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Georgia Real Estate Contract

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What is a Georgia Real Estate Contract?

A Georgia real estate contract, often called a residential purchase and sale agreement, is a legally binding contract that is entered into by two parties (a buyer and seller) when transferring the ownership of real property.

The contract is drafted when a buyer makes an offer on a property that is for sale by a seller. Once the seller accepts the offer, the contract becomes legally binding and enforceable as long as it adheres to all applicable real estate and contract law.

A real estate contract must include specific details about the transaction in addition to tasks and requirements that must be met to finalize the deal. It is common to see the following issues addressed in a real estate contract:

  • Agreed upon purchase price
  • Description of the property
  • Contingencies
  • Disclosures
  • Deadlines and closing date

Common Georgia Real Estate Contracts

There are several types of Georgia real estate contracts that each serve a different purpose. These contracts include:

  • Residential real estate contract. Used when buying or selling a piece of land or a building that will be used for housing.
  • Commercial real estate contract . Used when buying or selling a piece of property or a building that is zoned for operating a business like a store or an office building.
  • Real estate assignment contract. Used when purchasing investment properties because this agreement allows the buyer to assign the contract to a second buyer.
  • Lease agreement. Also called a rental agreement, this contract is used when a property owner wants to rent their property to a tenant.

When purchasing residential real estate in Georgia, the most common contract used is the Georgia Association of Realtors purchase and sale agreement. This form is approved by the association and includes all necessary components of a valid real estate contract.

4 Essential Elements of a Georgia Real Estate Contract

In Georgia, there are 4 essential elements that make a real estate contract valid and enforceable. These elements are:

  1. Mutual agreement or assent between the parties to enter the contract
  2. A valid offer by the buyer and acceptance of the offer by the seller
  3. Adequate consideration which is the exchange of items of value
  4. A legal purpose and legally competent parties

If any of these elements are missing from the contract, the contract will be deemed invalid and unenforceable by law.

Is Georgia a Buyer Beware State?

Yes. Georgia follows the laws of caveat emptor, commonly called “buyer beware”. This means that buyers cannot win a fraud claim against a seller for failing to disclose a defect in the property if the defect could have been found by inspection. This principle puts the burden on the buyer to ensure that thorough inspections of the property are conducted prior to agreeing to purchase the house.

Can a Buyer Back Out of a Real Estate Contract in Georgia?

It is possible for a buyer to back out of a real estate contract in Georgia because buyers are protected by contingencies within the real estate contract. A contingency is a term that must be met to finalize the sale of the property. Common contingencies include the appraisal contingency and the financing contingency.

Many Georgia real estate contracts also include a due diligence period. During the due diligence period, a buyer can terminate the contract for any reason. This gives buyers the time to complete a home inspection, research the neighborhood, and ensure that they are committed to purchasing the home.

Due diligence periods are negotiable but the most common time frame for this period is between one and two weeks.

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Kendall C. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
March 10, 2023

Kendall C.

Chief Counsel
Free Consultation
Suwanee, Georgia
23 Yrs Experience
Licensed in GA, TX
Tulane University

Kendall is a data privacy attorney by trade, and is an active member of the Bar in Texas and Georgia. In litigation, he handled thousands of cases to final disposition in litigation throughout the United States, Latin America, & Europe. As corporate counsel, he guides companies through the marketing and advertising industry and, by extension, many other industries. Further, Kendall is an adherent to the Ben Hogan school of swing thought and, by natural extension, is a proponent of accurate wedge play through residential neighborhoods. He occasionally aspires to a career in turf management.

AJ M. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
May 8, 2023

AJ M.

Managing Partner
Free Consultation
Atlanta, Georgia
27 Yrs Experience
Licensed in GA
U. Southern California

⛵AJ has practiced in entertainment, technology, intellectual property, data privacy and protection, a broad array of domestic and international transactions, finance, and as outside General Counsel for startup and growth companies.

