International home sales in the U.S. have accounted for more than six percent of total existing-home sales in recent months. The NAR 2013 Profile of International Home Buying Activity also revealed that 63 percent of reported transactions were all cash. According to the survey, foreign buyers more frequently pay cash compared to domestic buyers, mostly due to mortgage financing challenges.

Financing tends to be a problem for foreign clients because many of them do not have a U.S.-based credit history, or a Social Security number. They also have difficulties in documenting mortgage requirements and financial profiles that are different from those that lenders normally receive from domestic buyers. In fact, 26 percent of Realtors® reported that financing-related issues were one of the reasons their clients ended up not purchasing property in the U.S.

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Ask Realtors® about their experiences with international clientele. What are some of the challenges that come with representing foreign buyers? Talk to foreign buyers for insights into why they find the U.S. a desirable place to own a home.

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