Foreigners are attracted to buying residential real estate in the U.S. because they view the homes as great investments, whether the home is being used as a vacation home, a permanent residence or as a rental property.  As with any real estate purchase, chances are that the property value will go up, leaving a buyer with a significant asset.

Over 40% of international home-buying transactions come from Canada, Mexico, China and India.  These international purchasers account for 7% of the residential market or property sales of $66 billion annually.

Unlike some of the reality television shows we see, where international buyers come in and purchase elaborate mansion and pay all-cash, the more likely scenario looks something like this.  Often times an international buyer faces a challenge with financing in the U.S., but over 50% of buyers who pay for properties with cash, are looking in reasonable price ranges of $250,000 or less, and overwhelmingly prefer detached, single-family homes in suburban areas.

This leads us to ask the question, how can we market our homes to international buyers?

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.

Top prospects typically come from referrals provided by previous clients and the internet.

To attract an international buyer you have to hire an agent who has ties with foreign buyers, who has the ability to place advertising in the country (you’re targeting) and if they will have a website dedicated to the property with a virtual tour.

Online advertising is critical, as foreign buyers normally are not physically able to see the property.  It is equally important for there to be plenty of information about the home on the site and for there to be pictures and video of the home if possible.

Finally, be sure your marketing has the information a foreign buyer will need: your home’s proximity to the airport and data on the local international community, including places to shop and socialize with others of the same background.