How to Sell Property to Overseas Investors

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Overseas investors are a great potential target for selling your property.
Overseas investors are a great potential target for selling your property. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Overseas investors have taken advantage of the cheap dollar and depressed housing market since 2008 to buy up U.S. real estate in prime locations. Therefore, in some cases you may want to focus your efforts on selling properties to overseas investors. This takes a certain degree of effort and a few extra steps, depending on the country of origin. In particular, some foreign investors have slightly different tax regulations.

Develop a marketing strategy to attract foreign investors. Depending on your company's resources you may choose to open an office in a target country. You may also simply develop a few Web pages in the target language and run online ads for the target population.

Roll out an advertising strategy for the target country using online and offline media. A consultant or marketing firm should help with this process. Hire a professional with the necessary language skills.

Provide a comprehensive overview of the sales process in the U.S. including the mortgage, appraisal and inspection process. Also outline how fees typically work including the broker fee and closing costs. The overview could be electronic, paper or verbal once a prospect responds to your ads.

Notify the foreign investor the tax implications of purchasing a U.S. home. He must first obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN) by completing form W-7 for the IRS. Foreign investors must pay standard capital gains taxes on their properties. However, when they would like to sell their property 10 percent of the sale value is held in escrow until taxes are paid. The government implemented this policy because they were afraid the foreign investor would leave the country without paying.

Provide exquisite service and support typical for your firm including showing properties that meet the buyer specifications.

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