Defendants, Walter and Mary, owned a farm as tenants in common which plaintiff wanted to buy. Walter advised plaintiff that the asking price was $100,000. Plaintiff counter-offered for $75,000, but Mary refused, saying there was "no way" she could sell it for that price. Plaintiff and Walter later finally agreed on $85,000 for a lease with an option to purchase, and Mary said she would not sell for less than that amount.
Walter, plaintiff, and their attorneys then formed a contract for the agreement. None but Walter knew that he did not know the property outright, but he never claimed to be acting as his wife's agent and plaintiff did not do a title search. It was not until two years later that it came to light that Mary had a 50% ownership in the land.
Plaintiff made substantial improvements on the property while he leased it, and after five years of leasing, he exercised his option to purchase. Defendants refused to honor the option agreement, and plaintiff sued for specific performance.
Trial court found for the plaintiff and order specific performance.