The latest from Lili about Boston Real Estate.

Exaggerated Notion of International Buyers

November 5, 2016 |

There’s no question that there are many more international buyers looking for Boston luxury homes than let’s say five or six years ago. These buyers are either investors or end users. However, the total percentage sale in the Boston luxury real estate marketplace is still to local buyers.

Sellers for the most part, keep hearing a great deal of talk about “international buyers” and are focused on marketing their Boston luxury homes to these foreign buyers. They have no interest in seeing the statistics indicating otherwise. Yes, it is an uphill battle at times…..some sellers do insist in marketing aggressively in foreign markets.

Having dealt with international buyers for as long as I have and knowing what types of properties they gravitate to, even I have a hard time convincing some sellers that the buyer for their Boston luxury real estate property is more likely going to be a local buyer. As investors, international buyers, typically buy in brand new construction (in bulk or single unit). Occasionally, they invest in older buildings, not often though.

Many International end users also feel that they have more security in full service buildings, especially if they are not staying there full time, but very few do also buy in non-full service buildings as well. There are a few who buy luxury homes in the suburbs, for the school systems.

Knowing what is selling and who is buying, most experienced and seasoned brokers are the best equipped to advise their Boston luxury real estate sellers in terms of their marketing strategy. Sellers have to trust the ability and reputation of their brokers in advising them how, where, when and to whom they should market the property.

An old house needing work is a great find and could have a lot of potential for a local buyer, but an international buyer would not be interested because, they don’t have the know-how, time or ability to deal with renovation. Or a historical property with lots of great Victorian details is more attractive to local buyers. Therefore, sellers of some properties should stop romanticizing about marketeting such properties to foreign buyers.


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