679 (Wis. 2015).


Facts: Ash Park, LLC, wanted to sell a parcel of vacant land. They contracted with Re/Max to be the broker. The contract stated that Ash Park would pay a broker’s commission of 6% to Re/Max if Ash Park entered into an “enforceable contract” for the sale of the land. They listed the land at $6.2 million.

Alexander & Bishop, Ltd. eventually offered to purchase the land for $6.3 million, which Ash Park accepted. The only contingency to the purchase was a “lease contingency” stating that if Alexander & Bishop could not find leases for the property within 120 days, they could terminate the contract. Alexander & Bishop could not find any potential leases so they terminated the contract.

Later on, however, Alexander & Bishop reinstated the offer. They did not exercise the lease contingency and bound themselves to a contract on September 20, 2007. On October 9, 2007, Alexander & Bishop did not want to immediately lease the property and began discussing potential modifications to their purchase. They were unsuccessful. The closing of the sale never took place and Alexander & Bishop failed to purchase the property.

Ash Park then sued Alexander & Bishop seeking specific performance of the purchase contract. Ash Park won, but Alexander & Bishop failed to pay. In December 2010, Ash Park and Alexander & Bishop settled on a price of $1.5 million.

In January 12, 2011, Re/Max filed a motion to intervene. Re/Max sought to enforce its contract for commission. The trial court and court of appeals ruled in favor of Re/Max. The case appealed to the Supreme Court.


Holding: Affirmed. To determine if Re/Max should receive its commission, the court asked whether the contract between Ash Park, LLC, and Alexander & Bishop was enforceable. The court viewed the contract with parties’ intention in mind and used the ordinary meaning of it. The language of the contract and intent of the parties indicated that both sides had entered into a binding contract. The court also relied on the fact that the court could compel specific performance on Alexander & Bishop. Because the court concluded that the contract was enforceable, Re/Max could pursue its 6% commission off of the settlement between Ash Park and Alexander & Bishop.

Opinion Year: 
By: ATG Underwriting Department | Posted on: Tue, 03/15/2016 - 4:04pm