Once the house is on the market, the seller should make sure it is readily available for showing, since international buyers may be in town for only a few days, said Elizabeth Arcaro, a luxury home specialist with Coldwell Banker Residential in Palm Desert.
Arcaro represented Colombotos in the sales of his two properties, one of which, she said, resulted directly from an open house.
About 28% of foreign buyers pay cash for homes in the United States, the Realtors study found, compared with 8% of other buyers.
Almost every major U.S. lender has a loan program for foreign nationals, Carlson said. This access to ready cash makes these buyers particularly attractive.
However, a hefty deposit or substantial reserves in a liquid bank account is a typical requirement for international buyers to obtain financing, Moesser said.
"As a seller, you don't really care whether the money is coming from a bank or an individual, but when someone comes in with an all-cash offer," Colombotos said, or "a letter from their bank stating that the funds are available, you know it's a done deal."
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Learn more about transnational home sales and find salespeople who are tapped into international markets at these websites:
Certified International Property Specialist, www.realtor.org/cipshome.nsf /pages/aboutcips, is a professional designation awarded by the National Assn. of Realtors. The 1,500 real estate professionals in the network have completed a weeklong international property training course.
The International Real Estate Federation, www.fiabci-usa.com, is an organization of real estate professionals in 65 countries that helps its members access markets around the globe.
The International Consortium of Real Estate Assns., www.world properties.com, sets standards for real estate practices around the globe and facilitates transnational transactions.
LuxuryRealEstate.com, www.luxuryrealestate.com, is a network of more than 1,000 brokerages. Its website displays information about 50,000 properties for sale worldwide.
-- Marcie Geffner