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Real Estate Question: Do I need to be present for the closing?

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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Jason L.

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Posted June 16 2008 - 12:55 AM

I am coming back to the USA on vacation for several weeks in the next few months. There is a condominium I am looking at buying. I assume that I wouldn't be able to close fast enough on the property before I have to go back. Due to tax laws, I can't stay in the country for very long. Also, it would be annoying and costly to fly back a 2nd time just to close on the property. So my question is: Do I need to be physically present to close on a property? Can they just Fedex me the necessary documents to sign?

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted June 16 2008 - 02:03 AM

With the phone, emails, and over-night mail, you might be able to do it all that way. Another thing to consider is power-of-attorney. Do you have someone who trust to sign the documents? You could grant them a limited poa. Another thing to consider is a walk-thru inspection which is usually done by the buyer before closing. You need someone to do that for you.
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#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted June 16 2008 - 02:26 AM

I would guess the big problem is that you need a US notary to administer an oath while you sign some of the papers. I closed on selling my SJ house while here in Boise, but that was no problem: FedEx packages and a local notary were all that were required. Where do you live overseas? Can you come up with a US notary there, e.g. in a US embassy? You need to talk to your title company ASAP about signing requirements.
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#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted June 16 2008 - 07:55 AM

We have closed on two condos in South Carolina without being present. Everything was done via FedEx. As Dennis stated, though, the documents had to be witnessed by a notary. I'm not sure how that would work with you out of the country.

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Matt Stryker

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Posted June 16 2008 - 08:39 AM

I believe that the notary related things can be taken care of at a US Consulate (check the consul webpage for your country). But I think a more reasonable course would be to pursue closing while you are here - plenty of people want to close quick, and with months ahead of time to plan you could line up all the inspections, prefill offer letters and loan apps, etc. You might also check expat message boards to see if someone in your area is a notary living abroad - I considered becoming one to be able to offer services to folks here in Mexico, but I didn't have enough interest.

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Marianne


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Posted June 17 2008 - 03:49 AM

In the current housing climate you should be able to close quickly because all the people involved with closings are not exactly busy right now.

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   Jason L.

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Posted June 18 2008 - 03:07 AM

I am working on a military base in Djibouti. They have notaries here. I wonder how much faster the closing process is now compared to when I bought a condo back in 1999.

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Craig


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Posted June 18 2008 - 03:47 AM

Depends a lot on the state where the property is located. There are procedures that have to be followed and in some states it can take 2 or 3 times longer to close than in others.

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Matt Stryker

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Posted June 26 2008 - 03:17 PM

just as an update, I was in the US consulate in Mexico City today to get my newborn daughter her US citizenship/passport and noticed on the wall that a notary stamp at the embassy only costs $30 US. It also noted that it is still free to get arrested. Thank goodness.

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