International Real Estate Apostille & Legalization

Updated: Apr 3


International Real Estate began in the early 1980s and has been growing ever since. The term International Real Estate includes real property development, sales, and leasing transactions across national borders. This article will discuss investing in foreign real estate and the difference between an International Real Estate Apostille and Legalization.


Many individuals living in the U.S. have the desire to own real estate in another country. Whether you’re purchasing a home abroad as a vacation getaway or as an income-generating investment property, it’s good to have an understanding of International Real Estate.


Benefits of International Real Estate


Investing in International Real Estate is a great way to diversify your investment portfolio. There are also many other benefits to investing in foreign real estate. Some of these benefits include but are not limited to:


● Higher returns on your investment than more developed countries like the U.S.

● Asset protection from domestic legal issues and instability.

● Receiving a form of governmental insurance in the event of economic problems or political instability.

● Diversification of lifestyle by being able to live abroad short term or for an extended period of time.

● Creation of multiple tax strategy options regardless of your country of citizenship.


International Real Estate Apostille vs. Legalization


An “Apostille” is a legal document that authenticates the seals and signatures of officials on public documents such as Power of Attorneys, birth certificates, or other legal documents issued by a federal agency or certified by an American or foreign consul.


Once a document has been Apostilled, it is acceptable for use in a foreign jurisdiction. It must be noted that for an Apostille to be accepted, the document must be issued from a country party to The Hague Convention of 1961 for use in another country that’s also party to The Hague Convention.


According to international law, “Legalization” is the process of authenticating or certifying legal documents so a foreign country's legal system will recognize them as having full legal consequences.


Examples of documents that can be legalized include civil status documents, court orders, and diplomas. Legalization confirms that a document was issued by a competent and expert authority and that the signature, seal and/or stamp on the document is authentic.


Who Needs An International Real Estate Apostille


Individuals or businesses looking to purchase or sell real estate properties abroad will often need to legalize or obtain an International Real Estate Apostille on a power of attorney. This will allow an individual to act on their behalf during the course of the international transaction.

In addition to a Real Estate Apostille, if you are legally married, some countries such as Russia require the spouse's consent when purchasing or selling real estate property in their country. Spousal consent forms must also be Apostilled if required for foreign real estate transactions.


Common Mistakes Made With International Real Estate Apostilles


Apostilles are very important legal documents and there are instances where mistakes are made with their preparation. Five common mistakes made include:


● Not knowing when to send the original document to be Apostilled or a notarized copy.

● Submission of documents to the incorrect governmental office.

● Presenting out-of-date documents to be Apostilled.

● Using the services of a notary who's certification is expired.

● Removing the Apostille from a processed document.


International Real Estate Apostilles like any other Apostilled document, must be prepared by someone who’s familiar with the Apostille process. Improper preparation of an Apostille can lead to costly delays. This doesn’t have to happen to you. Whether you’re an individual or corporation needing an International Real Estate Apostille, our experienced staff can assist with its proper preparation.

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