BHS files suit over Duke Semans commission

August 03, 2010 09:00AM

Paula Del Nunzio and the Duke Semans Mansion

Brown Harris Stevens is suing real estate developer Tamir Sapir for a breach of contract in the $44 million sale of his massive Duke Semans mansion last week to Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, which the brokerage says should have landed exclusive listing agent Paula Del Nunzio an $880,000 commission. Instead, the suit alleges, Sapir sidestepped his agreement with BHS to avoid paying half of the 4 percent commission to which Del Nunzio was entitled, according to the Wall Street Journal. Del Nunzio landed the exclusive on 1009 Fifth Avenue, which had an asking price of $50 million, in December 2009. She was to receive a 3 percent commission on a direct deal and half of a 4 percent commission if another broker was involved. Her contract was set to expire July 15. According to the suit, Del Nunzio spoke with a representative for Slim, who did not yet know that the property was on the market, on July 14. Following the conversation, Slim’s representative contacted Sapir, who proceeded to keep the discussions “secret” and to wait until July 16 — after the exclusive listing agreement had expired — before signing a contract with Slim, who ultimately closed on the deal July 21 for the fourth-highest price ever paid for a Manhattan townhouse. [WSJ]