Pankratz v. HoffAnnotate this Case
In this land contract dispute, Landowners arranged for the sale of several thousand acres of their property. Landowners and Buyer executed three separate contracts, one that conveyed to Buyer a majority of the land, the second that gave Buyer the option to purchase the remaining acreage, and the third that leased the remaining acreage to Buyer. A dispute between the parties later arose concerning the purchase price of the remaining acreage under the option agreement. Buyer brought suit against Landowners, alleging breach of contract. At issue during trial was whether the option agreement was ambiguous and required the admission of parol evidence to ascertain the parties' intent. The trial court held that the option agreement was not fully integrated and relied on parol evidence to calculate the purchase price, awarding Buyer the acreage for $171 per acre. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that Buyer was entitled to specific performance but at a different price because (1) the trial court erred when it went outside the parties' agreement to set the price per acre at $171; and (2) according to the parties' agreement, the price per acre at the option price was $289 per acre. Remanded.