Q: What is the broker’s responsibility as a worker or agent of the seller?
A: A broker who receives a fee to sell an item is like an employee, and is required to work for the benefit of the employer, such as procuring the best price or conditions for him. If the broker deviated from the seller’s instructions, in some situations the seller can void the sale, and the broker is not entitled to his fee. If the broker caused a loss, he is liable and must compensate the seller, as discussed last week (C.M. 185:1).
If the broker took the item, but the seller retracts and no longer wants to sell, most Poskim allow him to cancel the agency, since the broker is like an agent and cannot serve against the seller’s will. Some compare the broker to a kablan employee who received an item to work on, where the owner’s right to retract is limited (Nesivos 185:3, 333:1; Minchas Pitim 185:4; Ulam Hamishpat 185:1; Chazon Ish, B.K. 23:26).