As part of the baby boom generation, I have watched first my parents and then my friends search for that bit of paradise, away from the daily grind and like most Canadians, the lure of southern climates in the United States or farther south has and still is, a great choice.
Also, as a Canadian REALTOR® there is not a day that goes by without a plea from a southern based agent, developer or client wanting me to sell or refer my clients to their properties.
The Canadian Real Estate Market has remained strong but since 2008, our neighbours to the south and the markets that they were involved in have softened. Now our American cousins are looking to the foreign buyers and Canadians are the largest group (24% by latest figures from the National Association of REALTORS®). They are looking north for Canadian buyers to help them move to a more balanced market and increase their business.
In the rush to get Canadian buyers however, are they forgetting the Canadian sellers who are presently living in the south and may be interested in moving up but may also be “timing out” of their Vacation homes.
Canada has universal Health Care which we pay for within our tax structure . Canadians vacationing out of Canada must then buy Travel Insurance which increases in cost as we age and is practically unavailable if there are any pre-existing conditions.
Over the years I have watched as my family and friends stopped their Snowbird ways because of cost of insurance and medical attention. They became sellers of foreign Real Estate rather than buyers.
Like most “down-sizers or right-sizers” that REALTORS® help on a regular basis providing guidance and being the source of great professionals to help through transitions and the transaction is paramount in providing value and building a strong marketshare.
If I was asked to guide an agent looking to increase their business with foreigners, I would suggest that they look within their present marketplace for Sellers who may at some point be “timing out”, rather than looking only for Buyers…and who better to provide great buyer referrals than sellers who have been successful and who are constantly being asked for their advice on buying property in Southern locations.