Monday, January 23, 2012® International® is Going Global®, the #1 homes-for-sale website in the United States, has launched a new global site to extend its lead as the world’s largest online destination for real estate listings.® International will strengthen the site’s presence in international markets, attract more international visitors and increase the exposure of U.S. real estate listings currently on® to global markets. The site includes listings from international data providers, as well as language translation services and currency and unit conversion features to support the needs of international buyers.
Key features of® International

    All for-sale and rental listings on® will automatically be displayed on the® International site, along with listings from international data providers.
    Consumers will be able to search listings in 11 languages: Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
    Visitors' may save their default language, measurement, and currency preferences to facilitate future visits.
    Searches may be made by city name or map search, using a drill-down feature to select a geographical region. Visitors will not need to be familiar with all the local area names to find the property they seek.

Benefits of® International

To REALTORS® and buyers in the U.S.,® International provides:

    True global exposure: The global site will increase visibility of the site around the world and allow millions of Americans buying abroad to view property listings in the familiar® format.
    A customized experience: Buyers from all over the world will be able to view properties in their preferred format—language, currency and units of measurement.
    No additional cost for listings: U.S. listings displayed on® are displayed on the International site at no additional cost.
    Automatic inclusion of non-U.S. MLS listings already on®, in multiple languages: members with MLS listings outside of the U.S., that are already being provided to®, will find these listings under the U.S. inventory on the International site. The listings may be viewed/translated into multiple languages and are available for members to print or email to interested consumers.

To Non-U.S. Real Estate Agents and Buyers® International provides:

    More opportunities for global business development than ever before: For the first time, property listings from outside the U.S. will be available on®.
    Listings from various locations around the world: These listings will be available in 11 languages, with area and currency conversion features to make browsing easier for consumers no matter where they reside.
    Aggregated non-U.S. listings: Move, Inc. and NAR are working with various organizations to aggregate non-U.S. listings.

7 Tips for Working with Foreign Real Estate Buyers

7 Tips for Working with Foreign Real Estate Buyers
March 2006

With immigrants and foreign business entities looking beyond the coasts, the opportunity to work with foreign buyers isn’t limited to certain markets or to practitioners who travel overseas. Here’s how to succeed.

1. Remember that foreign clients may know real estate but not U.S. real estate. You need to explain local market conditions and U.S. legal issues. But be careful not to talk down to them, cautions Gustavo Lumer, CIPS, CRS®, with Lumer Real Estate in North Miami Beach, Fla.

2. Focus on clients from one or two countries, especially when you’re just getting started, suggests Carmela Ma, CCIM, CIPS, president of CJM Associates Inc. in Beverly Hills, Calif. In that way, you can become more familiar with the culture and establish a wider network of contacts, more rapidly.

3. Recognize that factors such as currency fluctuations and a need for market stability may influence buying decisions, says Pius Leung, CCIM, CIPS, president of Charter Equity in Houston. Leung recalls a client who bought a building, left it vacant for three years, then sold it for about what he paid originally. Yet, the client was happy because the currency in his home country had devalued by 50 percent over that period. So just by parking the money in the United States, the owner had made a profit, says Leung.

4. Take it slowly. Recognize that some cultures require more consultation and time to make a decision.

5. Develop a group of tax, legal, and other experts in foreign ownership of U.S. real estate you can offer foreign buyers as a resource, suggests Ma. Once you’re seen as a trusted adviser, offshore clients will often look to you for assistance in other parts of the transaction, such as finding legal advice.

6. Help bridge differences, suggests Alan Berger, CIPS, of Breslin Realty in Garden City, N.Y. Simple things such as converting a price from dollars to euros or square feet to meters can make a foreign buyer more comfortable, says Berger.

7. Get your Certified International Property Specialist designation from NAR’s International Division. It’s a great way to acquire skills needed to work with foreign clients and to network. “The CIPS network represents the best-kept secret around for making contact,” says Lumer.

More: Market to international buyers using the Distinctive Properties Advertising Service from REALTOR Benefits(sm) Program partner

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Foreign Buyers See Big Bargains in U.S. Real Estate

Foreign Buyers See Big Bargains in U.S. Real Estate
Daily Real Estate News | Friday, January 13, 2012

Foreign investors are finding plenty of deals in the U.S. when it comes to real estate, and, as such, more international investors are flocking to key states to buy their piece of the American Dream.

Mexico is the top country of origin for foreign buyers purchasing U.S. homes, according to a recent study by Credit Sesame, which used National Association of REALTORS® data for its findings.

“In this period of tremendous uncertainly globally, real estate here is a safe haven,” Susan Wachter, professor of real estate and finance at University of Pennsylvania, told

The top destinations of foreign investors for U.S. real estate purchases are:

1. Florida: Thirty-one percent of all home purchases in that state are made by foreign buyers, with most coming from Cuba, Haiti, and Colombia.

2. California: 12 percent of all home purchases (most coming from Mexico, the Philippines, China, India, and Vietnam)

3. Texas: 9 percent of all home purchases (most coming from Mexico, India, Vietnam, China, and the Philippines)

Source: “Housing More Affordable Than Ever ... for Foreign Investors,” (Jan. 13, 2012)

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