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How to find a foreign buyer

small house credit: iStock

small house credit: iStock Credit: iStock/

Foreign buyers purchased $82 billion worth of real estate in the United States in the past year ending in March, according to the National Association of Realtors 2011 Profile of International Home Buying Activity. That’s up from $66 billion in 2010 – one of the highest increases in recent years, the report says.

Foreign buyers who seek a home on Long Island are typically “those looking for a second home, or to relocate,” says Bonnie Williamson, an associate broker with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty in Huntington.

There are a handful of factors that can make it worthwhile to market your home to buyers in other countries. If your home has any of these, consider listing it with an agent who speaks multiple languages and is familiar with international marketing:


A home close to an airport has international appeal: Foreign buyers are interested in proximity to their home country and convenience of air transportation. That means the East Coast attracts European buyers, the report says.


Families of international students attending U.S. universities are purchasing properties in college areas so their child has a place to live, the profile says.


“It’s usually houses that have some kind of exceptional feature” that attract international buyers, such as “a famous architect, famous design, waterfront or antique or historical value,” Williamson says.

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