Nick Sirianni and wife win court battle over South Jersey home. Here's what happened

·3 min read

MOUNT HOLLY – Nick Sirianni may have lost the Super Bowl but the Philadelphia Eagles head coach was a winner in a South Jersey courtroom.

A state judge in Mount Holly recently found Sirianni and his wife, Brett, did not violate a contract when they refused to close on the purchase of a $2.3 million home in Moorestown.

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Superior Court Judge Erik Fikry also ordered the home’s would-be seller to return a $100,000 deposit to the Siriannis.

Fikry found the property owner, 771 Allison Court LLC, had itself breached a contract with the coach and his wife.

His decision last month also ordered the LLC, operated by realtor Jeffery Schneider, to reimburse the Siriannis for costs incurred during their abortive home-buying process.

But an attorney for the LLC said he’ll appeal Fikry’s decision.

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“My client respectfully disagrees with the trial court’s decision, and looks forward to the opportunity to have the issue reconsidered and decided by the appellate court,” the lawyer, Bradley L. Mitchell of Lawrenceville, said Monday.

What went wrong?

Each side accuses the other of violating a sales agreement for a 7,800-square-foot home that sits on an almost-two-acre lot. The house includes six bedrooms and six-and-a-half bathrooms, according to online listings.

The Siriannis signed a contract to buy the home on Feb. 6, 2021, shortly after the coach had been hired away from the Indianapolis Colts.

The problem arose a few weeks before the March 31 closing date, when a title search showed the home’s deed included a right of first refusal.

A previous owner, Harvey Berk, put that provision in the deed in 2010. It gave Berk’s son and daughter, as well as a family trust, the right to match a buyer’s offer “for any future conveyance” of the home.

Sirianni's attorney says deed is flawed

That meant the home, if purchased by the Siriannis, “could not be bequeathed with certainty, to their children, nor freely transferred to a person of their choosing absent the consent of the ROFR holders,” the couple’s attorney, Lance Rogers of Ardmore, said in the counterclaim.

Rogers also said the provision’s terms "are ambiguous and vague, and very well could lead to litigation once buyers attempt to sell the property."

The Berk children and the trust waived their rights prior to the Siriannis’ closing date, but the provision remained in the deed.

The Siriannis cited the ROFR’s presence when they refused to close on March 31, then sent a letter to terminate the contract on April 13.

Court fight over Moorestown home

The LLC sued on April 15, 2021, arguing the Siriannis had violated the contract by failing to close on the purchase and by seeking to terminate the agreement.

In a counterclaim, the Siriannis faulted the LLC’s “inability to convey marketable title free and clear from the rights of others."

They also demanded the return of their $100,000 deposit.

In a summary judgment decision last month, Fikry said the failure to eliminate the ROFR at the Siriannis’ request “confirmed that (the LLC) was unable to deliver title to the property ‘free and clear from all claims or rights of others.’”

The judge said that relieved the Siriannis of the obligation to close the deal.

The home was later sold to another buyer for $350,000 less than the Siriannis’ offer, the decision noted.

That buyer was told of the ROFR "prior to the execution of the sales contract," the judge noted.

Jim Walsh is a senior reporter for the Courier-Post, Burlington County Times and The Daily Journal.

This article originally appeared on Cherry Hill Courier-Post: Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni and wife win Moorestown home dispute