International Buyers: Don’t Get Lost in Translation

(繁體中文 / 简体中文)

Over the years, we have seen an upwards-growing trend in buyers coming to us internationally. It’s no surprise that there is global interest in our market – Nanaimo is a wonderful place! Much of our housing and commercial buildings are undervalued compared to the Mainland or Victoria, making them prime targets for commercial and residential investment. Not only that, but we already have a diverse and exciting culture, with a strong sense of community and a burgeoning arts scene. The plans we have seen for the development of an upscale Chinese-owned hotel in Nanaimo’s Downtown core only serve to confirm what we know about the tremendous value that our hub city offers. Many, like those building our new hotel, come to invest, while a large portion come to live, work, and play here.

Contracts. Image via

Growth for International Buyers

Our market’s statistics show that, between 2012 and 2013, the number of buyers in our market coming from outside of Canada increased by twelve percent. Although we don’t yet have data for 2014, we only expect this statistic to grow as the tourism industry brings more out-of-country visitors to our area to fall in love with it.

Cultural Differences

An American buyer may not have particularly different customs in terms of negotiating an offer, going through subject removal, and taking possession, but buyers coming from further afield often have cultural traditions that affect how their deals go through. For example, international buyers may initially make a low offer because they know that they will continue to negotiate to their goal price.

A local buyer may make an offer closer to their desired price, simply because bartering is not as common in our culture as it is in others. Other differences may come up further on, with relation to subject removal. There may be a difference of opinion between local buyers and international buyers in terms of what the property inspection, for example, is used for. One side may see it as an opportunity for further negotiation, while the other sees it as an insurance policy, so to speak, that nothing is drastically wrong with the home. It depends on what they have experienced in the culture in which they have spent most of their time.

Don't Get Lost in Translation. Image via ingimage.
Don’t Get Lost in Translation. Image via ingimage.

What Our Team Offers to International Buyers

Navigating cultural differences can be a tricky proposition. It is to any buyer’s advantage to hire a REALTOR® who understands how to respect the intricacies of their culture. It also benefits local sellers in that it allows us to market their property to a broader audience. We have access to excellent translation services, which gives us the opportunity to ensure that our international buyers’ and local clients’ wishes are heard.

Did you  know: RE/MAX is an international real estate brand.[su_divider]

Don’t want to get lost in translation? Search for your properties using the RE/MAX Global translation tool and then talk with the Parker Team!