The U.S. real estate market has been attracting foreign buyers to major cities across the country. It’s not just the lower home prices that drive foreign demand; it’s the fact that the U.S. is one of the safest places to invest on the planet. Also, potential home buyers relocate here from cities around the world every year. In fact, sales to foreign buyers amounted to about $92B in 2014, an increase of nearly thirty percent from the previous year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Since real estate is a competitive business, some Realtors® are distinguishing themselves among other real estate professionals by becoming a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). Those that successfully pass the required courses to earn this level of distinction become members of an exclusive club that is in a class by itself. It’s a club whose members have demonstrated that they have the skills and confidence to help foreign buyers complete complex international real estate transactions on properties they buy in the U.S. and abroad. This includes investment performance appraisal, regional market conditions, foreign currency transactions and multicultural issues among others.
Real estate professionals that apply for the prestigious CIPS designation will have three years to complete the five required courses. Any courses that were completed more than three years prior to submitting an application will need to be retaken so as to receive any credit towards the CIPS learning requirement. In addition, agents must show 100 points of international experience on their application.
Realtors® who have completed this certification program are listed in a special directory that enables referring agents and potential home buyers to find CIPS designated agents. Designees also receive access to customized and unique marketing tools to help them grow their international clientele. Thus, agents can increase real estate commissions they earn as a result.
Investing in knowledge is an important part of a thriving real estate career and the CIPS designation enables agents to remain competitive in their market while delivering value to international clients around the world.