Anna Maria Island Foreclosures

Anna Maria Island Foreclosures

Anna Maria Island Foreclosures – We often get asked about foreclosures for sale on Anna Maria Island. The truth is, they are few and far between. Currently, there are no active foreclosures for sale. We get questions from buyers because they saw a foreclosure on a site like Zillow. Zillow can be very misleading to consumers. Recently a buyer client sent me a listing he was interested in. I couldn’t find it in the Multiple Listing Service and I know the house and the owners personally. It’s a small island, after all. The owners had bought the house more than 3 years ago and paid cash, when it was a foreclosure. Zillow was still showing it as a foreclosure. I listed and sold foreclosures for Bank of America during the real estate crash back in 2008 or 2009. I can’t remember the year, it seems like a lifetime ago. We didn’t price them much differently than traditional resale homes. We are seeing the same thing today. Home buyers will call and ask us about foreclosures and we will send them out the same as any other property when it comes on the market. There really isn’t a noticeable difference in price. The bank’s asset managers work closely with an agent who does a broker price opinion and we often see it lines up with homes of similar condition that are on the market as traditional resales.

We see fewer Anna Maria Island foreclosures because more home buyers pay cash for homes on the island as compared to Manatee County as a whole. For example, for the first 1/2 of 2017, 48 1/2% of all home buyers on Anna Maria Island paid cash for their homes and 51 1/2% did some kind of financing. In Manatee County, which includes Bradenton, the northern 1/2 of Longboat Key, Cortez, Parrish, Palmetto, Ellenton and Lakewood Ranch, we see that 39% of buyers paid cash and 61% did financing.

When we look back at the history of cash sales versus financed sales in the same time frame 10 years ago between January and June 2007 on Anna Maria Island only 32% were cash buyers and 68% were financing. In contrast, Manatee County as a whole, 10 years ago only 20% of home buyers paid cash for their homes and 80% had financing. These numbers show us that more people are paying cash for their homes than in previous years, therefore we will see a reduction in Anna Maria Island foreclosures and in the Manatee County real estate market.

Anna Maria Island Foreclosures

How to Buy a Foreclosure

The process for buying a foreclosure isn’t much different than buying a home through the traditional resale market. There is still a contract to submit, usually it’s done through an online system that your agent will access and upload your offer along with proof of funds or your pre-approval letter. There may be a “buyer premium” where the buyer pays an extra 5% or 6% at closing if it’s done through certain auction sites. Banks are strictly about the numbers and the bottom line. Keep the offer simple and clean with as few contingencies as possible. The buyer may have to pay to turn on the utilities for a 1 day inspection. Sometimes the bank will not allow the water to be turned on. In that case, an inspector can do an air pressure test to see if the pipes leak. There will never be a sellers disclosure on a bank owned property, also known as a foreclosure. It is truly a buyer beware process and inspections are usually allowed. There is also usually time to cancel the contract and get your deposit refunded. Just be sure that you and/or your agent understand the process of buying a foreclosure.

Sign up for a free foreclosure list.

Of all the homes on the market in Manatee County, only about 1.2% are foreclosures today.  So there won’t be many, but we are happy to send them as they become available.

Anna Maria Island Foreclosures information provided by  Anna Maria Island Realtors Jen and Mark Bowman, Keller Williams on the Water in Holmes Beach, Florida.  Please call 941-840-0117 for more information.

See all Homes for Sale Anna Maria, FL

See all Homes For Sale Holmes Beach, FL

See all Homes for Sale Bradenton Beach, FL 


July 4th 2017 Anna Maria Island 🎆

July 4th Fireworks and Events on Anna Maria Island


July 4th Parade – Before the fireworks, there’s a parade.  Plan to celebrate all day.  The parade starts on the south end of the island at Coquina Beach  at 10 a.m. and travels north on Gulf Drive  to Pine Ave in the city of Anna Maria to Bayfront Park.  It will probably end around 1 pm.

