Negatives buying resale when owner is outside US

kniquy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
I am curious, as a buyer, what negatives come along with buying from a seller who does not reside in the US. I am guessing that the length of time would be longer for the whole process. Are there any other fees or concerns one should have with this kind of purchase?
 
  • Jack_Sparrow_NJ

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2018
    My understanding is that it does indeed take more time. From what I have read the seller has to go to a US embassy to sign the paperwork. I assume that is so they can get it properly notarized.
     

    stuartsong

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2001
    In general, it may take little longer because of notarization of the documents. We've purchased from international seller without any issues. TSS did a great job of following up with both of us to make sure the transaction went smoothly.
     

    DVCBillyJoeBob

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 5, 2016
    In 2016 I purchased from an international seller and it took them a little longer (a little over a week) to send the documents back. The broker was in contact with them and it was related to getting the documents notarized. Nothing that could not happen with any sale, but more common with international. I would buy international again for the right contract.
     

    Bruin_mouse

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 24, 2018
    If I remember correctly the issue is that in most countries the only notarizations that are acceptable here are from US embassies, and it can be weeks to get an appointment with one of those notaries. I bought my first contract from sellers in Canada and there was no difference in the timeline from US sellers. From what I read some attorneys in Canada are US notaries or folks just cross the border into the US to get their documents notarized. Good luck!
     

    we"reofftoneverland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2015
    If you are paying cash, you have to give your social security number to the title company for tax purposes (in case the seller doesn't pay their taxes, uncle sam comes for you). Normally, if you are paying cash, you do not have to give your ss# at all. We prefer this route because we hate giving out our ss#.
     

    Bruin_mouse

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 24, 2018
    If you are paying cash, you have to give your social security number to the title company for tax purposes (in case the seller doesn't pay their taxes, uncle sam comes for you). Normally, if you are paying cash, you do not have to give your ss# at all. We prefer this route because we hate giving out our ss#.
    PP is talking about FIRPTA. It's not a huge deal but it's something to be aware of.
     

    MB_01

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2018
    I got mine from someone in Canada. I don't remember the exact timeframe of everything but from offer to points in my account was 75 days. The only real landmine I know about is FIRPTA. Google it. The seller is responsible to pay it but if they don't you are on the hook for it. There should be a line somewhere in your closing documents where it is Seller paid at closing. It's like 15% of the selling price so it isn't small change... Don't sign anything if it isn't in there!

    This is how the description from the IRS reads:
    In most cases, the transferee/buyer is the withholding agent. If you are the transferee/buyer you must find out if the transferor is a foreign person. If the transferor is a foreign person and you fail to withhold, you may be held liable for the tax. For cases in which a U.S. business entity such as a corporation or partnership disposes of a U.S. real property interest, the business entity itself is the withholding agent.
     

    we"reofftoneverland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2015
    PP is talking about FIRPTA. It's not a huge deal but it's something to be aware of.
    Yes, I agree that FIRPTA is not a big deal (just make sure title co is on top of it). We just prefer to avoid giving out our ss#s if it is not absolutely necessary. If you are financing, your ss#/s are already on the documents, so that changes the situation. Or at least would for us.
     

    sndral

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 3, 2008
    Ironically, my first resale purchase from USA based divorcing sellers took longer than my second resale purchase from sellers located in England. Finding a notary was not a problem as they had their documents signed and on their way fairly promptly, although they did send them via normal post, so that added maybe 10 days to the end.
    I was aware going in of the remote chance of a FIRTPA issue, but the escrow/holding company is responsible for dealing w/ that. I think it helps w/ getting a slightly lower price from a buyer's perspective since there are buyers who don't want to deal w/ international contracts, so the very remote possibility that the escrow/holding company would mess up the documents and the IRS would come calling and I'd have the hassle of sorting it all out, was worth the risk to get the right contract at a decent price. YMMV.
     
    Last edited:

    DougEMG

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2008
    If I remember correctly the issue is that in most countries the only notarizations that are acceptable here are from US embassies, and it can be weeks to get an appointment with one of those notaries. I bought my first contract from sellers in Canada and there was no difference in the timeline from US sellers. From what I read some attorneys in Canada are US notaries or folks just cross the border into the US to get their documents notarized. Good luck!
    I'm from Canada, when we sold one of our contracts we just took it to a public notary to get signed, so no hassle or time delay for the buyer.

    When I bought my last contract a few months ago, the US seller took weeks to get around to returning their signed documents.
     

    AdamsMum

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2009
    Also Canadian here. When I sold one of my contracts I think in 2016, maybe 2017 I had my own lawyer notarize the documents, no one said it had to be a U.S. notary. I put them in priority post within 48 hours. The only delay was that Canada Post didn't do what they were supposed to do. When they didn't show up with the timeshare company, I resent them Fedex.

    Also the FIRTPA was deducted from my proceeds before I even got my hands on the money. There was no option for me not to pay it, I was made aware of that in the initial phase of listing. I guess that's the responsibility of the closing company.
     

    rg35

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2012
    I honestly didn't even know my first contract was an Int'l seller until the closing docs came. It is pretty seamless if you have a responsive seller.
    Same for us. Our sellers were in the UK and we had no idea until we got the documents.
     

    Wakey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 22, 2015
    In the U.K. a notary public can do the notarization, doesn’t have to be US Embassy, so it shouldn’t really take any more time with a U.K. seller.
     

    DduzDis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2017
    In the U.K. a notary public can do the notarization, doesn’t have to be US Embassy, so it shouldn’t really take any more time with a U.K. seller.
    I think our seller is in the UK. This is good to hear. I don't mind it taking a little longer. But, it would be cool if it didn't.
     

    kboo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2014
    I was aware going in of the remote chance of a FIRTPA issue, but the escrow/holding company is responsible for dealing w/ that. I think it helps w/ getting a slightly lower price from a buyer's perspective since there are buyers who don't want to deal w/ international contracts, so the very remote possibility that the escrow/holding company would mess up the documents and the IRS would come calling and I'd have the hassle of sorting it all out, was worth the risk to get the right contract at a decent price. YMMV.
    I have absolutely no evidence to support this, but I think international sellers's contracts are less likely to get ROFR'd , also because of the possible FIRPTA/withholding issue. But again, that is just my WAG. (wild *** guess)
     

    DduzDis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2017
    I have absolutely no evidence to support this, but I think international sellers's contracts are less likely to get ROFR'd , also because of the possible FIRPTA/withholding issue. But again, that is just my WAG. (wild *** guess)
    I'm really hoping you're right and one reason I didn't mind having an Int'l seller on this one. I'll be able to weigh in in a week or so....
     

    hlhlaw07

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 27, 2008
    I have purchased 3 contracts resale, with two being from international sellers. While both international contracts took much longer than the domestic contract, the deals with the international sellers were better.

    However, my last contract with an international seller is still pending even though Disney waived ROFR in October and I received/returned closing documents in November. This seller is from a South American country and required an appointment at the embassy to notarize the documents. That took quite some time. Now the seller has only returned some of the documents. It doesn’t help that the seller doesn’t speak English and apparently the ability to call them is limited, leaving the broker’s ability to communicate only through email. The contract was completely stripped until 2020, so I’m not in a rush and it was a really good deal price wise so I’m holding out hope that closing will eventually happen with a little patience. The only thing I have to lose by continuing to wait is the use of my money while its being held in escrow. If it wasn’t such a great deal (one that would not likely pass ROFR now) I would walk.

    So, you will probably get a better deal with an international seller, and like @kboo stated I think Disney is more apt to waive with an international seller. Just don’t enter into the transaction without your patience!
     

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