Positioning Your House for the International Market
According to recent National Association of REALTORS® research, overseas buyers’ attraction to U.S. homes is at its second-highest level in recent years (NAR 2013 Profile of International Home Buying Activity). International clients are estimated to have purchased $68.2 billion of residential property in the United States, approximately 6.3% of the total dollar value of the U.S. existing home sales (EHS) market of $1.08 trillion. The average mean sales price for an international transaction was $354,193 vs. $228,383, and 63% of those sales were for all cash. Canadians represented 23% of the transactions followed by China with 12%, Mexico with 8% and India with 5% of all international transactions in the 12 months ending March 2013.
Why they are buying
International transactions take place for three main reasons. The United States is a desirable place to live, U.S. real estate is a profitable investment and that real estate is also a secure investment. Driving these three reasons are the underlying desires to immigrate to the United States using the government’s EB-5 visa program, education, and lastly the ability to invest and realize a realistic profit.
Where they are buying
International transactions are closely related to the area you live. If you live on the West Coast, the majority come from Asia; if you live on the East Coast, they will typically come from Europe. Therefore, if you are in a major coastal city such as Los Angeles, San Francisco or Seattle, the likelihood of Asian buyers being interested in your home increases and you might want to consider working with a broker who specializes in the Asian community.
Another major draw is the proximity to top universities. In 2012, research indicated that 764,495 international students came to the United States and a big percentage of them bought homes rather than live in a dormitory. (www.iie.org/research-and-publications). If you live near the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or New York University in Manhattan, then you would have an opportunity to find an international student as your potential buyer and would want to list with a broker who is aware of this fact and who is actively working with the housing departments in their local university.
International buyers are always looking online for terrific photos and videos. Since they are not physically present, they will quickly respond to the broker who makes their search simple and painless.
Furthermore, the above-mentioned “Profile of International Home Buying Activity? indicated that 29% of foreigners who were unsuccessful in buying a home in the United States could not find a suitable property and gave up. Therefore it is critical that you choose a broker with a strong online presence who understands the power of multiple photos (at least 20) and virtual tours. The best agents expose your property on an international level in multiple languages to maximize the home’s exposure.
Why hire a Keller Williams Global Property Specialist? (KWGPS)
Our Keller Williams Global Property Specialists have been trained to cover all of the above marketing avenues and have the expertise and cultural sensitivity to work with their international clients.
When you list your home with a KWGPS agent, it will be automatically uploaded into the Proxio International MLS & Global Referral Network (www.proxio.com) for a global reach to more than 500,000 real estate agents in over 100 countries. Your listing is automatically translated into 19 different languages, converted to metric and 50 currencies along with a complete social media solution! Prospective buyers around the world can search online in their native language for your home and send a request to your KWGPS agent, which arrives in English.