Bobby H. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
June 22, 2023

Bobby H.

Associate Attorney
Free Consultation
Atlanta, Georgia
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in GA
University of Miami School of Law

Bobby E. Hill, Jr. is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and holds undergraduate degrees in music and business administration from Xavier University of Louisiana. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law where he was a staff and articles editor for the school’s Race & Social Justice Law Review and a student attorney in the institution’s Immigration Clinic. In addition to freelancing, Bobby is currently a litigation associate at Johnson & Freeman, LLC, a boutique litigation firm in Atlanta, Georgia, where he practices in the firm's Condemnation, Probate, Real Estate Litigation, Real Estate Transactions, E-Discovery and Business and General Civil Litigation Practice areas. In this role, Bobby has acquired appreciable experience in drafting memoranda of law for partners and senior counsel, and all litigation related pleadings including pleadings related to dispositive motions, discovery, appeals, and other post-judgment relief.

Bukhari N. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
March 30, 2023

Bukhari N.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Atlanta, Georgia
15 Yrs Experience
Licensed in GA
Howard University School of Law

Bukhari Nuriddin is the Owner of The Nuriddin Law Company, P.C., in Atlanta, Georgia and an “Of Counsel” attorney with The Baig Firm specializing in Transactional Law and Wills, Trusts and Estates. He is an attorney at law and general counsel with extensive experience providing creative, elegant and practical solutions to the legal and policy challenges faced by entrepreneurs, family offices, and municipalities. During his legal careers he has worked with entrepreneurs from a wide array of industries to help them establish and grow their businesses and effectuate their transactional goals. He has helped establish family offices with millions of dollars in assets under management structure their estate plans and philanthropic endeavors. He recently completed a large disparity study for the City of Birmingham, Alabama that was designed to determine whether minority and women-owned businesses have an equal opportunity to participate in city contracting opportunities. He is a trusted advisor with significant knowledge and technical experience for structuring and finalizing a wide variety of complex commercial transactions, estate planning matters and public policy initiatives. Raised in Providence, Rhode Island, Bukhari graduated from Classical High School and attended Morehouse College and Howard University School of Law. Bukhari has two children with his wife, Tiffany, and they live in the Vinings area of Smyrna.

Karen M. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
April 14, 2023

Karen M.

Managing Member
Free Consultation
Atlanta, Georgia
25 Yrs Experience
Licensed in GA
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Karen V. Mills is the founding member of the woman-owned boutique law firm Mills Law, LLC, based in Atlanta, Georgia, specializing in contracts, corporate transactional and business law.

Julius T. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
August 20, 2023

Julius T.

General Counsel
Free Consultation
Atlanta, Georgia
21 Yrs Experience
Licensed in GA
University of Georgia School of Law

With 20 years of law practice experience, Julius is an accomplished and experienced attorney. Julius provides counsel to individuals, businesses, churches and other nonprofits, ministry leaders, and entertainment and creative artists on matters involving drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts; corporate formation and governance; real estate transactions; information technology; employment and human resources concerns, and last wills and testaments. A graduate of Emory University and the University of Georgia School of Law, Julius has notably served as counsel to the Georgia General Assembly (Georgia House of Representatives and Georgia State Senate) and the City of Atlanta / Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Julius is also a licensed Realtor® and a native Atlantan.

Nancy B. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
June 17, 2023

Nancy B.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Dalton, Georgia
34 Yrs Experience
Licensed in GA
Albany Law School, Albany, NY

