Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Question

Land Division - Surplus

Do you sell any properties for $1?

According to State law and the Real Property Disposition Policy of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, the price of each property is based on its fair market value, which is determined by a qualified appraisal. We would only sell a property for $1 if its appraisal came back at $1.

Will I have time to arrange financing if I want to make a purchase?

All sales must be cash to the Seller (the County). Any financing must be done prior to the closing. Keep in mind that the County’s policy requires the Buyer to close within 30 days of the Notice of Award.

How often do you schedule your sales?

Sales are scheduled once properties have been declared surplus by the Board of Commissioners. There is no particular schedule. A sale may occur once or twice a year.

Do you have any houses for sale?

Whereas we may have a house for sale from time to time, most of the real estate that the County owns is commercial or institutional or vacant land. At this time, there are no surplus houses that are available for purchase.

Do you donate properties to non-profit organizations? Or is there a discount for non-profit organizations?

No. The County is prohibited from granting any donation or gratuity regardless of the worthiness of the purpose or the recipient. Where the public receives no substantial benefit, the donation or free use of county-owned property violates this constitutional prohibition.

According to State law and the Real Property Disposition Policy of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, the price of each property is based on its fair market value, which is determined by a qualified appraisal. Neither State Law nor County policy set out an exception for non-profit buyers.

Can I give my property in exchange for one you have for sale?

No. Neither State law nor the Real Property Disposition Policy of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners allow for the exchange of real property.

Do you give tax incentives or tax breaks if I buy your property?

The State law on the disposition of county-owned real estate does not address tax incentives or tax breaks. The Real Property Disposition Policy of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners does not provide for either tax incentives or tax breaks.

Do you pay closing costs?

No.

Do you pay real estate commissions?

We may. Under the current Real Property Disposition Policy of Fulton County, approved by the Board of Commissioners on August 1, 2012, the Land Administrator is empowered to list a property with a Georgia state-licensed real estate brokerage and pay a commission at closing. Or, the County may pay a real estate commission to the Selling Broker (called the Buyer’s Agent). Any decision regarding the payment of a commission will always be included in the Bid Package and marketing materials for each property offered for sale.

Under certain circumstances, the County may choose to engage an auctioneer to offer surplus properties to the public and pay certain costs of sale that may include a commission.

How do you decide which properties are placed on the market for sale?

There is a process prescribed by the County’s Real Property Disposition Policy. It requires the Land Administrator to assess a property’s current use and any plans for its possible future use and to conduct other due diligence research related to the property. In cases where the Land Administrator, supported by the County Manager, determines that it makes sense to dispose of the property, a recommendation is be made to the Board of Commissioners to declare the property surplus. Only if the recommendation is approved by the Board of Commissioners would the Land Division proceed to sell the property. The property would then be offered to the general public via sealed bid or public auction, according State law and the County’s Real Property Disposition Policy.

Can I do a lease purchase?

No. Currently the Real Property Disposition Policy of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners does not provide for us to finance a sale using a lease purchase arrangement.

Can I view the properties online?

Yes and no. We have made an effort to provide as much information as possible on the Fulton County web site, including a photograph of each property. Still, you are encouraged to make a site visit to each property for yourself. For properties that have locked structures or that are gated, the Land Division will make arrangements for an “Open House” when a staff person will meet the public at the property for an inspection opportunity. The date and time of the Open House will be provided in the Bid Package for each property offered for sale.

What are the required steps for purchasing a County owned property?

So glad you asked! Unlike the purchase and sale of real property in the private sector, governments are regulated by law and policy regarding the disposition of publicly-owned real property. By law, in Fulton County, we are permitted to sell surplus real property by sealed bid or auction. Our Board of Commissioners has selected the sealed bid process. It has a specific set of rules that govern how the real estate is offered for sale as well as how you must present your offer. Please see the Bid Information and Bid Package pages of this web site.

Are licensed nonprofits organizations given a preference when purchasing a property?

No. According to State law and the Real Property Disposition Policy of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, the price of each property is based on its fair market value, which is determined by a qualified appraisal. Neither State Law nor County policy set out an exception that would give non-profit buyers a preference of any kind.

Do County employees receive a discount?

No. According to Georgia State law and the Real Property Disposition Policy of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, there is no provision for selling property at a discount to employees of the County.

Will the county make repairs?

No. According to the Real Property Disposition Policy of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, County-owned real property is sold “as-is”, “where-is”, and “with all faults” and transferred by QUITCLAIM DEED only.

I understand that sometimes you may require the Buyer to be represented by a real estate broker. Why?

The real estate market is ever-changing. It can be very exciting and also very challenging. We have learned from experience that in the sale of surplus, distressed, and other government-owned real estate where Buyer and Seller alike are required to adhere to a unique set of rules, regulations and policies, it is prudent that each party have professional representation in order that their interests may reliably be represented.