Closing a Purchase or Sale Transaction from Outside the USA
Generally, Buyers or Sellers do not need to be physically present in the US for a transaction closing.
Below are a few comments that may be helpful when one considers closing in absentia in their country of origin.
1) Closing documents may be sent via email, fax, Federal Express or similar document delivery services.
2) Buyers purchasing with cash may conduct the entire transaction via facsimile or scan/email without the need to notarize the documents.
3) When the Buyer obtains a loan for the purchase of a property, the closing documents will need to be notarized and returned in original form.
4) Closing documents are always prepared in English. Documents not in English will have to be translated to English.
5) Consular officials at any U.S. embassy or consulate abroad can provide a service similar to the functions of a notary public in the United States. It is also possible to have a document notarized by a local foreign notary and then have the document authenticated by the appropriate foreign authority in a country party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents (which includes notarial documents.) For more information on this topic, please visit: http://travel.state.gov/law/judicial/financial_2086.html
6) Funds transfers from foreign countries are best completed in the form of a wire transfer. Wiring instructions for the recipient’s trust or escrow account will be provided to you or your real estate agent at the beginning of the completion process. Please note that there are generally charges rendered by both the originating and receiving financial institutions when initiating international wire transfers.
7) For convenience and future maintenance purposes, many foreign real estate investors choose to open a bank account in the United States. Many times services fees such as the above referenced may be reduced or eliminated altogether. A US domestic bank account also enables a property owner to more easily render property tax, association dues and assessment payments as well as simplifying any accounting relative to costs associated with maintaining the investment.