The Fourth Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined, pursuant to the merger doctrine, the contract for the sale of land merged with the deed when the deal was closed. The deed therefore represents the final agreement of the parties. The plaintiff alleged the deed description did not match the description in the contract and demanded that the deed be “corrected” to include an additional parcel of land:
… [W]e agree with defendants that the court erred in denying the motion with respect to the breach of contract and quiet title causes of action. Those causes of action are barred by the merger doctrine. “It is settled law that, where a contract for the sale of land has been executed by a conveyance, the terms of the contract concerning the nature and extent of property conveyed merge into the deed and any inconsistencies between the contract and the deed are to be explained and governed solely by the deed, which is presumed to contain the final agreement of the parties” … . Exceptions to the merger doctrine include “where the parties have expressed their intention that [a] provision shall survive delivery of the deed” … , where the deed is ambiguous with respect to the land conveyed …, and where there exists a valid fraud cause of action … . Pickard v Campbell, 2022 NY Slip Op 04442, Fourth Dept 7-8-22
Practice Point: Any discrepancy between the property as described in a real estate contract and as described in the deed is resolved by the merger doctrine. Absent fraud or ambiguity in the deed, the deed description controls.