The Value of Selling with a Keller Williams Luxury Agent

The Value of Selling with a Keller Williams Luxury Agent

Considering selling a luxury home in Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach, Longboat Key, NW Bradenton or Cortez? Sell with luxury agents Jen and Mark Bowman, Keller Williams On the Water at 941-840-0117.  They are certified in Luxury Home Marketing and have earned the designation through the Luxury Home Marketing Institute.  The Institute exists to help real estate professionals provide high quality service to the buyers and sellers of luxury homes. The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing is the premier independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the luxury residential market. The Institute offers the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) designation for luxury home marketing, conducts research in the high-end market, and provides its members with the information and tools to be more successful.

Jen and Mark Bowman are also members of Keller Williams Luxury Home Division, where training and proven results have to be shown for entry into the division.

luxury homesKeller Williams Luxury Homes International | Luxury Agent

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.

Getting Your Home Ready to Show

Getting your home ready to show in less than 10 minutes! Sometimes friends or family will call and say, we’re on the way, we’ll be there in 10 minutes! Some of us are not always prepared. (That’s me!) When your home is on the market and you’re selling it, sometimes we get a call, that someone is in the neighborhood or an out of town buyer wants to see your home on short notice. There are a few things you can do to get ready really quick. Grab a laundry basket or unused tote and go around the house and gather things that don’t belong in that space. Wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth or wipe. Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher. If you don’t have a dishwasher or the dishwasher is full and hasn’t yet been emptied, put your dishes in the oven. Remember, this is temporary and getting ready really quick. Most buyers won’t be opening the oven to check it out on an initial visit. Next, spray an odor neutralizer throughout the house. If it smells clean, it usually feels clean to a buyer. Selling a home and keeping it ready for showings at all times can be stressful. We hope this helps!

Home Selling Checklist – Getting Ready for Photos

Home Selling Checklist – Getting Ready for Photos – Have you seen the pictures on-line of homes for sale and wonder why did they do that?  More than 90% of people looking for homes are looking on-line.  Getting your home ready for photos and living in it are 2 very different things.  Photos leave a lasting impression so here are some tips for getting your home ready for photos. Exterior of Home

  • Move vehicles away from front and/or back of house and close the garage doors.
  • Move trash cans and recycling bins inside or away from house.
  • Put garden hoses away.
  • Remove newspapers from driveway and sweep leaves.
  • On patios and decks, open umbrellas, put out furniture cushions and uncover the barbecue grill.
  • Hide toys and sporting equipment in garage or storage containers.
pretty patios
Pretty patios

Interior of Home

  • Turn on all lights and open all blinds.
  • Replace any burned out light bulbs.
  • Clean vertical surfaces that reflect light, windows, television screens, mirrors, refrigerators, etc.
  • Hide all pet beds, cat towers, bird cages, toys, bowls, etc.
  • Remove personal photos, religious and political items from walls.  You’re getting ready for your move anyway, start packing.   Hide boxes in garage or closets, where they will not be photographed.


  • Remove shoes, jackets,  beach towels, throw rugs.   Make it look as large as possible.


  • Clear off countertops.
  • Remove hanging dish towels and small area rugs.
  • Hide garbage can along with pet food bowls, mats etc.
  • Clear all notes and personal items off the refrigerator.
Getting your Kitchen photo ready
Getting your Kitchen photo ready


  • Make the beds and be sure the mattress or any items under the bed are not showing.
  • Hide all personal items like books, phones, remotes, etc.  (They can even go under the pillow.)
  • Remove personalized decor with children’s names and pictures.  The photos will be on the internet.

Dining areas

  • If dining area is small, remove extra leaves from tables to make the room appear bigger.
  • Remove the tablecloth, table protector and/or placemats.
  • Remove extra dining room chairs from the room so it doesn’t look overcrowded.

Living areas

  • Keep the floors as clear as possible to show off gleaming hardwoods.
  • Make sure all the television sets and computer monitors are turned off, and if portable like a Ipad or laptop, remove it from view.
  • Clear coffee and end tables of magazines, books, tissue boxes, remotes, coasters, etc.
Getting your home ready to Sell
Getting your home ready to Sell


  • Clean all mirrors.  A good photo will pick up even a small smudge.
  • Hide the trash can, toilet brush, bath mats, rug like toilet covers and plunger.
  • Remove bath robes hanging on the back of the door.  Remove the hand towels and everyday towels.  Clean and decorative towels can be hung neatly.
  • Remove all toiletries from the counter and shower/tub area.   This includes razors, shampoo bottles, toothbrushes, lotions, perfumes, etc.
  • Close toilet seat lids.
  • Make sure the toilet paper roll is hanging down neatly.   For an added touch, make the little triangle like the hotels do.

We hope this information on getting your home ready for photos was helpful.  For more information on buying or selling your Florida home contact Jen and Mark Bowman, Keller Williams on the Water 941-840-0117 serving your real estate needs on Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Cortez,  Bradenton and Sarasota. See all homes for sale in Manatee County Florida.