Virtual tours are the #1 tool for selling properties to foreign buyers

By Vizit Team
Oct 19th, 2022
Most foreign buyers decide to buy a property while still abroad. Research shows that over 90% of foreign buyers decide whether or not they'll buy a property after viewing its virtual tour.

The U.S. property market has been on the upswing for years now. People all over the world are looking online at houses in the U.S., U.K. and Western Europe before deciding whether it's worth going there themselves to visit potential properties in person or not. Virtual tours are the best tool to get these buyers to commit to your property with ease.

The U.S. is attracting global real estate investors

The U.S. is an increasingly popular destination for foreign real estate buyers. And the numbers speak for themselves. According to data from real estate site Redfin, international home purchases made up 3% of all sales in 2016 in the United States—but that number has been steadily increasing over time. 

For the most part, they’re looking to capitalize on the growing real estate market in the richest country in the word and get a good return on their investment. These are not your traditional flippers, but buyers looking for long-term ROI from rent and gradual house-price increases. 

Some do so as part of purchasing groups with dedicated agents scouting for properties, but there are plenty of independent investors who choose to do it all by themselves.These are usually looking for good quality homes in up-and-coming areas that can be managed easily from afar.

A second major stream of foreign buyers are high-earning tech and business workers who are relocating to work in one of the American tech hubs. They too are looking for high-quality homes that they can move into straight away.

The property market in the UK has seen an influx of foreign buyers over recent years

Like the U.S., the property market in the UK has seen an influx of foreign buyers over recent years. The majority of these are still coming from Europe, with the Eurozone accounting for 61% of all non-UK house purchases in the country.

This trend isn't surprising considering that Europeans are most likely to buy property as an investment rather than a place to live in their country of origin. With this in mind, agents should take into account that most inquiries will be from buyers who want to diversify their portfolio and not necessarily those looking for a new home abroad.

While the trend has slowed significantly due to Brexit, many European buyers still find the U.K. an attractive investment destination.

Chinese buyers are also a major force in the market, with their enquiries up 50% from 2016 to 2017. Chinese buyers are more likely to close on a house than other foreign buyers and they're buying more expensive properties: the average price of a property purchased by a Chinese buyer was £250,000 in 2016 and that figure has grown to £275,000 in 2017.

The warm mediterranean is attracting northern buyers

While Eurozone citizens are still on the lookout for properties in the U.K., many British citizens are still looking for retirement and holiday destinations in the warm Mediterranean climate. They, along with buyers from other North European countries, are scooping up properties in Spain, Portugal, Greece and coastal Balkan states.

Foreign buyers used to buy sight unseen with the help of local realtors

What ties all these buyers together is that they’re physically far from the property they want to buy. This naturally complicates the buying process and requires much more trust to develop between the local agent and the foreign buyer. Many times, this distance proved too much. It’s difficult to commit to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on something you’ve never laid eyes on before. Forget about hidden damage, these buyers can’t even grasp the look and feel of a home before committing. Many deals fell through because the agent couldn’t smooth over this tension.

Virtual tours make it possible to see a property without stepping foot in it

Virtual tours have helped make it possible to buy properties without ever seeing them in person. Virtual tour technology allows you to create a virtual model of your property, which can then be shown to interested buyers.

While they were first pioneered by real estate agents and developers of luxury homes, virtual tours have become popular for other types of properties. A virtual tour allows a buyer to get a real sense of what the property looks like and how it flows. By seeing the layout of your home, they'll be able to determine if they want to see it in person or make an offer on it.

In fact, our data shows that over 90% of foreign buyers decide whether or not they'll buy a property after viewing its virtual tour! This means that if you're looking for ways to sell properties remotely, then using a virtual tour is one way for you to increase your chances of closing deals with international clients.

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