Here’s How the Home Buying Process is Different For Immigrants in the U.S.

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As a knowledgeable group of immigration attorneys, we understand the differences that come with buying real estate in various parts of the world. However, not everyone understands the alternative processes that can truly make or break your likelihood of a successful transaction. Here are just a few differences to be aware of when purchasing real estate in the U.S. as an immigrant.

Seller Pays Commission

In other countries, the buyer usually pays a set fee to the realtors who are looking for properties for them, but it doesn’t quite work that way in the United States. Here, the real estate seller is the one who pays the commission. As a buyer, it won’t cost you to have a real estate work for you.

Realtors Must Be Licensed

In other countries including Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Belize, real estate agents do not need to be licensed. Another positive difference of buying real estate in the U.S. is that all real estate agents must have a valid license. However, each state has different laws regarding specific licensing procedures and guidelines.

“The licensing laws of each state differ regarding how much education is required, the type and depth of licensing examinations, and whether continuing education courses are required once an agent becomes licensed. The licensing system was designed to ensure real estate agents are qualified to guide consumers through the maze of finding, evaluating and financing real estate,” writes Zillow.

Multiple Listing Services Are Used

Finally, some countries have a very fragmented real estate market because of the fact that buyers have to go from realtor to realtor to find the property that’s right for them. But in the U.S., the listing information for each property is shared using multiple listing services. This means that consumers have the ability to access the same specific information using dedicated websites for real estate.

From 1994 to 2015, immigrant homeownership rose 2.3 percentage points while U.S.-born homeownership remained flat. Still, the process of becoming an immigrant homeowner can be difficult, so it’s always best to consult knowledgeable immigration lawyers. For more information about immigration lawyers in San Francisco California, contact Reeves Immigration Law Group.