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Patricia Tan – Perspectives – International REAL Estate

Patricia Tan

Confidence In Your Real Estate Professional
Makes Decision Making Easier

By Patricia Tan

As we experience Florida’s hot and humid summer months, and the snow birds have long gone, we continue to welcome many international visitors to the area. Long summer vacation weeks in Europe make this the perfect time for Europeans to make the long journey here to enjoy sun and sand.

Many of these visitors are so taken with what our wonderful area has to offer, they contemplate purchasing a home so they can stay for longer periods, and have a place to call their own. Many think about it, but few actually take the plunge. Why is that?

In my years of working with international customers and traveling outside of U.S.A. to promote Florida real estate, the most common reasons I hear are things like:

It’s such a different system from home
We felt overwhelmed by all the things we needed to understand
The holiday was wonderful but we need to know more before we invest in real estate
Too much uncertainty about visas and the length of time we would be allowed to stay

As Realtors part of our job is to educate our customers about homes in the area, but our responsibilities extend much deeper than that when we work with someone from outside the country. Before we can sell them a house, we have to sell them the area, and before we can do that we have to instill confidence that we understand how to navigate the real estate system and guide them through aspects of the transaction that differ from their home country. Customers from overseas really do appreciate it if their real estate professional can compare and contrast the system in Florida with the way things work in their country of residence.

The smart buyers will look for guidance from a professional who understands how to work with international buyers, and help them avoid the many pitfalls which may be encountered along the way, such as understanding Federal tax consequences of a purchase or sale, currency considerations, immigration strategies, and implications for property tax and homeowners insurance. An international real estate professional will already have relationships in place with other local professionals in these related fields, and be able to work as a team to meet a client’s personal and real estate objectives.

pat-tan

So how can buyers identify a real estate agent who is skilled in international transactions?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has more than one million members and saw the need to differentiate those who wished to work in the international marketplace. More than 15 years ago, NAR introduced the designation of Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) and developed a five day education program to give their members the knowledge and tools to effectively work with overseas customers. I am certified by NAR to teach the classes that make up the Certified International Property Specialist course, and I can vouch for the wealth of information and knowledge that is passed on to Realtors during this education.

NAR has made the same CIPS education available to real estate professionals outside U.S.A. allowing international real estate practitioners around the world to work from the same foundations. Members of the CIPS network now span 60 countries, so the search for professional assistance could actually start in a buyer’s home country!

Here in the United States, CIPS designees make up less than 2% of the realtor population but there is a heavy concentration in areas that attract a lot of foreign investment, such as Florida. Buyers can locate a CIPS by referring to NAR’s website www.Realtor.org or by calling or visiting the local Association of Realtors.

Education is certainly the key. It’s no longer enough for a real estate agent to understand the properties and neighborhoods in their market. They must be up to date on market statistics, possible contractual issues, manage the challenges associated with financing and much more. In a transaction that involves an international buyer or seller of real estate the knowledge and skills required to ensure a successful transaction are so much greater, and buyers are hungry for information to support their buying decisions.

patricia-tanPatricia Tan was born in England, and her career in international sales and marketing led her to live and work in many countries around the world before moving to Sarasota in 1997. Patricia is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI), and Transnational Referral Certified (TRC). She is involved in global activities of the Sarasota, Florida and National Association of Realtors, and currently serves as NAR President’s Liaison to U.K. Her real estate business operates from Coldwell Banker on St Armands Key, where her focus is to bring international buyers to the local market. She regularly makes marketing trips to Canada, Asia and Europe, to promote Florida’s Gulf Coast and the Sarasota area in particular. Patricia may be reached at 941-504-9232 or Pat@PatriciaTan.com.

Copyright © 2016 REAL Exclusive Magazine www.getrealexclusive.com
Links to this article are encouraged

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