July 4th Parade Anna Maria Island, Florida
July 4th Parade Anna Maria Island, Florida

There will be an after Parade Party at the Ugly Grouper in Holmes Beach where the Privateers will announce the Scholarship recipients of over $20,000.

Fireworks will be on the beach at the Sandbar Restaurant at the north end of Anna Maria Island in the city of Anna Maria, shortly after 8 p.m. Once again, park your car and use the free island trolley.  Parking will be limited so it’s best to park your car and take the free Anna Maria Island trolley.

Sandbar Restaurant – 100 Spring Avenue in Anna Maria, FL 34216.

You can also watch the July 4th fireworks on Anna Maria Island from a boat out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Some July 4th tips to remember :

  • Setting off your own fireworks is illegal on Anna Maria Island.
  • Alcohol is not permitted on the beach.
  • There are 2000 parking spots at Coquina Beach.  They will probably fill up first thing in the morning. Once again, the trolley is recommended.
  • Plan for the crowds.   Take the extra time in your car to enjoy your family and friends.
  • The last trolley leaves from Coquina Beach (south end of the island in Bradenton Beach) at 10 p.m. Be sure to get to the stop before then.
  • If you’re at a trolley stop after dark, flash your cell phone or flashlight so the trolley drivers can see you waiting at the stop.

Plan to spend the day visiting the local shops and restaurants and swimming in the gorgeous blue green water.   Fireworks are weather permitting.

July 4th Events in Areas Surrounding Anna Maria Island

July 4th on Longboat Key

Longboat Key Fireworks – July 4th – Freedom Fest Parade 9 am at Town Hall – 501 Bay Isles Road Longboat Key.   Activities, food and drinks, children’s games at Bicentennial Park, next to Town Hall after the parade 9 to 11 a.m.  Call 941-383-2466 for more information.

July 4th Fireworks in Palmetto, Florida 

July 4th Fireworks in Palmetto at Lamb and Sutton Park – This year the fest will feature 2015 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees, The Oak Ridge Boys in the outdoor Pavilion at historic Sutton Park for a free concert. There will also be food vendors and and family friendly activities at Lamb Park for the children with rides and games starting at 1 p.m. The music line up begins with Boss Hawg opening at 4 p.m. and Caroline Cole at 5 p.m. The Oaks Ridge Boys take the stage around 7 p.m. Sutton Park is on Old Main Street in Downtown Palmetto. Lamb Park is adjacent to Sutton Park. The Manatee River is the site for the fireworks extravaganza starting around 9 p.m. Sutton Park: 1006 6th St W, Palmetto.  Free admission. Free and paid parking around the area.

July 1st Fireworks at Lecom Field in Bradenton

If you’re ready to get started in the festivities early, check out the Bradenton Marauder’s Baseball game along with fireworks after the game at Lecom Field, formerly known as McKechnie Field in Bradenton.  1611 9th Street West, Bradenton, FL.  Gates open at 4:30 p.m. on July 1st. The Marauders take on Florida with game time at 6:30 p.m. and a post-game fireworks show. The first 1,500 fans will receive free t-shirts. During the game fans will be able to bid on the patriotically themed jerseys the Marauders wear and winning bidders will be invited onto the field to receive the jersey after the game. Fans will be treated to the largest post game fireworks show of the season. Tickets: $6 – $8 and $10.

July 4th Fireworks over the Manatee River in Bradenton

The City of Bradenton’s main fireworks display over the Manatee River is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 4 at 9 p.m. This event is always well attended and for those interested in attending it’s a good idea to plan accordingly:

