Getting Real Estate Documents Signed Overseas

It is often difficult and expensive, but closing documents can be signed outside of the United States if necessary.

The seller, buyer, or borrower can usually sign at a United States Embassy. If the US Embassy is not an option, the documents will need to be executed with a witness, notary, and then an Apostille.

An Apostille is a certificate that authenticates the signature and title of a public official on a document for use in another country. The country must be part of the Hague Convention for the Apostille to be valid and accepted. If the country is NOT part of the Hague convention, then the U.S. Embassy is the only option. 

Each country has their own process for getting an Apostille for a document. In many countries, this process can be handled by private companies. Signing documents in the United States for use in other countries would also require an Apostille from the Secretary of State’s office in which the document was signed.

It is best to close a purchase or refinance in the United States. The Apostille can be expensive, and the U.S. Embassy may have a long waiting list to get in to sign documents. In both situations, it can take considerable time to get the original signed documents back to the closing attorney in the United States.

There are times when it is necessary to have documents signed overseas. We accommodate signings overseas whenever it is possible.

John C. Bennett is a real estate closing attorney and owner of Origin Title and Escrow, Inc..
Since 2003, Origin Title has handled real estate transactions – purchases, refinances, reverse
mortgages – quickly and professionally. There will be no surprises, nothing misunderstood. Title
searches are thorough and well-reasoned, to avoid unpleasant surprises later down the road.
Calculate your closing costs in Georgia or Florida using our calculator or contact Origin Title using the form provided.