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Firebaugh v. Hanback

247 Va. 519 (1994)

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Firebaugh v. Hanback

Virginia Supreme Court

247 Va. 519 (1994)

Facts

Ye Old Hunters Club owned a property in trust, with Edwin Hanback and John Richards (defendants) serving as trustees. The club wanted to sell the property and engaged Eugene Lunsford (plaintiff) as its real estate agent. The club directed that the property be described as 126.669 acres plus or minus. The club specifically wanted to sell the property as-is and for a set price in exchange for whatever the total acreage turned out to be. The club rejected several offers that sought a more definite description of the amount of land or an adjustment in price depending on land-survey results. Eventually Lunsford joined with Richard Firebaugh (plaintiff), another real estate agent with a firm Lunsford had just joined. Lunsford and Firebaugh agreed to purchase the property as described: 126 acres, more or less. After the parties had entered into the contract, Lunsford and Firebaugh had a land survey completed. The survey revealed that the parcel was actually only 89.5 acres. Lunsford and Firebaugh sought a proportional reduction in purchase price, but the club refused. Lunsford and Firebaugh filed a lawsuit and sought specific performance at the reduced price. Lunsford and Firebaugh argued that the contract was intended to be a sale by the acre. The trial court denied the request, and Lunsford and Firebaugh appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Poff, J.)

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