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Moving to the USA and Purchasing a Property

Jul 02. 2019

Working closely with our international agents in the states, we have moved numerous families and individuals to all parts of the USA. Here we gathered together a few points to outline the process of buying property and how it differs to buying property in the UK, as well as some of the standard costs involved in buying process.

The process
Unlike in the UK, the property buying process will involve a realtor/ agent to assist you regardless of the properties listing company. They are affiliated to a company, rather than being an employee of an estate agency. Your realtor/agent will find homes that suit your criteria from the ‘Multiple Listing System’ (MLS).

Once you’ve chosen a property, the agent prepares an offer to purchase it. The seller is required to sign it for it to become a binding contract. A deposit will then need to be made and this can be as much as 30% for non-residents.

Ordinarily the buyer will instruct a licensed home inspector to carry out a detailed inspection of the property to flag up any issues with the property or to highlight repairs that need to be made. The buyer and the realtor can be present during this and the realtor will generally deal with negotiations of any problems raised with the seller.

An appraiser will view the property, as part of the process, to generate a report of the property’s market value. Alongside this, a title search is run to make sure that the property has no remaining charges and building permits are closed.

Ultimately, an attorney or title insurance company can then close the real estate transaction.

The costs involved:
The realtor/agent dealing with the property, charges a fee based on the sales price. These fees do vary, but can be up to 6% of the sale price.

The costs can compose of documentary stamps necessary to record the deed with the local authority and the title insurance policy. These costs can be negotiated as they are payable by either the buyer or the seller.

Both parties do have to split the cost of the attorney or title company costs to close the transaction.

If you’re considering a move the USA and would like further advice on the process of moving your household effects and/or vehicles to any part of the states, our International Department are on hand to answer your questions and can be contacted on 01902 714555 or emailed sales@burkebros.co.uk

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