Selling Property to International and Interstate Buyer's

What’s the best strategy to target interstate and international property buyers?

Canberra’s population grows by an average of 23 people every single day. This rise in population is made up primarily of families from other states looking for an easier lifestyle and better location to raise their children. In addition to these families are those emigrating internationally, future Australian’s who’ve found both our economy and property market stability particularly appealing.

Whilst Australia has some of the toughest rules on foreign property investment in the world, those savvy investors from across the ocean are welcome to purchase any home which adds to our housing stock. This means newly built homes (such as knock-down rebuilds), vacant blocks of land and houses/units currently under construction (such as off-the-plan and house and land packages).

It’s important to note that these rules only apply to international buyer’s and not interstate, Australian citizens and permanent residents enjoy less red tape and almost no restrictions when it comes to purchasing homes in the ACT.

This is a golden opportunity for sellers to get the best price on a newly built mid-sized home or off-the-plan units by targeting international investors who are ready to make an offer – sometimes well in advance of settling in Canberra. These are serious buyers who won’t jerk you around because they haven’t got much time to waste.

Is targeting international and interstate buyers best for you?

International and interstate buyers are already a part of the real estate ecology in Canberra. International investment in the ACT may not be as prevalent as elsewhere in the country, but there’s certainly a large portion of homes and units that go to these buyers. These aren’t your average “holiday makers” but buyers who want to be a part of the local fabric and know that homeownership is the best way to do this. Even if you’re not solely targeting these buyers, they certainly can’t be ignored as they’re making prices competitive and snatching up property quickly.

Having said that, if you’d like to offload your property quickly – international and interstate buyers may be the best way to do this.


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How do you target international and interstate buyers interested in your property?


Advertise on multiple Real Estate portals with a National Database

To target international and interstate buyers you’ll have to extend your marketing and advertising activity beyond local outlets. This can be easily done through your real estate agent. Networking is another major component. Any real estate agent worth their salt will have a network of buyers beyond Canberra’s borders. That means they’ll have access to national or even international listing sites or in the very least an online strategy.

Online portals are the first place anyone who’s interested in buying a home will go. It’s far easier to pop onto a site that’s indexable and easy to navigate than to call every local agent looking for a suitable listing. This is your opportunity to show off your home and its best features – remembering that you should put just as much effort into staging for pictures as you would for a viewing. If your images aren’t spot, on you might get overlooked.

Choose the right property selling method

Most international buyers are familiar with auctions and private treaty sales as these sorts of property selling methods are common worldwide. For those looking to settle in Canberra permanently, Private Treaty is usually their go-to option. Auction sales have started taking off too – however due to registration rules aren’t usually open to international buyers and are also difficult for interstate home hunters – especially those who aren’t even in the country yet.

Private Treaty does offer something most expats are comfortable with. Being able to negotiate face-to-face, view the property and then make an offer in person is convenient. In contrast, auctions often feel forced and unnatural and may be better suited for investors or buyers with lots of experience owning property.

Be open to negotiation

If you’ve decided to go the auction route be open and willing to accept offers before then, as you never know what might happen at an auction. Buyers are weary of the conditions and aren’t jumping to make offers quite as readily as before. If an offer is reasonable and within your expected limits, you should certainly be willing to accept it. However, this doesn’t mean you should accept an offer out of fear. Just be aware of the uncertainties posed by an auction and lean on the expertise of your real estate agent who knows the market and can advise you whether the offer is worth it.

Highlight the home’s best features

Serious buyers are looking at several properties that fit their specific criteria. If yours has made the list, it means you’ve got something that interests them. What you should do is be sure that your best features – the features that probably caught their eye to begin with – are showcased superbly. That usually means preparing core rooms like the bedrooms and living spaces, maximizing the space and storage compartments so they look bigger, and of course keeping the place neat and tidy. If there’s a view, be sure to keep the blinds and curtains open and create an outdoor flow so they are able to see the view, even if it’s overcast.

Choose an experienced Real Estate agent

You want to choose a real estate agent that knows the local market well enough to display your property exquisitely, but who has the skill, network and expertise to get your property noticed internationally and standout among competing properties.

International and interstate buyers represent a large portion of buyers currently on the market. And they’re some of the most serious buyers around. If your strategy includes them, you may find yourself with an offer sooner than expected and higher than you thought possible.


With Canberra’s housing market continuing to increase in value driven by a surge in population, most property listings stand to benefit by attracting these international and interstate property investors. As price is driven by supply and demand, more interest leads to more offers leads to better values – and following a few of these simple tips may be all that’s needed to attract our friends from across the pond.

If you’re considering selling your property, why not speak to one of our senior agents? Our agency principal, Peter Tolhurst, has over 25 years experience and would be happy to perform a free, no obligation market appraisal at a time that suits you.

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