  • The Green Bridge will close to pedestrian traffic at 8:30 p.m.
  • No vehicle traffic will be allowed north of Third Avenue West/Ninth Street after 8:30 p.m. Pedestrians will be allowed on sidewalks north of Third Avenue but not on the bridge.
  • Barcarrotta Boulevard may close upon determination by the Bradenton Police Department’s assessment of vehicle and pedestrian flow. The road will not be reopened until pedestrian traffic clears
  • Free parking will be available at the municipal parking lots at 1000 Third Ave. W. (City Centre Lot), 1300 Fourth Ave. W. (near First Baptist Church), 410 10th St. W. (County Parking Garage) and 615 12th ST. W. (City Parking Garage). Limited parking will also be available at Bradenton Riverwalk.
  • Public restrooms and portable bathrooms will be on Barcarrota at 10th through 12th streets. Additional restrooms will be open at Riverwalk near the clock tower and south of the splash pad.
  • Old Main Street will be open to vehicle traffic.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Once the 4th of July festivities are over, there’s always more to do.  Check out Things to do on Anna Maria Island. 

Brought to you by Jen and Mark Bowman, Keller Williams on the Water


Sell your Anna Maria Island home

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Tips for a Cleaner Home

Tips for a Cleaner Home

If you dream about having a cleaner home and keeping it that way longer, you’re not the only one who wants a spotless house for more than a few days. When you’re selling your house, it’s even more important that it’s show ready at a moments notice. The demands of everyday life are already a lot to handle, so throwing a long list of household chores into the mix every week can be tiresome and time-consuming.

Here are ten tips for keeping your home cleaner longer to help make your everyday routine your source for an immaculate home.

  1. Seal Your Garage Floor. Paint a protective barrier between your garage floor and the elements that get tracked inside every day, so you’ll spend less time sweeping up dust and dirt.  When you’re sealing, be sure to use a product that can handle the heat of hot tires after driving.  The wrong product will peel right up.
  2. Dry Your Sink and Counters. Get in the habit of wiping down basins and other wet surfaces in your bathrooms and kitchen, and you’ll find yourself spending less time spraying and scrubbing.
  3. Lay Down Throw Rugs. Put out rugs you can toss in the washing machine to collect excess dirt and grime, saving yourself from sweeping and mopping all the time.
  4. Wipe Down Surfaces With Dryer Sheets. Turn used dryer sheets into handy washcloths, repurposing this dust-repellent material to wipe up dust and grime while preventing additional buildup.
  5. Stay Organized With Boxes and Baskets. Place boxes and baskets of different sizes in and around your house for storing everything from toys to linens, allowing you to spend less time picking up after your family.   Make sure there’s a “home” for everything, keys, sports equipment, cell phones, etc.
  6. Clear Out Clutter. Round up and donate the items you don’t need anymore after every season, and you’ll have fewer things to pick up and put away as well as more clean space to enjoy in your home. If it’s no longer useful or if it doesn’t bring you joy, clear it out.
  7. Brush Your Pets Outside. Take the time to brush away your furry friend’s loose fur every few days, thus keeping your dog or cat from shedding in your house and saving yourself from sweeping and vacuuming.
  8. Take Shoes Off at the Door. Put a mat in front of and behind every door in the house and provide a basket for shoes; you’ll trap dirt, leaves and more before they make it into your house.  This is one of the easiest ways to keep dirt out.
  9. Clear the Dishwasher Before Bed. Run the dishwasher after dinner and put the dishes away before going to sleep, so you’ll avoid a sink full of dirty dishes after breakfast every day.
  10. Keep Cleaning Supplies Around Your House. Store cleaning supplies in your bathroom, kitchen and more, so you’ll find yourself carrying out fewer marathon cleaning sessions. A set of cleaning supplies under each sink in your house allows for quick cleaning.

These ten tips for keeping your home cleaner longer are great ways to tackle your to-do list for a tidy house. Whether you’re busy with school, work, family or just hanging out at the beach you can save time and rest easy knowing that your cleaning efforts will keep your place fresh for days.

As Is Real Estate Contract in Florida

As Is Real Estate Contract in Florida

What is an As Is real estate contract in Florida? It simply means the property is being sold as is, and the seller is not obligated to make repairs. If the buyer is not satisfied with the home inspection, the buyer has the right to cancel.

