Episode 7: The Georgia Real Estate Contract

Show Notes: 

Happy Father’s Day to The Atlanta Real Estate Podcast Nation!  Go celebrate this weekend and buy a house! You can find us at TheAtlantaRealEstatePodcast.com or give us a call at (770) 240-9949.

Today we are going to talk about the most common form of the Georgia real estate contract.  It was created by the Georgia Association of REALTORS® and a group of real estate attorneys.  They have done a commendable job protecting the rights of the buyer, seller, broker, agent, and if you are purchasing a new construction home, the builder too.

We are going to walk through and highlight the key elements of the contract.

Legal Description: A legal description of the property.
It is never a good idea to use just the address.  The legal description of a property is more specifically described in land records, deed books and/or plat books and are filed in courthouse basements with tax records.  The simplest ways to obtain these records are from your County Superior Courthouse or online.  You can check out Cobb County property records here.

Purchase Price and Method of Payment
The purchase price is the amount in which the buyer(s) are willing/offering to pay.  The method of payment is cash, mortgage financing, seller financing etc.

Closing Costs
Closing costs are typically paid by the buyer however; the buyer may request the seller contribute toward closing costs. Closing costs may include attorney’s fees, HOA fees, Georgia property tax, handling fees, underwriting fees, recording costs, warranty deed, and prepaid items, etc.

Earnest Money
Money paid by the buyer in good faith showing interest in a property.  This money counts as part of a down payment.  Money is held by the closing attorney or the buyer’s broker.

Closing Attorney
If the buyer gets to choose a closing attorney – It is IMPORTANT that you choose the right attorney.
–          Title Search
–          Organized
–          Smooth transaction
–          Make sure you use an established and experienced closing attorney
–          You get what you pay for

Inspection and Due Diligence
The buyer and/or the buyer’s representatives have the right to enter the property at the buyer’s expense and at a reasonable or scheduled time to have inspections, tests and to survey property.  It is the duty of the buyer to inspect the neighborhood and become acquainted with all existing conditions (high voltage power lines, noise, cemeteries, crime etc.)

Property Disclosures
Lead-Based Paint
Disclosure Exhibit
If any portion of the property was built prior to 1978, the seller must attach an exhibit to the agreement.
Scenario: If the seller brought in a mantle that was built prior to 1978 and it was painted with lead-based paint and did not disclose it, it is possible a lawsuit could arise.

Representing Party
People need to be identified on how the agent is representing – listing broker, seller, buyer, etc..

Material Relationships to Disclose
–          Owner/Agent
–          Agent representing a relative
–          Investor/Company Owner/Agent

What is a Time Limit of Offer?
If we were to ask 100 agents “The offer will expire at 4pm.” What would they say it means?

Answer:  The offer dies at 4:00 PM.  A time limit of offer is the narrow field within a particular frame by which a decision is reached.  This is what is called the time of ACCEPTANCE.  It is the time in which to ACCEPT the offer,  or counter after that time.   Time is of the essence in an agreement.

That’s it for today guys!  If you have any questions about the Georgia real estate contract please visit us at www.atlantarealestatepodcast.com. You can search every property for sale in Atlanta at http://www.cobbcountyrealestate.com/.  There are a lot of goodies on that site…neighborhood forum, fill out the information on your neighborhood and be the first to know what is going on.  If we can serve you we are in the North Atlanta Market Place but if we can’t, use our agent finder service and we will help you find someone who thinks like we do. Contact Molly, she’s a cool gal. You can reach her at (678) 232-8618 or molly@callatlantahome.com and she will get you set up.  Then head over to itunes and give us a five star review.  If you have a topic you would like us to talk about or ideas let us know that too.


Get Automatic Updates In Your Community

Be “in the know” in your n’hood. Sign up for neighborhood alerts in your community.

Use Our Agent Matching Service

Need an agent who thinks like we do? Let us match you with the “right” agent. Fill in your information below and we’ll match you with two agents to interview.