from the Iowa District Court for Monona County, Edward A.
appeal from an adverse judgment in a claim for breach of
J. Leo of Norelius Nelson Law Firm, Denison, for appellants.
J. Schneiderman of Moore, Heffernan, Moeller, Johnson &
Meis, L.L.P., Sioux City, for appellees.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ.
and Kelly Wegner brought this suit for breach of a
residential real estate contract against Bert and Diana
Schauer after the Schauers failed to close on the
parties' purported agreement. The Schauers asserted
several affirmative defenses and made counterclaims for
fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and
intentional interference with a business relationship against
the Wegners. In their breach-of-contract claim, the Schauers
sought the return of their earnest money deposit in the
amount of $5000. The case was tried to the district court.
The district court found the parties had not entered into a
final, enforceable contract. The district court also found
and concluded the Schauers were entitled to the return of
their earnest money. The Wegners timely filed this appeal.
Wegners owned and resided in two residential properties
locally known as 955 and 965 East Lake Shore Drive in Lake
View, Iowa. The property at 965 was the main home. The
property at 955 was a smaller guest house, which David
referred to as the "man cave." In 2014, the Wegners
decided to sell the properties. The Wegners listed the
property, but the listing generated little interest. The
Wegners allowed the listing to expire in March 2015.
one month later, Bert approached David about purchasing both
properties. The Wegners showed the Schauers the properties.
After the viewing, David and Bert commenced negotiations on
the sale of the homes. They communicated via phone calls,
text messages, and personal conversations. The negotiations
carried on for several months and involved extensive back and
forth, primarily on the structure of the transaction. David
and Bert were both experienced in the business of buying,
selling, and renting residential real estate.
same time the parties were negotiating the sale of the
properties, they were both involved in other residential real
estate transactions. The Wegners were purchasing a home in
Carroll, contingent on the sale of the properties at issue.
The Schauers were selling their home to their niece.
8, 2015, David, Bert, and Diana met to sign a purchase
agreement. The Wegners were in need of a written
purchase agreement to move forward with the purchase and
finance of the Carroll home, and the parties agreed to meet
to sign a purchase agreement for that purpose. The
Wegners' attorney drafted the purchase agreement. The
purchase agreement was not shown to the Schauers until they
arrived for the signing. The agreement, signed by both
The purchase price shall be $387, 500, payable at Sac County,
Iowa, as follows: $5000.00 down and credit at closing.
Payment and closing on or before 8/7/2015. $162, 000.00.
Remainder paid on contract: $225, 500.00 at 4% over 30 years;
payments of $1076.57 on the 15th of each.
agreement includes a handwritten notation, added by David,
which reads "Balloon PMT to be 8/17/2017." At the
time of signing, the Schauers ...