There is a specified time for inspections, due diligence and the right to cancel for any reason whatsoever. As long as the cancellation agreement is signed and submitted within the specified time frame, all escrow or earnest money deposits will be fully refunded. If after a home inspection, the buyer chooses to cancel the contract, they can do that. If the buyer decides that they don’t like the color of the sky, they can cancel the contract and get their full deposit back within the specified time in the contract. As mentioned, ANY reason whatsoever; it doesn’t matter.

There’s a few misconceptions that we’ve heard out there.  To clarify:

As Is Real Estate Contract

  • An As Is contract does not mean that every personal item in the house is being transferred to the buyer.
  • An As Is contract does not mean that the buyer has no rights to an inspection period.
  • An As Is contract does not mean that the buyer cannot change their mind and get a full refund if done within the specified time frame.

An As Is contract simply means the seller is not required to make repairs. Many home buyers are initially frightened by the fact that Florida Real Estate contracts say As Is at the very top.  There is no reason to worry; there are safeguards in place for buyers.

Another safeguard in place is if the buyer is getting a mortgage loan.  The contract states a specified time for a loan commitment.  If the lender ultimately declines the loan within the specified time period in writing and a release and cancellation of the agreement is signed, the buyer has a right to a full refund of the escrow or earnest money deposit.

For Home Sellers

Sellers can minimize the risk of buyers cancelling the As Is real estate contract by doing any known repairs upfront.  This is where a pre-listing inspection can come in handy.

For more information on buying or selling a home, contact us. We are here to help.  Jen and Mark Bowman, Keller Williams on the Water at 941-840-0117.


Estimating Property Taxes

Property Taxes in Holmes Beach, Florida – We are often asked by home buyers how much are the property taxes?  Well it depends.  People tend to rely on what the current owner is paying in property tax on homes that are for sale.  That may not be the best idea because the assessed value is often changed after a transfer of ownership.

Here’s how we estimate taxes.  Each city is different, but this is an estimate based on Holmes Beach. If we take the 2016 mill rate of 16.1090 for properties in Holmes Beach and divide by 1000 that gives us .016109.  We then multiply that by the assessed value.  For this example, let’s say we have an assessed value of $475,000.  That would be $7651.78 or just over 1.6% of the assessed value.

Now we would deduct any exemptions.  The homestead exemption is $25,000 of the assessed value.  So the taxable value has been reduced to $450,000.  Then the taxes are $7249.05.

There is an additional homestead exemption of $25,000 for homes valued at more than $50,000 and that does not apply to the school board mill rate  which is 6.92.  That will reduce your taxes another $229.73.  That brings your taxes to $7019.32 which is just under 1.5% of the sales price for a home with homestead exemption.

If you currently have Homestead Exemption on a property in Florida, you can transfer the “Save Our Homes” cap from an existing property to a new homestead, thereby saving you on your assessed value.

There are additional exemptions for disabled, widow/widowers, low income over 65 years old and deployed military.

More information is available on the Manatee County tax assessor’s website.

Estimating Property Taxes Anna Maria Island

In general, for Holmes Beach we can estimate that property taxes will be around 1.5 -1.6% of the assessed value.

The mill rate for the city of Anna Maria is 15.908700.  So we can use the same formula to guesstimate the taxes at just under 1.6% of the assessed value. The current mill rate for Bradenton Beach is 16.1920 so we can also estimate just over 1.6% of the assessed value to be the taxes.

Please remember, this is not to be considered legal or tax advice, just something to help you guesstimate the property taxes on your new home.  We’d love to be your Anna Maria Island Realtor.  Please contact us if we can help.

Jen and Mark Bowman, Keller Williams on the Water 941-840-0117 Anna Maria Island Real Estate



Easter Egg Hunts 2017 | Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Bradenton, Sarasota

Easter Egg Hunts 2017 | Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Bradenton, Sarasota  – There’s plenty of Easter Egg Hunts and activities for children in the days leading up to Easter 2017.

