Home Buying in Scottsdale>Question Details

Catriona, Home Buyer in Outside U.S.

I currently live in Europe and have never purchased a house in the U.S. I'm planning on moving to the States next year. Is there somewhere I can?

Asked by Catriona, Outside U.S. Fri Jul 2, 2010

find "basic information" about purchasing a home? In particular, I have been solicited by real estate agents in the areas I am interested in, but don't know how this works: if a real estate agent is searching for properties for me, if I make a deal on a house do I pay the agent or does the house seller? One of the agents who has approached me works with a large agency, but another (I found on the internet) seems to be totally independent. He put together a portal for me (based on Trulia listings I liked that I sent him). Will I owe him anything if I purchase a home? Sorry to be so clueless! Thanks.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Catriona,

Thank you for your interest in a home here in the US and we welcome you.

I have helped others purchase property here in the US as Foreign Nationals.

I have a purchase guide that I can provide you which will help outline what to do to be prepared to purchase a home here in the US.

As far as commissions and owing a Realtor money, the great thing about working with a buyers Realtor which is what you would be doing, you don't pay us our earnings, the seller of the property pays the listing brokerage who then in turn pays us.

This should have been explained to you in advance, but some times when you search the Internet for a home you become a part of the feeding frenzy of the other millions of people looking for a home and I apologize for that.

Fancy search engines can never replace an educated and experienced Realtor.

What you need is information and most of those sites don't provide you what you really need which is why you are here asking for help, right?

When you decide to move forward look for an experienced professional.

I have your report ready to send to you and you can contact me at the e mail address I have provided below.


Stew Keene - Home Smart Realty
Scottsdale and Phoenix Area Specialist
Accredited Buyers Representative
Master of Real Estate Society
(480) 220 -7491
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
The most efficient method is to first understand your financing or cash exchange option. I would recommend a lender for you if interested to establish finance options for forgein buyers. I have a couple clients I could recommend you talk to on their experience as buyers here in the states as well to get their perspective as well. I also would recommend a website that is up to date with MLS and let's you choose the neighborhoods. Go to http://www.DeserRidgeLifestyle.com and feel free to move throughout neifgborhoods to pic houses that appeal to you. If you do this for the year prior to your move you'll be able to better understand the market you are buying in. You can also save your favorites to see how they fair on the market. This will also help you see what similar homes you like sell for in different neighborhoods and know more of what they are like since demand increases values you'll see where demand is. I can also email you ba Buyer Advisory and Life of an Escrow booklet to give you all the details of home buying and how it works. Asking questions are always ok. A professional Realtor won't mind helping you. When you are ready to buy you'll be best served with one Realtor as your representative who will dial in on your goals and help you reach them. The seller will pay your representatves earnings.
I hope this helps!
All my best
Laura Myers
Select Realty Group
Keller Williams Arizona Realty
480 600 6213
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
Catriona, I would recommend building a relationship with the agent you're working with and who is assisting you in your search. This means talking to the agent on the phone and corresponding via email. Ask the agent MANY questions about the market in the area you're interesting in buying and any other questions you have. Get to know the agent as much as you can. When you come to town, meet with the agent to see if you are comfortable with him/her so when you are ready to start looking at properties and go under contract, you are comfortable because this is the agent that will be with you through the entire process. The commissions are always paid by the seller. It's rare when a buyer pays the commission.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
Good morning

The process is not as difficult as it might appear. Find an agent who not only makes you feel comfortable but knows the area you want to live. There are legal and tax consequences for a foreigner buying property in the US, so I would recommend finding someone who has worked with Buyers from outside of the United States.
Unless you signed an Exclusive Buyer Broker agreement, you do not owe any Realtor anything. The Seller pays the commissions, most of the time. There are always exceptions, but rare. If you are interested in the Arizona market, please check out a few of my websites. http://www.lindasalkow.com will have information just for you. It will explain how a foreigner can purchase property in the US. Check it out.. I also have 2 other sites depending on your needs.. http://www.locationlinda.com and if you are an avid GOLFER, go to http://www.desertmountainlifestyle.com Hope this was helpful... Good Luck, Linda Salkow
Web Reference: http://www.lindasalkow.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
Dear Catriona,

If you haven't signed an exclusive Buyer Broker agreement then you are free to go with any Realtor you desire.

Just be careful with some of the "rebate" Realtors that offer to share their commission because in some cases they may not be the best qualified negotiator to get you the best price. You see you may end up paying significantly more than the rebate you receive in a higher price for the property.

Hope this helps.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
It is important that you select an agent, and go with it! You do not owe any of the agents who have been sending you listings anything. It is the one you select based on your wants and needs to find you a home that will be paid by the seller of the home you buy. Some agents even pay you for selecting them, by splitting commission with you or by giving up a portion of their compensation to discount your home price and save you money.

Please call me at 480-998-0101 or email me at shawnbrown00@aol.com


Shawn Brown
North American Fine Properties, a BBB Accredited Business!
Web Reference: http://www.eliteazhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
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