Currency, visa status on list of things to do

Getting money from a foreign country to close a real estate transaction in the U.S. can be easy with advance planning, said Darren Connor, an account manager for Moneycorp Foreign Exchange.

And since many foreign buyers use cash, setting up an exchange account is important.

“We suggest you use a specialist,” Connor said. “Banks may dabble in this area, but specialists will be able to take advantage of competitive rates.”

Because the dollar is weak versus many other currencies, foreign investors are very interested in U.S. real estate.

In many countries, the process of exchanging currency for U.S. dollars is simple. Not so in Russia. “It’s very difficult to get Russian rubles out of the country,” Connor said. “You have to do the exchange within Russia itself.”

Also on the panel was Mary Carmen R. Madrid-Crost, attorney and principal with the Madrid Crost Law Group. She outlined how important it is to know the visa status of a foreigner buying real estate.

She walked participants through the various visas available for those wanting to buy real estate in the U.S. Above all, she told REALTORS® to be clear on whether they have the right documents.

All purchasers must have a tax identification number, a social security number and a federal employer identification number (if the buyer is a business.)