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GEORGE J. ROSKWITALSKI AND HELEN ROSKWITALSKI v. PETER WHEELER REISS AND WILLIAM C. MICKLE (05/04/79)

decided: May 4, 1979.

GEORGE J. ROSKWITALSKI AND HELEN ROSKWITALSKI, HIS WIFE, APPELLEES,
v.
PETER WHEELER REISS AND WILLIAM C. MICKLE, TRUSTEES OF THE ARMELLA B. DEMMLER TRUST, AS SUBSTITUTED DEFENDANTS FOR DEFENDANT ARMELLA DEMMLER, WIDOW, NOW DECEASED, AND ROBERT SKULTETY. APPEAL OF ROBERT SKULTETY



No. 592, April Term 1978, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Allegheny County, No. GD75-11152.

COUNSEL

Thomas A. Lazaroff, Pittsburgh, and with him Spencer D. Hirshberg, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

John B. Nicklas, Jr., Pittsburgh, and with him Joel M. Walker, Pittsburgh, for appellees Roskwitalski.

Van der Voort, Spaeth and Lipez, JJ.

Author: Lipez

[ 266 Pa. Super. Page 31]

This is an appeal from the Order of the court below quieting title to a certain piece of real estate in appellees,*fn1 plaintiffs below, and dismissing appellant's exceptions thereto. George W. Jones, a real estate broker of some fifty years experience, was retained to list real estate situate in Ross Township, Allegheny County. The property was owned by the Trustees of the Armella B. Demmler Trust.

[ 266 Pa. Super. Page 32]

The listing agreement was executed by Jones and Armella B. Demmler.*fn2 The agreement was a copyright standard form purchased in quantity by Jones from a legal stationer; Jones testified that he had been using substantially the same form for at least thirty years.

On May 2, 1975, the Roskwitalskis gave Jones an earnest money deposit of $5,000.00 on the Demmler property. Jones prepared a standard form titled Agreement of Sale by Writing a description of the property, the price ($32,500), and other information in the spaces left blank for that purpose. The Roskwitalskis then signed the document as purchasers, and Jones signed as witness to their signatures.

On May 7, Robert Skultety, appellant herein, offered Jones $40,000 for the property. Skultety then signed an Agreement of Sale of the same (standard) form as that signed by the Roskwitalskis, and Jones signed, in a place reserved for that purpose, as a witness to Skultety's signature. The Agreement of Sale forms signed respectively by Skultety and the Roskwitalskis were sent by Jones to Mrs. Demmler in Arizona. She signed the form containing Skultety's signature on the appropriate line for a party's signature and returned the executed Agreement to Jones. Jones returned to the Roskwitalskis their earnest money deposit check accompanied by a letter from Jones explaining that Mrs. Demmler had accepted an offer of $40,000 and had formally rejected the Roskwitalskis' offer of $32,500.

The Roskwitalskis brought suit against the Demmler interests (as holders of the legal title to the property) and Skultety, claiming that a contract for the sale of the property at the price of $32,500 had been formed between Mrs. Demmler and them when Jones and the Roskwitalskis placed their signatures upon an Agreement of Sale form bearing

[ 266 Pa. Super. Page 33]

    that price term, and that, therefore, they were entitled to the property at that price. The court below concluded that 1) Jones had the authority to enter into a contract for the sale of the Demmler property on behalf of Mrs. Demmler; and 2) the document bearing the signatures of Jones and the Roskwitalskis was a properly executed contract for ...


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