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Buying or selling your single family or Atlanta luxury home home can seem overwhelming if you’re new to the experience, out of the market for aperiod, or lack access to the Atlanta real estate tools needed to make informed decisions.

Real Estate Tools Home

We’ve assembled the needed Atlanta real estate tools and links, accessed through the left menus that will prepare you to make those decisions and drive toward a successful home ownership contract.

For more information or assistance, contact Dillard & Company at or call us at 404-237-5000.



The relationship between brokers, buyers and sellers must be disclosed to all parties to the real estate transaction. Dillard & Company offers agency relationships to both buyers and sellers. We are happy to send materials or provide advice that will help you decide which agency relationship best fits your need. Atlanta real estate tools.


The offer to purchase is usually provided to the seller by the selling (listing) broker. This document will include all terms of the proposed agreement and must be accompanied by an earnest money check from the buyer (purchaser). Once the offer is negotiated and signed by all parties, it becomes a legally binding (enforceable) contract. Both buyer and seller should make sure they understand all terms and conditions of the offer before signing and should seek legal counsel if they have doubts or concerns. Atlanta real estate tools.


The buyer must make an earnest money deposit of approximately 5%, or an amount acceptable to the seller, at the time of offer submission. A personal check is acceptable. If the seller accepts the offer, the earnest money is immediately deposited in the broker’s escrow account. It is held in the account until closing, at which time the earnest money is applied toward the purchaser’s down payment and/or closing costs. If the offer to purchase is rejected by the seller, the earnest money check is never deposited and is returned. Atlanta real estate tools.


Contracts are generally contingent upon the buyer’s ability to secure the financing described in the contract within a specified period, and may be rescinded by the buyer if, after diligent search, the loan described is not available. Atlanta real estate tools.


Commitments on conventional mortgage loans are for a set period, usually from 30 to 60 days. Commitments for longer periods, such as those required for the purchase of incomplete new construction, require a non-refundable fee that is applied toward closing costs. This fee is typically equal to 1% of the mortgage amount and paid at the time the mortgage application is approved. Atlanta real estate tools.


Closing and transfer of title, from seller to buyer, generally takes place within 30 to 60 days after acceptance of the contract to purchase. Occasionally, there are unavoidable delays in securing loan approval. Be aware that even the most diligent agent will have no control over the loan approval timeline once your loan application has been submitted. Atlanta real estate tools.


Occupancy generally takes place 2 to 3 days after the closing and this period is usually provided rent free to the seller. A specific date of occupancy is negotiable and is a term of the contract. Atlanta real estate tools.


Closings generally take place at an attorney’s office, with all parties to the transaction being present. The listing and selling agents and/or brokers are also present. Atlanta real estate tools.


Most closings in this area are handled by the attorney representing the mortgage company, whose fee is paid by the mortgage company and is part of the closing costs. The closing attorney is responsible for the title examination, recording of the documents, etc. Buyers and sellers are encouraged to seek private counsel to resolve any legal questions regarding the transaction or to have their counsel accompany them to the closing. In those instances where no mortgage company is involved, the purchaser may engage, at his expense, any attorney he chooses to handle the transaction. Atlanta real estate tools.


Down payments and closing costs must be provided in the form of a cashier’s/certified check, payable to the purchaser, who endorses the check at closing. An estimate of closing costs may be obtained, from the mortgage company, at the time of the loan application.


Mortgagee’s title insurance, in an amount equal to the amount of the loan, which protects the lender only, is required by all lending institutions. Purchasers are encouraged and advised to obtain owners’ title insurance for the full value of the residence, or to discuss this matter with legal counsel.


Purchasers are required to bring a fire and hazard insurance policy to the closing and, if applicable, a flood insurance policy. The minimum value of this policy should be equivalent to the loan amount. One year’s premium must be paid prior to, or at closing and the policy must contain a loss-payable clause in favor of the lender. Should you pay for the policy before closing, you must furnish the paid receipt at the closing.


Most real estate contracts require the seller to warrant, to the purchaser, that at time of closing, the property will be in the same condition as it was on the date the purchaser signed the agreement to purchase, normal wear and tear excepted. It is the purchaser’s responsibility to inspect and ensure that all appliances contractually included with the premises, and the heating, air conditioning, plumbing (including without limitation, septic tank system or systems, pool and spa) and electrical systems are in normal operating condition prior to closing, as the seller’s responsibility, for these systems, ceases at closing.

It is common practice for the Purchase and Sale Agreement to contain a contingency allowing the purchaser to obtain a complete inspection of the home?s structure and mechanical systems. Inspections can be accomplished by employing the inspector of your choice. The cost of the inspection, born by the purchaser, ranges from a flat fee of $150.00 to $1.50 per thousand of the sales price. Purchaser and seller typically negotiate the process for and payments required to correct any defects discovered during the inspection.


It is common practice for the Seller to provide to Purchaser at closing, at Seller’s expense, a report from a licensed pest control operator on a standard form conforming to Georgia Structural Pest Control Commission regulations, stating that the main dwelling has been inspected and found to be free from visible evidence of active infestation by termite or other wood destroying organisms. If visible evidence of active or previous infestation is found, Seller agrees to (a) correct said infestation and structural damages resulting from said infestation and provide documentation evidencing correction of same and/or (b) provide documentation, satisfactory to lender (if applicable), indicating that there is no structural damage resulting from any previous infestation. If any additional inspections and/or reports are requested by Purchaser or Purchaser’s Lender, costs, if any, for such inspection(s) and/or report(s) shall be paid by Purchaser.


Purchasers concerned with this issue may secure a radon test.

Real Estate Glossary

For more information or assistance, contact Dillard & Company at or call us at 404-237-5000.