Hiring a Horse Broker? Get a Contract

Hiring a Horse Broker? Get a Contract

Having a good contract on hand can help ensure sales involving agents or brokers go as smoothly as possible.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

When using a broker or agent to help sell a horse, a good contract describes what the parties involved are required to do and what will happen if those parties don’t fulfill their obligations.

For a horse seller’s agency contract, the document should set out what the agent is required to do (if anything) to market the horse, such as take photos, make sale videos, write and place advertisements, and the like. The contract should also state what is included in the agent’s fee and what is not.

A horse buyer’s agency contract should state what the agent will do to assist the buyer in finding a horse, what the agent’s fee is, and if there are any limitations. For example, does the agent’s fee include travel expenses? Will the agent review videos that the buyer sends to him or her? If the buyer finds the horse, does the buyer still have to pay the agent’s fee?

Any horse agency contract should clearly state whether the agent will be receiving compensation from anyone besides the person who is hiring the agent and, if so, disclose the amount of compensation and who will be paying that compensation. While dual agency and self-dealing are common in the horse industry, they are not lawful. The problem is so rampant that states such as Kentucky, Florida, and California have enacted laws specifically targeting these unlawful business practices.

Having a good contract on hand can help ensure sales involving agents or brokers go as smoothly as possible.

About the Author

Rachel Kosmal McCart

Rachel Kosmal McCart is the founder and principal attorney of Equine Legal Solutions, PC (ELS), an equine law firm based near Portland, Ore. McCart is a graduate of the Duke University School of Law and licensed to practice in four states: California, New York, Oregon, and Washington. She is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. ELS represents clients in litigation, helps resolve equine disputes, drafts customized equine contracts, represents clients in horse industry disciplinary hearings, and incorporates equine businesses. Learn more at www.equinelegalsolutions.com.

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