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I'm sorry to hear about your situation. You can most likely get that money back, as it was "promissory estoppel" (in that you did have an oral agreement where he promised this to you and you relied upon the agreement to your financial detriment). You wouldn't have a case for him to actually sell and transfer you the property, as contracts for the sale of real estate have to be in writing, signed by the "party to be charged" (the party you're seeking to enforce the contract against. This is called the "statute of frauds".
Here's the specific Georgia statute:
O.C.G.A. 13-5-30 (2010)
13-5-30. Agreements required to be in writing
To make the following obligations binding on the promisor, the promise must be in writing and signed by the party to be charged therewith or some person lawfully authorized by him:
(1) A promise by an executor, administrator, guardian, or trustee to answer damages out of his own estate;
(2) A promise to answer for the debt, default, or miscarriage of another;
(3) Any agreement made upon consideration of marriage, except marriage articles as provided in Article 3 of Chapter 3 of Title 19;
(4) Any contract for sale of lands, or any interest in, or concerning lands;
As it was a verbal agreement, it would not be binding. Again, you could use promissory estoppel to get that money back that you reasonably paid in reliance of that agreement, but you wouldn't be able to get the benefit of the bargain (the property).
Send a demand letter demanding payment within 30 days, otherwise you will pursue legal action against him, seeking that amount plus any additional damages as allowed by law. Send this letter certified, return receipt requested, as well as a copy sent regular mail. Keep a copy for yourself, as well as the return receipt number so that you can show the court that you made a demand for the amount paid.
Do a search on the web for your county and "small claims court." You should find either a website or phone number to the small claims clerk. Ask them what you need to do to bring such a lawsuit. The small claims clerk will give you guidance on how to file this suit and how to get the other party served with notice. You will receive a hearing date, at which you should present your evidence and ask for a judgment for the amount that you paid.
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!