The St. Cloud listings are one piece of what is now a towering real estate marketing colossus. Our MLS is like the bulletin board at the local supermarket where you pin up your garage sale notice or picture of the old lawn mower you’d like to get rid of in that it’s simple to use and, for the sellers, free. The difference is that today’s St. Cloud listings are on the internet, so instead of just being available to the shoppers in St. Cloud, it’s posted for the whole world to see. Literally.
And people from all over the world, instead of just wheeling their carts past it on their way to a parking lot, are increasingly paying attention. The most recent survey had foreign buyers plunking down $104 billion for about 8% of total existing homes sales dollars. In other words, people in China are checking out the homes for sale in St. Cloud. (Fewer people in St. Cloud are checking out the homes for sale in China, but there are ample reasons for that). Real estate magazine The Real Deal points out that in some U.S. markets, Chinese buyers have claimed the title of top foreign buyers because of internet buying. “Indeed, prospective Chinese buyers are increasingly relying on websites…”
How foreign buyers come across likely purchases is hard to track, but it’s a cinch that the same listings we use are frequently splashed onto screens across Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, China, etc. When the simplest in-home showing involves the hassle and expense of foreign travel, you can be sure that the still photos and virtual tours integrated into the local listings are close to decisive when foreign buyers are the prospective buyers.
You might think that wealthy Chinese prospects in particular would be mainly attracted to the highest-end trophy properties, but some of the most recent statistics don’t bear that out. Business Insider last reported that in the U.S., “Chinese buyers spent an average of $425,000 on homes.” Because of the difficulty U.S. lenders have in verifying borrower financial data, these are largely cash purchases.
When a residence goes up on the St. Cloud listings, it’s one more reminder of how wide-ranging the potential audience will be. We expect to be viewed by out-of-towners, of course—out-of-staters, sure…but now, increasingly, way out-ofs! With eyes from all over the world joining those who will be giving a property the once-over, we’re again reminded how powerful the visual element of our listings become. It’s why I take great pains to help assemble the finest onscreen presentations for every client…and another good reason you should give me a call!