Download the Easter Egg Hunts Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Longboat Key, Sarasota map and pdf

  1. Easter Egg Hunt and Parade – Anna Maria, FL 

Date and Time: Saturday, April 15th 2017 at  9 am

Where: The Sandbar Restaurant 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria, FL

Admission: Free

Details: Easter Egg Hunt with refreshments served starting at 8:30am. The hunt will take place in the wedding and event pavilion adjacent to the restaurant. After the Sandbar fun, the Easter Bunny will line everyone up and lead a parade down Pine Avenue where the 8th Annual Easter Egg Roll and Easter Bonnet Contest will take place.  Complimentary framed pictures with the Easter Bunny will be offered with pictures taken by Shooting Star Photography and music by John Rinell.  The roll will take place 9:30 am-12:00 pm. There will be prizes for the best bonnet for the kids and adults.

  1. Mar Vista Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Longboat Key 

Date and Time: Saturday, April 15th, 2017 at 10 am

Where: Mar Vista Restaurant – 760 Broadway Street, Longboat Key, FL

Admission: Free

Details: 28th Annual Easter Egg Hunt – Refreshments will be served.  All children 10 and under are welcome to participate.  Bring your own basket & meet the Easter Bunny.  Children will be grouped in two age groups; 5 and under and 6-10. Every egg will contain a treat or special surprise.  Stay for a special Easter lunch or come back to enjoy Easter dinner.

  1.  Easter Egg Hunt – GT Bray Park

Date and Time: Sunday April 9th, 2017 – The Egg Hunt is from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: softball field at GT Bray Park 5502 33rd. Ave. Drive W., Bradenton, FL, 34209

Admission: Free

Details: Bring your own basket. Sponsored by The Church at Bradenton.

  1. City Life Church Egg Hunt

Date and Time:  Saturday April 15th, 2017 11:00 am to 12:30 p.m. Registration 11 a.m.  Egg Hunt Begins at Noon.

Where: 1300 17th Ave W. Bradenton, FL 34205

Admission: Free

Details: Bring your own basket. Ages 2 through 5th grade. Registration for free bicycles, giveaways and prizes starts at 11 a.m.

  1. Easter Egg Hunt & Games on Siesta Key

Date: Saturday, April 15th, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Turtle Beach 8918 Midnight Pass Rd. Siesta Key, FL 34242

Admission: $10

Details: For children only ages 1 to 6. For $10 each, each child receives an Easter Bunny or stuffed toy, goody bag and Easter egg stuffed with prizes.  There will be face painters, opportunities to ride the trolley & tour the Siesta Key ambulance and firetruck.  Registration is limited to the first 125 paid children for the egg hunt.  For additional info and registration call 941-349-3800.  Siesta Key Easter Egg Hunt Registration

Easter Egg Hunts 2017 | Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Bradenton, Sarasota
Easter Egg Hunts 2017 | Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Bradenton, Sarasota

We hope you enjoy the Easter Egg Hunts 2017 | Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Bradenton, Sarasota.  When you’re ready to start house hunting please call Jen and Mark Bowman, Keller Williams on the Water at 941-840-0117.   Use our free mobile app.


Pet Friendly Condos on Anna Maria Island

Pet Friendly Condos on Anna Maria Island

Pet Friendly Condos | We realize your pets are part of the family and it can be a struggle to find a condo that will accept your pets like you do.   Some condos have really strict rules and regulations on their pet policies and no pets of any kind are allowed.  Others are a bit more lenient, at least for the condo owners. Usually there’s a separate set of rules for tenants.  Some people have tiny dogs, like a teacup Yorkie, others have bigger dogs like Golden Retrievers. We’ve compiled a home search based on the condos in Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach that will allow bigger dogs, with either 100 pound weight limits or no weight limits at all. The city of Anna Maria does not have any condos that allow dogs.  The map below shows the pet friendly condos that allow large dogs.

Below is a home search that shows all the available condos for sale on Anna Maria Island that allow big dogs.


