Buying a property abroad is not something easy. There is the search process, there is the “falling in love” season to be considered, and then there is the final decision. Some foreign buyers will be seduced by the property itself and many others are going to pay attention to all the small details and do a complete market study before buying.
According to Bryant McClain, director of sales and marketing with Itz’ana Resort & Residences in Belize (op cit.)“often they don’t even realize that they may have to overcome complex legal issues about foreign property ownership.”
Today Philly.com published an article that is really interesting to all of us. Actually they list a few questions that buyers should put themselves before buying a vacation house. We got inspired by that and we went further.
As we want you to succeed in your business we took their list and we advise you how to use that list to help your customers to get focused and to help you being prepared to every question they might have. Wanna bet? Let’s check this out!
1. Can your client legally buy property in the country?
This is not a Romeo and Juliet affair. Still you, as a real estate professional, need to know who can legally buy in your country or what are the conditions that your client needs to respect in order to buy a property in your country.
Do you want some hints on how to start this?
- Get to know how people can obtain citezenship in your country
- Know what are the agreements your country have with others in terms of investment Vs. Cititizenship
- Have a list of good lawyers in hand in case you need them to support your clients
If you want to go further, why not using that information on your listing to immediate inform your potential buyers and show them you are trustworthy?
Don’t forget that you are the expert and you should be the one knowing all that.
2. What kind of residency can your client establish?
We talked before about citizenship rules but what about VISA?
Tell your customers what are their VISA possibilities rather than telling them about restrictions. We know restrictions and borders are boring but put it in a positive sense: how many days you can spend in the country?
And if your customers plan is to retire or work abroad, check-out all the existing possibilities.
3. How can your clients finance their properties?
Money, Money, Money… and now what?
Well your customers need your help to put that green paper in your hands!
You can start by knowing:
- How much can a bank give your customers to finance their properties?
- What are the financing possibilities for foreign buyers in your country?
- What are the most interesting Banks?
- What are the interest rates ?
- What are the documents banks will need from your customers?
Remember that you are the expert! Your clients are counting on you to facilitate.
4. Will your client be able to gain money with that investment?
Your clients can search for a vacation house or an investment. Either way it is important to show your customers how much can they earn from it. Why not suggesting them to rent their vacation home while they are away? Why now showing them directly how much can they earn with a long term rental or even Airbnb?
Even though there are some places that have rental limits, laws ans tax rules that can lower the profit, don’t be scared. Get the calculator and prepare some examples to show them. They will be amazed by the profit opportunities you can build only for them.
5. Be prepared for that question: How will maintenance or repairs be managed in the property?
Even though airmiles can be a real business for airlines, you are a real estate agent so let’s keep things separated.
No one need to rush into your country to solve problems. You speak the language and you know the right people, so build your own “guide”.
Get a list of:
- What are the companies that provide these repair works? (water, electricity, cleaning, etc)
- Is there any company that provides a all-in-one option for property management in your area? What are their prices and services?
After having this in hand we are sure you will dazzle your customers.
6. What should they consider in terms of taxes and insurance?
This can actually freak out most of your customers. No one likes to pay taxes but everyone knows they are needed so try to keep this simple for them.
Foreign buyers usually don’t know your country so be the one giving that information. Clarify what are the taxes and insurances that are mandatory and those the client can have to better protect himself.
Having said, prepare a list of:
- Mandatory insurance, it’s coverages and prices Vs. Non Mandatory insurance
- Annual taxes
- How to declare your taxes
- How much money they need to pay yearly in taxes
- What expenses can be deducted
- Rental taxes
And why not going for the extra mile and get a list of some local accountants that can help your customers filling their taxes declaration?
7. If they get ill, what should they do?
Health is always important and when your customers don’t know the healthcare system this can get tricky. So we advise you to prepare a document that explains:
- Your country healthcare system
- Pro’s and Con’s
- Where are hospitals/healthcare centers located
- What documents you need to present while requesting these services
- What are the insurances available and average costs?
Don’t hesitate to provide information. Be the real host to your country. Don’t forget you are the one opening the door to your country so you have to welcome them and show that buying a property with you is the best way to go.
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