The estate becomes liable for the listing broker‘s commission only after all three of the following have occurred:

  • An actual sale is made;
  • The sale is confirmed by the court unless the sale is conducted under IAEA; and
  • The “sale is consummated.”

(Cal. Prob. Code § 10160.)

Hence, brokers are never entitled to a commission in a probate sale until the estate receives the purchase price, the deed is transferred to the buyer and a mortgage or deed of trust is taken for payments due in the future (Cal. Prob. Code § 10160 (Law Revision Comm’n Comment)).