How Do I Market my Home to International Buyers?

Posted by Tamara Berryman on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 at 9:18am.

It might or might not come as a surprise to you, but International buyers are actively snatching up real estate in the United States at a level not seen before. Not only are foreign investors purchasing homes in the US, they are looking to gain a foothold in the American system of commerce.

If you are looking to market your home to foreign buyers, you ought to know what kind of an audience you're attempting to reach. You should be aware of where they get their news, find information related to their industry, and how they interact with different types of content. Not only will their be the task of overcoming the language barrier, but making sense of what are everyday things, like measurements.

Understand that reaching out across the pond, into the far east, south of the border, and into the Great White North means having to understand where and who you're reaching out to begin with. The majority of international buyers come from Russia, China, India, Brazil, Canada, Japan, as well as some mid east countries. Some buy real estate to start the citizenship process, others are taking advantage of EB-5 visa program, while others simply want a dedicated vacation home or want their children educated in the United States.

Foreign Buyers by the Number

As you might suppose, the largest percentage of international buyers come from North America. Canadians do comprise the largest group of foreign buyers and are most likely to purchase real estate in Florida, particularly in cities such as Sarasota.

Other countries delivering international property investors are the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, and others in the E.U. With the exception of China, only a few other Asian countries and middle eastern countries also make the list, but the biggest percentage still hail from the north.

“Are you trying to find a buyer for your home? Try marketing it to the world. International home buyers are eager to invest in the United States and may be willing to pay top dollar for your property. But don't expect them to simply knock on your door and hand you a briefcase filled with money. One of the main reasons foreign buyers give up on buying a home in the United States is that they are not able to find the property they want, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors that profiles international home buying activity in the United States.” --Bankrate.com

During the course of 2013, foreign buyers played a significant role in the housing market. These buyers paid between 20 percent and 40 percent more for their homes in the U.S. than did domestic buyers. What’s more, they pay with cash and generally purchase residences selling for $750,000 to over $1 million and more.

Last year, approximately 24 percent of foreign buyers were from Canada, about 12 percent from China, 8 percent hailed from Mexico, 6 percent were from India, another 6 percent from the United Kingdom, 3 percent came from Germany, another 3 percent from France, 2 percent were from Russian and 1 percent from Japan. The remaining percentage of the total number of international buyers came from other countries.

Marketing a Home to International Buyers

Knowing these figures certainly helps, but doesn’t completely answer the question posed in the title. Here are some useful tips to marketing to foreign buyers to get results:

  • Get your home in the right places on the web. Hiring a real estate professional will not only get your home in the MLS, it will be on Realtor.com. For more exposure, also put your property on sites like RealEstateJournal.com and Escapeartist.com. This is very important because this is where the vast majority of all buyers will begin their house hunt.

  • Create your own website. Don’t be afraid of this marketing trick because there are many free and low cost options to building a simple website. This will allow you to reach people without having the competition right on the page.

  • Advertise where they will find your property. Print is still a viable medium for getting the word out. To reach affluent international buyers, your best bet is to place ads in things like alumni publications and industry publications. Foreign papers’ real estate sections are also a good idea.

  • Put it in their language. No matter where your home listing goes on the internet, provide a translation option so they can read it in their native language. Moreover, don’t forget to convert measurements, like square footage to square meters.

  • Tout your wonderful location. Don’t make the mistake of making your home the only selling point. Be sure to include information about local events, restaurants, retailers, arts, outdoor activities, schools, and other information you’d like to know about if you were looking to buy a home in a location you’ve only visited a few times.

If you're ready to list your home and want to target affluent foreign buyers, contact me for a free consultation. I'll explain how I’ve successfully marketed other properties internationally and use my extensive network to get your property in front of foreign and domestic buyers.


Tamara Berryman
Google

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