[14 NJSuper Page 117] This is a suit for the specific performance of an agreement for the sale of real property located at 13-15 Broadway, Fair Lawn, New Jersey. The contract was executed on April 19, 1950. The purchase price was $33,750, of which $1,000 was paid as a deposit on the date of the signing of the contract. An additional sum of $2,375 was to be paid on or about April 24, 1950, and the balance of $30,375 was to be paid at the closing. The closing was to take place at the office of Alexander Summer Company, Queen Anne Road, Teaneck, New Jersey, on or about August 1, 1950. In the copy of the contract retained by the
defendants, the date for the payment of the $2,375 was "on or about April 20th, 1950," and the date for the closing was "on or about July 1st, 1950." In other respects the two copies of the contract were identical and as the case developed these differences became immaterial.
Immediately after the contract was signed the defendants regretted their bargain and sought to relieve themselves of its burden. They refused to accept the check for $2,375 and sought to return the initial deposit. This, plaintiffs refused to accept. Many attempts were made to persuade the defendants to go through with the sale but they refused. They had decided that they could get a higher price.
The matter dragged along until July 7, 1950, when defendants' attorney sent to plaintiffs a letter in the following language:
"Please take notice that I represent the sellers, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Mancini, in a certain contract made by you with them to convey the premises in the Borough of Fair Lawn, County of Bergen and State of New Jersey, described as follows: Block 4325, Lots 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22.
Said contract provides for the conveyance of said premises to you on or about July 1, 1950, at the office of Alexander Summer Co.
In view of the fact that said conveyance was not made at that time, I hereby advise you that the said sellers hereby specify August 1, 1950 at 10 o'clock in the forenoon of that day at the said office of Alexander Summer Co., as the time and place for making said conveyance pursuant to said agreement, for the purpose of making said time of the essence."
To this letter plaintiffs' attorney made reply on July 24, 1950, as follows:
"I will be ready to close title in the above entitled matter on August 1st, 1950 in account with the terms of the contract at the office of Alexander Summer Company."
On August 1, at 10 a.m., Mr. Losche, defendants' attorney, appeared at the Alexander Summer office, presumably prepared to close the title. The plaintiffs were not there. Mr. DeJohn, the agent who had negotiated the deal, called Mr.
Andrus, plaintiffs' attorney, and informed him that Losche and his parties were there. Andrus then talked to Losche and endeavored to have him wait until Andrus could get there with his ...