Foreign buyers often have different needs and as such demonstrate different behaviour in relation to their U.S. real estate requirements, depending on where they come from. Such differences stem from a variety of factors, including legal restrictions, exchange rates and a lack of knowledge. As a real estate professional, it is important to understand the different needs of foreign buyers, in order to serve them effectively. Below are examples of international variations in needs and behaviour, linked to key foreign buyers in the U.S. market:
There are some fundamental differences between the role of what is known as an “estate agent” in the UK, to that of a realtor in the U.S. For example, in the UK if you want to sell your home, an estate agent will list the property, find a buyer, help you negotiate a deal and guide you through the transaction. Whereas, in the U.S., new and resale properties on the market are listed on a regional database, known as the Multiple Listing Service. This means any realtor can access details of all properties for sale at any one time.
By helping British buyers to understand the U.S. real estate system, you will be providing them with an invaluable service that could separate you from your competitors.
According to data from the National Association of Realtors, Canadians were the top foreign buyers of U.S. real estate by volume in 2014. However, their buying power has waned recently, as the Canadian dollar weakened to a six year low against the greenback in March. For those still willing to purchase a home south of the border, you might suggest seeking the help of a foreign exchange specialist. They not only offer bank-beating exchange rates and low transfer fees, they also provide a range of specialist tools to help protect their customers from negative exchange rate movements.
According to the Global Property Guide, real estate professionals have reported a surge in enquiries from Brazilians seeking to buy homes in the U.S. However, transferring money out of Brazil is fraught with common problems:
- Money sent out of Brazil must be registered with the Central Bank of Brazil
- Clients must be qualified under Central Bank of Brazil guidelines
- Transfers can be slow and exchange rates are typically poor
- Bank transfer fees are often very high due to the paperwork
- Brazilian Banks often require the translation of documentation
You can inform your clients about how a foreign exchange specialist can simplify their transfer by processing all the required documentation and qualifying them under regulatory guidelines. As well as providing faster fee free transfers and more competitive exchange rates.
For more information, visit www.moneycorp.com/usa.