Dogs on the Beach on Anna Maria Island

People love their pets but they are not allowed on the beaches on Anna Maria Island.  Anna Maria Island includes the cities of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach.  There are lots of nesting birds and May through October is Sea Turtle nesting season.  The good news for dog lovers on Anna Maria Island is that we have a dog park behind the city field in Holmes Beach.   It’s a large fenced area that dogs and their owners can run and play.   The dog park is in the 5900 Block of Flotilla Drive.  The Palma Sola Causeway is also pet friendly.   That’s Manatee Ave going west towards the island.  Dogs love to splash around the bay there.

Pet Friendly Condos Anna Maria Island

For more information on pet friendly or dog friendly condos for sale on Anna Maria Island, please contact us at 941-840-0117.   Jen and Mark Bowman, Keller Williams on the Water.  Anna Maria Island Realtors

Home Buying Process and How It Works

Home Buying Process and How It Works – Whether you’re a first time buyer or it’s been 20 years, you may want to know the steps to buying a home.

Home Buying Process

1. Meet with a real estate professional: Discuss the type of home you’re looking for, including style, price, and location.
The Buyer’s Advantage: As the home buyer, your agent’s commission is paid by the seller of the home in almost all circumstances. This means your representation costs you nothing!

2. Get Pre-Approved: You will need pay stubs, W2s, 2 years of tax returns and bank statements. Knowing what you can afford is critical to a successful home shopping experience. Your real estate agent will know a few good lenders to refer you to.

3. Search for Homes: The fun part! Your agent will schedule showings and help you find the perfect home.  When you have a clear idea of what you want, it will be easier.  You’ll help by sharing which listings interest you.
Advanced Search: Not all real estate websites are the same. Your real estate professional has tools and systems to ensure you see every available home that meets your criteria.

4. Make an Offer: Your agent will prepare your offer based on the price and terms you choose.

5. Negotiation and Contract: It may take a few tries to get it just right, but hang in there. You’re on your way!
The Contract: In most cases the contract provides you with a timeline to obtain financing as well as time to inspect the physical condition of the home. Your real estate professional will inform you of all your rights and responsibilities related to the contract.

6. Under Contract or In Escrow: You and the seller have agreed to the price and terms. The home is effectively held for you until closing.

7 Final Details: Perform due diligence, order the appraisal, conduct an inspection, and review terms with the lender.

8. Preparing for Closing: You will be finalizing your loan, reviewing documents, and discussing the findings from the inspection. Your agent will manage this entire process for you.

9. Closing: This is the transfer of funds and ownership. A title company or an attorney typically acts as an independent third party to facilitate the closing. Closings can be done remotely or locally.

Please let us know if you have any questions about the home buying process or selling a home on Anna Maria Island, Cortez, NW Bradenton or Longboat Key, Florida.

Jen and Mark Bowman, Keller Williams on the Water 941-840-0117.
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Anna Maria Island Real Estate Market October 2016

Anna Maria Island Real Estate Market October 2016

This market report shows residential property only including condos, town homes and single family homes.  The Anna Maria Island real estate market report for October 2016 does not include income property or vacant land. Anna Maria Island includes the cities of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach.  Let’s break down the numbers for you.

There are currently 239 homes for sale on Anna Maria Island. The average list price is $1,081,599. The average home size is 1,927 square feet and is 3 bedrooms with 3 full baths.
The lowest price listing currently on the market is at the Sandpiper Resort Co-op, a 55+ manufactured community in Bradenton Beach. It’s a 1 bedroom/1 bath and 320 square feet for $169,000. The highest price home currently on the market is on Mangrove Ave in the city of Anna Maria for $5,995,000. It has 4 bedrooms, 5 ½ baths and is 6,900 square feet. It’s gulf front with 2 lots.
In October of 2016, 20 homes sold with an average of 117 days on market. On average, the homes sold on Anna Maria Island for 95% of list price. The average sold price was $548,675 at $407 a square foot.
8 homes went under contract and are still being marketed for backup offers. That’s when you might see a AWC which is Active with Contract.  In the near future, our local Multiple Listing Service will be discontinuing the use of the Active With Contract category, so that will not be on future reports or visible in online listings. 
27 homes on Anna Maria Island are pending sales, which means they went under contract but have not yet closed. The average list price for the pending sales is $462 a square foot. The average list price of the pending homes is $794,693.
At the current rate of homes selling, Anna Maria Island has a little less than 9 months of inventory. That still shows a buyer’s market. A balanced market would be 3-6 months of inventory. Housing inventory higher than 6 months, it’s a buyer’s market. Housing inventory lower than 3 months shows a seller’s market.

