What do Canadian / European buyers need to consider before purchasing a Florida home?
Points to consider:
1) If considering to buy bankowned homes, get pre-approved or have proof of funds ready to present before finding the property. Preparing these documents can add precious time to the offer preparation process.
2) If making an offer on a short sale property, don't assume the listing agent has the asking price pre-approved and accepted by the seller's bank. If the listing agent has the asking price pre-approved, the purchasing process will be more straight forward.
3) Look for a Buyer's Agent who is Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). This means the agent has had formal training in international real estate by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Also that they are a member of NAR Global which gives them additional resources for international transactions. To get the CIPS certification, the agent must already have closed several international transactions successfully.
4) Obtaining a US tax ID or social security number at the time of buying will help the buyer avoid the withholding of 10% FIRPTA tax upon selling. Be ready ahead of time.
5) How long are you allowed to stay in the US per year? Do you know the visa options and application times and procedures? Have you considered an investor's visa?
6) If the property will be rented out, then:
Is it located in an area that has a "slow season"?
-How many times per year can the home be rented out?
-What is the minimum time period it can be rented out?
-Will you offer it for rent for the season, off-season or annually?
-Will it be most beneficial to offer it furnished or unfurnished?
-Supply an inventory and make sure it's signed by all parties.
-What happens if the tenant wants to buy the property?
-Make sure the listing agent marks the availability and pricing properly and in a timely manner. For example: "A" does not mean "Available", it means "Annual" price for that specific month.
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