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Realtors Gain New Perspective on Global Real Estate Market

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RISMEDIA, November 10, 2010—Real estate professionals from across the U.S. and abroad participated in a series of international discussions to gain global real estate insights during “Bringing International Real Estate Practices to the U.S.” at the 2010 Realtors Conference & Expo in New Orleans.

S. Nicolai Kolding, partner at REAL Trends and Murray Consulting, spoke to Realtors about the real estate landscape and practices in a number of foreign countries. Kolding offered his own research and analysis of different countries and how the U.S. might be able to adopt similar practices.

“As a real estate professional, especially one that works with international clients, it is vital that you are educated on the differences in real estate practices throughout the world,” said Kolding. “Not only does it make you more valuable as a professional, but it also helps the U.S. real estate industry learn from other countries, essentially becoming a more global society.”

Kolding touched on a number of countries, but focused on Canada and several in the European Union. With a home ownership rate similar to that in the U.S.—about 68%—Canada has a more regulated mortgage system, with loans that typically last 25 years. The United Kingdom has no multiple listing service and buyers must register with many agencies to gain access to sellers. In Germany, Kolding said, renting for life is common, with a home ownership rate of only about 43%. An estimated half of all sales in Germany are for-sale-by-owner and mortgages come with high prepayment penalties, with refinancing highly discouraged. Kolding described extremely strict requirements for agents in Denmark, including mandatory liability insurance. Denmark also has an extremely regulated and transparent real estate system and all properties are required to be listed on the single MLS system.

“According to the 2010 NAR Profile of International Home Buying Activity, more and more Realtors are working with international clients who want to buy in the U.S.,” said National Association of Realtors President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates in Tucson, Ariz. “Realtors truly have a global perspective and realize the importance of understanding different cultures and real estate practices—it’s just one more way Realtors add value to buyers, sellers and investors.”

To underscore this growing commitment to international service, for the first time at this year’s conference several committee meetings and sessions were simultaneously translated into different languages. Nearly 1,200 international attendees were able to listen in French, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish with translation headsets during various conference events.

Earlier this week, 460 NAR members were awarded the Certified International Property Specialist designation. This is the largest class of CIPS designees with members from eight countries. NAR’s CIPS network has nearly 2,500 designees and candidates worldwide and helps Realtors gain the expertise to serve consumers in a variety of international transactions.

In addition to the international presence at the conference, REALTOR.com recently announced that it will soon add international listings and translation and conversion tools, allowing NAR members and bilateral partners and their members to upload non-U.S. listings to the real estate site. REALTOR.com, NAR’s official property website, is one of the most visited real estate sites on the Internet, attracting more than five million unique visitors and more than 13 million total visits every month.

For more information, visit www.realtor.org.

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