Sellers must uphold their end of bargain If contract calls for them to pay for house's repairs, then they must honor it


October 18, 1998

Dear Mr. Azrael:

I recently signed a contract on a house. We are scheduled to go to settlement at the end of [the month]. Being a single mom, I have a limited income. The contract contains the FHA addendum that states the seller is willing to pay for any repairs that the FHA inspector finds up to 2 percent of the selling price of the house.

My question for you is that they are now asking me to pay for these repairs, and I feel that we have a signed "legal" contract.

So, am I responsible for making these repairs if I want this house or are they legally responsible for these repairs?

Vicky Barrett


Dear Ms. Barrett:

You state you've signed a legal contract that requires the seller to pay for repairs up to 2 percent of the selling price.

If that's what the contract says, then the seller must live up to the contract and pay for the repairs required by the FHA.

For some reason, buyers and sellers often believe that a home-purchase contract does not mean what it says. They are wrong. The parties to a real estate contract are required to perform their promises, and will be liable for damages if they breach their obligations.


The Sun invites you to send real estate questions to Mailbag. Questions are answered by Jonathan A. Azrael of Azrael, Gann and Franz of Towson.

Questions -- including name, address and daytime telephone number -- may be sent in the following ways:

Mailing address: Real Estate Mailbag, Fifth Floor, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278-0001. Fax: 410-783-2517. E-mail:

Call our Sundial audio-response number: 410-783-1800. Enter code 6170 after you hear the greeting.

Pub Date: 10/18/98

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