In Part 1 I discussed the participation of non-U.S. citizens in our real estate market. Foreign buyers have traditionally been a significant part of the residential market in select states. Arizona has been one of those favored states, and should be even more attractive in the future.

This is because the large decline in metropolitan Phoenix home values makes our local market more attractive than residential real estate in other states. Increasingly favorable currency exchange rates should mean that foreign buyers will get even more for their money here. Therefore, there is a possibility that foreign sales of domestic real estate will increase over the already significant historical norms.

We know that foreign purchases have an impact because the National Association of Realtors (NAR) keep statistics, as reflected in the recently released Profile of International Home Buying Activity report. That document shows that the majority of the purchases by non-U.S. residents are in the residential market. For example, 61% of the international purchasers bought single family homes. Condos accounted for an additional 18% of foreign purchases.

The purchases by foreigners are concentrated in the West and South regions of the U.S. Eighty percent of the properties bought were located there. As to my fellow Canadians, almost 60% of them purchased in Florida and Arizona, with Arizona accounting for 23% of those Canadian acquisitions. Although Canadians have greater access to financing here compared to other foreign nationals, the difficulty in borrowing meaningful amounts mean that foreigners are solid, cash buyers.

So in this tough seller market, can you afford to ignore the foreign buyers? Obviously you can’t, because a seller should market its property to the widest market possible. As a result, a real estate licensee should know as much as possible about how to appeal to the foreign investor

I have many years of experience working on international real estate transactions and in dealing with clients from diverse cultures. To increase this capacity, I pursued a course of study that resulted in the award of the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation from the NAR early this year.

To earn the CIPS designation, I was required to complete course work devoted to learning cultural differences and international business practices, and demonstrate past achievements in international real estate transactions. The CIPS designation demonstrates that I have the necessary training and experience to work successfully with international clients that are crucial players in today’s international real estate market.

The CIPS program focuses on ownership and transaction principles of international real estate, including specifics on real estate markets in Europe, the Americas and the Asia/Pacific region – areas where the majority of buyers come from that purchase in Arizona. Knowing how to reach non-U.S, residents allows me to provide my clients with the highest level of expertise possible.

In addition, a select number of elite real estate agents in other countries are members of the CIPS global network. By earning the CIPS designation, I have joined this worldwide referral network of global real estate practitioners. The agents in that network from other countries represent international clients who are seeking to invest or move here, and they know that I handle the issues applicable to the international buyer.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about how the CIPS designation can benefit you and the sale of your Phoenix metropolitan area home, call me at 480 675-0112 or email to mark@simplysoldaz.com.