International home buyers are becoming an increasingly important part of the national real estate landscape. According to the National Association of Realtors®, home buyers from around the globe are spending billions on property in the U.S. Many of these well-heeled international home buyers don’t require financing—which means the sales are often easy to accomplish (for example, last year, 70% of houses bought by Chinese buyers closed in cash!).
But that’s not to say that marketing to out-of-country buyers is a snap. If you have a property you believe could have foreign appeal, read on. There are some specific ins and outs for marketing to international home buyers:
Since many prospective international home buyers will not be able to physically visit the properties they will be comparing, it’s doubly important to have full photographic coverage—plenty of photos and videos which they can view online. You should include photos of all major areas of the home,both the inside and the outside of the property. Particularly important are the kitchen, living room, dining room, bathrooms and bedrooms. It’s understandable why international home buyers often choose properties they feel they have seen over those which leave areas undocumented.
Selling a home to international home buyers, consider tailoring the language used in your marketing. For example, most international buyers will think in terms of square meters rather than square feet. Offering both measures makes it clearer that you are happy to court the foreign market. The fact is, the home-buying process is probably quite different in their home country, so it’s likely to require patience on your part (and your Realtor’s) to explain the home buying process and special legal requirements involved; showing your willingness to do that is a plus. In fact, your property’s website is a great place for an FAQ section specifically for foreign home buyers!
Think about why international home buyers are shopping for property here your area. In some cases it may be because they recognize that residential properties represents good investment opportunities…in which case, it will be advantageous to showcase rental information prospects. Then again, sometimes the reasons for purchasing a property are more personal. Many international buyers want to educate their children in the United States to give them the best way to learn flawless English. Pointing out the quality of our school system can be a strong selling point for these international home buyers. You should also include information about your home’s proximity to the closest airports and transportation corridors, as well as any information about local expatriate communities.
Marketing to international buyers isn’t really difficult—and just could result in a premium purchase price. If you are considering listing your home for sale this summer and believe there is a chance that it could be a good fit for international home buyers, call me today for an in-home evaluation!