Court forces buyer to forfeit twofer deal

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In the case Natale, et al. v. Ernst, the buyer (Matthew Ernst) purchased a parcel of land from the seller (James Natale) on one side of the highway. Just before closing, the buyer and seller learned that the sale would necessarily include a small lot on the other side of the highway, which would be difficult to subdivide away from the parcel originally planned to be transferred. The buyer and seller agreed to the sale of both lots at the original purchase price, on the condition that the buyer would make efforts to subdivide the additional lot and transfer it back to the seller and, if unsuccessful obtaining the subdivision by a certain date, have the small lot appraised and pay the seller the fair market value for it. The buyer, however, was unable to obtain the subdivision by the deadline -- nor did he have the property appraised or otherwise follow the agreed-upon procedure to purchase the small lot from the seller. However, the seller's attorney -- with the approval of...