International Seller Delayed Closing?

justme0729

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 11, 2014
We were scheduled to close by September 12th but I got this email from our broker. Should I be worried? It sounds like our sale will go through but we just need to wait (which is fine). Anyone else had this happen and how long after scheduled closing did you actually close?

Message:
I wanted to give you an update the seller has been working very hard and processing all the proper documents with the US consulate they informed him that they would have his paperwork by this week however he is still awaiting a response before he received those documents and is able to forward them to the title company.

He greatly apologizes for the delay and is working very hard to get everything back and closed.
 

KAT4DISNEY

Glad to be a test subject
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Over the years there have been quite a few reports of difficulties for international sellers to get the sales documents notarized as is required. Getting appointments to get in to have it done etc. So no, this would not send up any red flags for me other than that it's just going to take a little longer than previously thought.
 
  • Scat5

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 15, 2018
    .......

    Message:
    I wanted to give you an update the seller has been working very hard and processing all the proper documents with the US consulate they informed him that they would have his paperwork by this week however he is still awaiting a response before he received those documents and is able to forward them to the title company.

    He greatly apologizes for the delay and is working very hard to get everything back and closed.
    I’d actually question the bit about a US consulate. I’m an international seller and all I had to do was get my documents notarised which is a straightforward process. There’s no involvement with the US consulate, it would be interesting to know who the title company are, if they’ve told the seller he needs to go to the consulate then they are the ones causing the delay.

    On a side note, I recently sold 3 contracts and had my documents back with the title company within a couple of days. I then had to wait nearly 3 weeks on two of the buyers, so I don’t think being international causes extra delays. I’m sure there are plenty of delays on non international contracts as well, plus not all delays are seller related.

    It does sound like your contract will go through, hopefully it won’t be much longer.
     

    keaster

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 27, 2008
    From an international BUYER perspective...We are in Canada and purchased an Aulani contract resale in January. We did have to go to the US consulate in Toronto to have them notarize the contract for us (from what I understand if we had bought a WDW contract a regular notary would have been okay, but Hawaii has different rules.)
     

    drusba

    I went to Iowa once, and it was closed.
    Joined
    Aug 19, 1999
    Delays on international sales occur often, including because of the pain of getting things notarized, which as as noted above, is usually a more complex problem than getting something notarized in the US.

    You also have an issue to be aware of and make sure the broker or closing company is taking care of it: a federal statute with the acronym FIRPTA. Under it, the "transferee," meaning you the buyer, are required to withhold 15% of the sale price and turn it over to the IRS to cover capital gains taxes the seller, who is from a foreign country, might owe on the sale. If you fail to to do the withholding, you can be pursued by the IRS for that 15% in addition to what you paid for the purchase. What exists is a usual process to work through that withholding statute. The reality is that sales of timeshares do not usually result in capital gains anywhere near 15% of the sale price, if any capital gains at all. The broker or closing company sets up an escrow to hold 15% of the sale price from the seller until the seller files a tax return and pays any tax owed. At or shortly before the time of closing, a form is submitted to show what the actual capital gains will be and the IRS usually gives an approval to allow withholding only that actual amount and then the full tax form is submitted after the sale and the tax is paid. You should confirm the proper processes are being followed because there have been some rare reports in the past where the broker and closing company apparently had no idea the statute existed.
     

    Jason@dvcstore

    I support "addonitis"
    Approved Advertiser
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2005
    Over the years there have been quite a few reports of difficulties for international sellers to get the sales documents notarized as is required. Getting appointments to get in to have it done etc. So no, this would not send up any red flags for me other than that it's just going to take a little longer than previously thought.
    I agree.
     

    mustinjourney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 8, 2016
    We were scheduled to close by September 12th but I got this email from our broker. Should I be worried? It sounds like our sale will go through but we just need to wait (which is fine). Anyone else had this happen and how long after scheduled closing did you actually close?

    Message:
    I wanted to give you an update the seller has been working very hard and processing all the proper documents with the US consulate they informed him that they would have his paperwork by this week however he is still awaiting a response before he received those documents and is able to forward them to the title company.

    He greatly apologizes for the delay and is working very hard to get everything back and closed.
    Why would The US consulate have his documents? The only thing necessary is for him to get a notary, which is located at the consulate or embassy. But they don’t do anything with the paperwork. They literally just notarize.
     

    lawboy2001

    DVC since 2013 @ BLT and AUL
    Joined
    Jun 15, 2013
    I’d actually question the bit about a US consulate. I’m an international seller and all I had to do was get my documents notarised which is a straightforward process. There’s no involvement with the US consulate, it would be interesting to know who the title company are, if they’ve told the seller he needs to go to the consulate then they are the ones causing the delay.

    On a side note, I recently sold 3 contracts and had my documents back with the title company within a couple of days. I then had to wait nearly 3 weeks on two of the buyers, so I don’t think being international causes extra delays. I’m sure there are plenty of delays on non international contracts as well, plus not all delays are seller related.

    It does sound like your contract will go through, hopefully it won’t be much longer.
    It sounds like the seller lives in Canada. Canada is not a signatory to an international treaty pertaining to the admission of notarized documents, so if the OPs seller is in Canada, s/he will have to go to the US embassy or consulate to et the documents notarized.

