How to Successfully Market Your Home to a Foreign Homebuyer

How to Successfully Market Your Home to a Foreign Homebuyer

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Sometimes the home selling process is difficult. You feel like you’ve done everything… Staging, holding regular open houses, putting up ads on the internet, actively post on social media sites, etc. and for some reason the dang thing just won’t sell! But have you thought about casting a wider marketing net? Maybe your perfect buyer is from out of the country and just hasn’t been given the opportunity to view your listing! You may need to get creative by doing a few things that will appeal to foreign buyers.

There are many international homebuyers that are eager to invest in the United States but give up because they are not able to find the property they want. If you are using an agent to sell your home, you should be more selective about which one you choose. There are many agents or brokers that just do the bare minimum to list a property for sale and don’t get creative and think of how to appeal to a wider audience. If your home is one of the ones that international buyers are seeing, you have a much higher probability of selling because you will have reached a much larger number of potential buyers. So, hire a real estate agent that has ties with foreign buyers and/or knowledge of marketing to them.

Strong Online Presence

How your property is marketed online is not only extremely important in general, but is especially important if you are trying to market internationally. The buyer will most likely make a decision about the purchase before getting to see the property in person, so it is crucial to have lots of professional quality photos & videos that highlight the great things about your home and allow the buyer to imagine themselves there. If you want to be even more successful, you should also have a Matador video that allows the buyer to take a virtual tour. That will allow them to get a feeling for the floorplan and feel as through they are actually walking through the house.

Which Country to Target

You could try to guess, but its better to look at statistics. Depending on where your home is located, the price, and economic strength of potential target countries, you can come to a more educated conclusion of where to direct your marketing. According the the NAR, in 2015 “Five countries accounted for 51 percent of purchases by foreigners: Canada, China, Mexico, India, and the United Kingdom.” So, if you aren’t going to do anymore research, marketing to these countries would be a great start!

The National Association of Realtors found that Canadians tend to buy in Arizona, Nevada, and Florida – apparently seeking winter vacation opportunities, Chinese buyers are more focused on the West Coast, Indians purchase throughout the country, Mexicans are particularly interested in Texas, and U.K. citizens focus on cities that cater to both vacation & work.


Tips & Tricks to Appeal to Foreigners

Learn about foreign culture! For example, in China, the number 4 signifies death, and the number 8 is a lucky number. So, when you are thinking about dates for open houses or coming up with a listing price, keep these numbers in mind! Schedule your open house for March 8th instead of March 4th, and list your house at $588,888 rather than at $575,000.

Why Should I Spend Time Marketing to Foreigners?

According to statistics from a survey taken by the National Association of Realtors over the time period from April 2014 to March 2015:

  • Approximately 209 thousand houses are estimated to have been sold to foreign buyers over the time period, approximately 4 percent of total Existing Home Sales.
  • The total foreign sales dollar volume is estimated at $104 billion, approximately 8 percent of total Existing Home Sales dollar volume.
  • Foreign clients paid on average nearly $500 thousand for a house, compared to the overall U.S. average house price of about $256 thousand.
  • The percentage of REALTOR® respondents who reported working with international clients in the 12 months ending March 2015 increased by 7 percent over the previous year.

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