I was born in Charlotte, NC and primarily raised in Dalton, GA. I graduated from Dalton High School in 1981 where I was in the band and the French club. I also participated in Junior Achievement and was a member of Tri-Hi-Y. New York granted my first license as an attorney in 1990. I then worked as a partner in the firm of Broda and Burnett for almost 10 years and as a solo practitioner for about 2 years. I worked as a general practitioner (primarily doing divorces, child abuse cases, custody matters and other family law matters, bankruptcy, real estate closings, contracts, taxes, etc.) and as a Law Guardian (attorney who represents children). I obtained my license in Tennessee in December 2002 and began working as an associate at Blackburn & McCune from February of 2003 until May of 2005. At Blackburn & McCune I provided telephone legal counsel to Prepaid Legal Services (now known as Legal Shield) members, wrote letters for members, reviewed contracts, attended hearings on traffic ticket matters and represented members with regard to IRS matters. In May of 2005, I went to work for North American Satellite Corporation where I served as Corporate Counsel. I handled a number of taxation issues, reviewed and wrote contracts, counseled the CEO and Board of Directors on avoiding legal problems and resolving disputes, and represented employees on a variety of matters, and also assisted the company for a period of time as its Director of Accounting. In 2010, I volunteered as a law clerk for Judge Robert Adams in Dalton, Georgia until I obtained my license to practice law in Georgia in November, 2010. In Georgia, I have handled a variety of family law matters, drafted wills, advanced health care directives, power of attorney documents, reviewed and drafted contracts, and conducted real estate closings. Currently, I accept cases in the areas of adoption, child support, custody, divorce, legitimation and other family law matters. In addition, I handle name change petitions and draft wills.

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Real Estate

Real Estate Contract

Georgia

Asked on Mar 24, 2022

How many years does a quick claim become effective?s

Number of years for quick claim to be effect ive

Meghan T.

Answered Mar 29, 2022

A quit claim deed is effective upon execution so long as the deed is dated as of the date of signature. Execution means that the deed is signed, in front of a witness and a notary. The witness and notary must also sign the deed. Finally, the deed must be recorded. This means that the deed must be submitted to the Superior Court recording office of the County in which the property sits. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, Meghan K Thomas

Read 1 attorney answer>

Real Estate

Real Estate Contract

Georgia

Asked on Mar 18, 2022

WHAT ARE YOUR FEES TO PERFORM QUIT CLAIM DEED COMPLETE BUTTS COUNTY GEORGIA 30233

SON AND EX

Meghan T.

Answered Mar 29, 2022

Hi. The cost for my practice to prepare a Quit Claim Deed is $99. The Cost for me to handle the closing is $250 plus recording fees. These costs apply for any county within the state of Georgia. Let me know if you have any more questions. Meghan K Thomas

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Real Estate

Real Estate Contract

New York

Asked on Dec 26, 2021

Can you purchase or refinance under a land contract?

I’ve been living here for 2 years. Currently have been working with my credit union and they are having a terrible time trying to understand the legalities of my land contract first off, and secondly they just don’t seem to know what they are doing. It’s been over 8 months, 4 different loan officers and I’m once again waiting for someone else to help finish this thing out. It’s only $60,000 with a $120,000 appraisal. So, as of now I am stuck paying 2.5x monthly under this land contract than I was promised would be an easy mortgage process. So any guidance in the right direction would be very helpful. It’s a New York home. 20 yr fixed, no balloon, with a (brace yourself) 12% apr. HELP ME PLEASE! One month I’m being told to authorize a credit check for a first time homebuyer grant method of mortgaging this property. The next it’s authorizing it for a refinance. I do have earnest money deposits for over $3,000 and another $3000 paid towards principal under this land contract also.

Jane C.

Answered Jan 11, 2022

I suggest you speak with a New York real estate attorney. That attorney needs to review the documents related to the transaction.

Read 1 attorney answer>

Real Estate

Real Estate Contract

Illinois

Asked on Mar 27, 2022

what is better to buy land or rent for construction in US?

we are a construction company from Ukraine, we are planning to build a cottage town in the USA

T. Phillip B.

Answered Apr 5, 2022

I suppose it doesn't matter if you have the lease giving you permission and the lease is long enough to justify the building expense when you won't own it. But I'd buy the land so you could eventually sell the property with the building on it.

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