    If you live in a country that is a signatory to the international treaty, you would not need to go through this step.
     

    Madame

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 15, 2014
    It sounds like the seller lives in Canada. Canada is not a signatory to an international treaty pertaining to the admission of notarized documents, so if the OPs seller is in Canada, s/he will have to go to the US embassy or consulate to et the documents notarized.

    If you live in a country that is a signatory to the international treaty, you would not need to go through this step.
    I think that @pangyal used a Canadian notary, but can correct me if I’m wrong. & couldn’t we just cross the border & use a US notary?
     

    pangyal

    #TeamSven
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2014
    It sounds like the seller lives in Canada. Canada is not a signatory to an international treaty pertaining to the admission of notarized documents, so if the OPs seller is in Canada, s/he will have to go to the US embassy or consulate to et the documents notarized.

    If you live in a country that is a signatory to the international treaty, you would not need to go through this step.
    Just out of curiousity, could you clarify for me why I can go to almost any lawyer/notary here in Toronto and they can notarize any documents for the USA for me, anytime? Isn’t there an agreement between the two countries to accept each other’s notarizations?

    Edit- I know this might have sounded snarky and that is not my intent. I genuinely am not following :).
     

    CarolMN

    DVC Co-Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    OP never said the seller resides in Canada. That was an assumption made by another poster. It's not uncommon to hear about "notary issues" encountered by those who reside in some foreign countries.
     

    Mumof4mice

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 4, 2018
    If the broker is advising the seller to go to the US consulate, that could indeed cause significant delays (by the time they make an appointment and wait to be seen).

    In most countries one can pay to have documents witnessed by a Notary Public. Here in Australia a lot of NPs are retired attorneys earning a bit of cash on the side. The one I use charges $150 for a 15 minute appointment at his home office. I can always get in same day. I wonder if the broker had a previous seller who had the notarization done for free at the consulate to save costs. Then they assumed all international sellers have to do the same?
     
    Last edited:

    justme0729

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2014
    We just got an email yesterday that they have received the documents and should close in 1-2 days :) I did make sure our title company was taking care of the FIRPTA/ HARPTA.
     

    4evryoung

    4evryoung
    Joined
    Aug 13, 2005
    In most countries one can pay to have documents witnessed by a Notary Public.
    I am a seller who lives in the UK. Notary services used to be provided in my local bank. This is no longer the case.

    There is no notary in my town. The nearest is in a neighbouring city, but he only works on a Friday afternoon. It can take a week to get an appointment. The DHL courier in the city closes early on a Friday. This means that it can take at least 7 days between receipt of closing documents and me sending them back. This delay is not because of any bad faith on my part, but reflects the fact that many parts of the world no longer require notorisation of documents.

    If I used the U.S Embassy notorisation service, an appointment would have to be booked and the train fare would cost me in the region of $300 before Embassy charges. It would not be any quicker.

    When set against Disney's delays in ROFR (running at 21-30 days, currently) , the delay in closing for an international seller having to seek notorisation services is marginal.
     

    we"reofftoneverland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2015
    Wow, crazy world. o_O We have a package store in the strip mall 5 minutes from our house, and a UPS store in the strip mall 10 minutes from our house. Both charge about $10 for notary. But we go to our local Chase bank branch which is also 5 minutes from our house and get it free. They provide notary services free for account holders.
     

    Mumof4mice

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 4, 2018
    I am a seller who lives in the UK. Notary services used to be provided in my local bank. This is no longer the case.

    There is no notary in my town. The nearest is in a neighbouring city, but he only works on a Friday afternoon. It can take a week to get an appointment. The DHL courier in the city closes early on a Friday. This means that it can take at least 7 days between receipt of closing documents and me sending them back. This delay is not because of any bad faith on my part, but reflects the fact that many parts of the world no longer require notorisation of documents.

    If I used the U.S Embassy notorisation service, an appointment would have to be booked and the train fare would cost me in the region of $300 before Embassy charges. It would not be any quicker.

    When set against Disney's delays in ROFR (running at 21-30 days, currently) , the delay in closing for an international seller having to seek notorisation services is marginal.
    Does anyone know if the State of Florida recognises NotaryCam (www.notarycam.com)?

    I have used NotaryCam for contracts in California and found it to be the easiest and cheapest option. Americans are so lucky with the $10 UPS notarizations!
     

    lawboy2001

    DVC since 2013 @ BLT and AUL
    Joined
    Jun 15, 2013
    Just out of curiousity, could you clarify for me why I can go to almost any lawyer/notary here in Toronto and they can notarize any documents for the USA for me, anytime? Isn’t there an agreement between the two countries to accept each other’s notarizations?

    Edit- I know this might have sounded snarky and that is not my intent. I genuinely am not following :).
    I don't know. I'm just speaking of the legal aspects of this; your personal experience may vary. Just because someone accepted your Canadian notarized document doesn't make it suddenly legal. In my case, and in the case of the OP I believe, the entity requiring the notarization is aware of the legal requirements and is requiring the document to be notarized at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Canada. That is what the law requires. Perhaps the recipients of your documents were not aware of the legalities of notarizing documents in Canada?
     

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