Selling Real Estate to Foreign Buyers “By Owner” vs. through Local Realtor (Part 1)

What is better – to sell “By Owner” or to have a local realtor? The old big general question for all private property sellers. The question is even bigger if you want to find foreign buyers while selling real estate. Eventually every seller decides for themselves based on their personal circumstances and preferences, real estate market conditions and value of the property. No “one fits all” as always.

Approximately 80% of all American property owners are selling real estate with a realtor, but approximately 20% go without. In other countries the proportion might be different. In Russia by the way it is about 60% of the owners are selling real estate with a realtor vs. 40% without (and thus almost half of the buyers would be inclined to search for direct advertising of international properties).

If you are a property owner and want to sell just one piece of real estate to the foreign buyers, then you actually have the following three marketing venues:

= Offer your property for sale to local realtors who do receive the foreign buyers – passive marketing through the local realtors with foreign connections

= Offer your property for sale to realtors in the foreign country who are in business of selling real estate of your country to their foreign buyers – passive marketing through the foreign realtors

= Advertise your home or condo for sale on foreign real estate portals for general foreign public and also you can promote your home or condo for sale through your own website in the foreign language – active marketing, “By Owner” in its pure form

Advertising and promoting your property for sale on your own is more expensive upfront, but you do not pay any commission later, so it is cheaper by the end of the day. We have already discussed all the aspects of active real estate marketing in the previous posts of this blog.

In this part of the blog we are going to talk about the first two options: Passive real estate marketing through your local realtors or bypassing them and work with the foreign realtors only. What are the pros and cons of each?

First of all, you have to know how your local realtors work – are they exclusive or not? In some countries as in the U.S., the sellers’ realtors are exclusive and you sign a binding legal contract with a realtor and pay him or her commission on sale according to the contract even if you find a buyer on your own – a foreign one or all of a sudden a member of your own family from the next street would decide to buy your property, it does not matter, and you still have a legal obligation to pay your exclusive realtor. In such circumstances you have to choose the local realtor very carefully and if your goal is to find the foreign buyers, only sign a contract with the local realtor who proves their ability to market your property in that foreign country that is your target.

(To be continued)

Copyright © 2017 by Olga Kellen
All Rights Reserved

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