Southwest Florida Realtors Sharpen Foreign Client Servicing


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, October 28th, 2013 – Property buyers from abroad would be making a smart move if they put Bradenton or Sarasota real estate on their shopping list. The realtors and property brokers in these two Florida cities are continuously upgrading their capabilities to provide services addressing the special needs of their foreign clients, Sarasota Bay Real Estate reports.

An annual international real estate conference, conducted under the auspices of the Sarasota Association of Realtors (SAR), forms as an integral part of the local agents’ capability-building programs. This year’s initiative happened on September 25th.

Proficiency-building in key areas

Through this conference, participants learned to further sharpen their insights and help extend solutions on issues facing foreign home buyers. These concerns include property management, immigration, student visa, and Green Cards.

Prominent resource persons in the conference shared their knowledge on taxation so that realtors can walk their clients smoothly through the levies involved in U.S. property ownership. As important, modes on international money transfers also were discussed to enhance realtors’ expertise in expediting a sale.

Certified international property specialists


Sarasota Bay Real Estate notes that international home sales are so important a component of the U.S. property market that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has a certification process for International Property Specialists. To earn this designation, realtors have to undergo specialized training in order to prepare the agents well to service the international market.

Recent estimates show that international buyers account for over 6% of the value of total existing-home sales in the U.S. In the 12 months ending March this year, international home sales amounted to $68.2 billion, down by about $14 billion from the year-earlier period. Despite the decline, this total is still trending at the peak levels seen in recent years.

What foreign buyers prefer

According to a 2012 NAR report, foreigners buying a home in Florida generally go for condos/apartments rather than single family homes or townhouses. Their choice also veers heavily in favor of existing and previously owned property instead of new builds.

In terms of location, foreign buyers are more inclined on homes located in a central city/urban area or in a resort area. Price-wise, their purchases fall between the $100s and the $300s range.

Ready for the international market

Given these benchmarks, Siesta Key condos for sale can be an alluring proposition for international home buyers. At the Residences on Siesta Key Beach, there are two new listings in the MLS, offering fractional ownership priced in the low $100s. Both with two bedrooms and two baths, one has a floor area of 1,825 square feet and the other 2,255 square feet.

For choices in Sarasota condos for sale around the $300s price mark, the Harbor Towers has several units currently listed in the MLS.  An available one-bedroom unit here with a floor area of 831 square feet has an asking price in the mid-$200s. A larger two-bedroom alternative having a floor plan of 1,056 square feet is priced in the low $300s.