Every market is different, every home is different, every buyer’s and seller’s motivation to buy or sell is different.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home on Anna Maria Island, contact us – Jen and Mark Bowman, Keller Williams on the Water at 941-840-0117. We provide international exposure for your listing. For out of town buyers we do custom live video tours of the homes you want to see.

What’s your Anna Maria Island home worth?

For a market analysis on your home please contact us at 941-840-0117 or fill out this form.

FIRPTA and What You Need to Know – Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act

FIRPTA and What You Need to Know – Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act

Anna Maria Island, Florida attracts people from all over the world.  Buyers need to know if the seller is foreign and sellers are required to disclose it.

What is the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act?
In 1981, the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) was enacted for the purpose of imposing tax on foreign people selling real estate interests in the United States. The buyer is required to withhold from the foreign seller a percentage of the amount realized on the sale of a real property interest. The tax withholding is considered a prepayment of anticipated taxes due from a foreign person selling any U.S. real property interest.
What is the withholding requirement?
Generally, the amount realized for the purpose of withholding is the sale or contract price. Effective February 16, 2016, IRS FIRPTA regulations changed the withholding rate from 10% to 15% for most closings, unless an exception applies. The withholding rate remains 10% if the total amount realized is between $300,000 and $1,000,000, and if the buyer will reside in the property. 

Are there exceptions from FIRPTA withholding?
Yes. Exceptions are explained on the IRS website at

Who is responsible for withholding requirements under FIRPTA?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations place the obligation to withhold required tax amounts on the buyer of the real property from a foreign person. The buyer is responsible for determining whether FIRPTA applies and for remitting the withheld taxes to the IRS. Any penalties for non-compliance with the regulations are also the responsibility of the buyer.  Although the responsibility is with the buyer, we advise the closing attorney or title company that the seller is foreign and they will assist at closing.

How and where is the withholding paid?
When FIRPTA applies, the buyer must prepare a check payable to the IRS for the correct percentage of the amount realized and remit it to the IRS within 20 days of closing. The payment must be accompanied by completed IRS Forms 8288 and 8288-A.

One of the IRS required forms when buying a US property from an international seller

One of the IRS required forms when buying a US property from an international seller

What should real estate agents know about FIRPTA?

Real estate agents representing buyers should advise those buyers that the ultimate obligation to withhold FIRPTA taxes is theirs when purchasing real property from a foreign seller. Also, to avoid surprises at closing, real estate agents representing foreign sellers should advise those sellers of withholding requirements when transferring a U.S. real property interest. The foreign sellers should be encouraged to apply for withholding certifications and taxpayer identification numbers (either “ITIN” or “EIN”) as soon as possible. The IRS’s 90-day application period should be considered when negotiating the closing date with the buyer.

For more information on buying or selling a home on Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Cortez or Longboat Key please contact Anna Maria Island Realtors Jen and Mark Bowman, Keller Williams on the Water at 941-840-0117.

Related content:

Buying a Second Home on Anna Maria Island

Getting Your Home Ready to Show

Using a 1031 Exchange to Buy Property

More information is available on the IRS website under International Taxpayers.

Disclaimer: The information and dates provided are for informational purposes and are subject to change. This is not considered legal advice.  Seek legal, tax or other professional advice before relying upon this information.