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Patricia Tan – Perspectives – International REAL Estate

Patricia Tan

Welcome! To Our Summer Real Estate Buyers

By Patricia Tan

Just as our tourism market is becoming less seasonal, so too is our real estate market. The gap is narrowing between the number of transactions closed as a result of our winter seasonal visitors, and transactions closed during the steamy summer months.

No sooner have we waved goodbye to our winter residents and visitors, then we start to greet summer tourists who come to sample our sunny shores. We hope they will stay a while and enjoy the Florida lifestyle. Many of our summer visitors will be from other countries, particularly European nations where the tradition of a long summer holiday persists. Walk around St Armand’s Circle and listen to the many different languages being spoken – French, Italian, Spanish, German, Norwegian, Swedish and Portuguese to name a few. Many of our international visitors will enjoy their time here so much, that they may look to purchase a home they can use for future vacations or retirement.

Typically, international visitors will approach a real estate purchase with some trepidation. Unsure how our real estate market works and knowing only that the process of buying a property here must differ significantly from the customs in their home country. The smart buyers will look for guidance from professionals who understand how to work with international buyers and help them avoid the many pitfalls which may be encountered along the way, such as understanding tax consequences, currency considerations, implications for property tax, homeowners insurance and immigration strategies. 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 buyer’s personal and real estate objectives.

Certified International Property Specialist logo

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. About 20 years ago, NAR introduced the designation of Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) and developed five days of targeted education to give their members the knowledge and tools to effectively work with overseas clients. An agent who has achieved the CIPS designation has attended classes, and also demonstrated experience in the international arena in other ways too. They may have lived or worked overseas, speak a foreign language, or be active in the international community. In addition to awarding the designation to U.S. Realtors, NAR have made it available to real estate professionals outside U.S.A. laying the foundations for real estate practitioners around the world to work from the same foundations. More than 3,600 members of the CIPS network now span 45 countries, so the buyer’s search for an international agent to assist in the purchase of U.S. property could actually start in their home country!

Here in the United States, CIPS designees make up less than 1% 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 the CIPS directory on www.Realtor.org NAR’s website, or by calling or visiting the local Association of Realtors.

Knowledge and experience is certainly the key for a Realtor to provide outstanding service to an overseas buyer. It’s no longer enough for a real estate agent to understand the properties and neighborhoods in their local 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. Buyers are hungry for information to support their buying decisions.

Buyers from outside U.S.A. should spend some time to select the right agent. Narrowing their search to only those agents who have achieved the CIPS designation will most certainly help. A properly qualified agent will help ensure a smooth and successful buying experience and avoid mistakes that could be costly in the future.

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 © 2018 REAL Exclusive Magazine www.getrealexclusive.com
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