The world has changed in many ways since the start of the pandemic, but one major change is a new interest in international real estate. Now that international travel has opened back up, real estate agents who specialize in relocation, particularly international relocation, have a unique opportunity to leverage the trend.

New Top International Destinations for Prospective U.S. Buyers

According to a recent study by Point2 Homes, prospective homebuyers in the United States are seriously considering moving to North, South and Central America more than ever before.

And, after an uncertain two years and a series of lockdowns, it’s unsurprising that these prospective homebuyers are showing the most interest in countries within those continents that are most associated with perks like great weather, tropical vacations and some of the world’s best ski resorts.

The study revealed that Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Belize and the Virgin Islands topped the charts in 2021, each moving up a few places on the list since the study started back in 2015.

Close runners-up were Panama, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and Honduras, all keeping in line with prospective buyers’ desire to “escape” the grind and slow things down.

International Home-Buying Challenges

Despite their enthusiasm, it’s not as simple as prospective homebuyers searching foreign destinations, picking the perfect place and packing their bags.

On top of existing restrictions on foreign homebuyers—like Mexico’s restrictions on buying coastline property or the general difficulty of obtaining a Mexican mortgage—other destinations like Canada have vowed to ban foreign buyers for two years to “cool rising prices” set off by the pandemic.

Regardless of impending bans and extra restrictions that may arise, other challenges for prospective American buyers include making decisions sight unseen, not knowing much about the schools or communities in their chosen destination, and generally needing some guidance and advice.

This is where real estate agents who specialize in relocation can be useful, and why agents who do specialize in relocation may want to reach back out to prospects who were interested in an international move pre-pandemic now that global travel restrictions have mostly lifted.

To restart the conversation with leads or to bring in a fresh pool of prospects, relocation specialists may also consider sharing a monthly market report in their chosen foreign destinations to provide insights on how to relocate, address any relevant restrictions and offer helpful resources like relocation document checklists or FAQs.

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