How To Become An International Real Estate Agent?

Definition of "How to become an international real estate agent?"

Peggy Cornish real estate agent

Written by

Peggy Cornishelite badge icon

Coldwell Banker Coast Realty

Real estate agents like to advance their careers and sometimes they choose to do this outside of the US. As the real estate market industry is an industry that is well developed in most of the world, it’s easy to see why some real estate agents want to test the international real estate waters. The chances to increase revenue are high and the opportunity to explore other cultures is thrilling. 

If you’re interested in international travel, the real estate industry can give you that opportunity. However, going to another country or continent to facilitate real estate transaction deals with local legislation, market conditions, international brokerage, and the actual selling of properties overseas. So let’s cover the basics.

What is an International Real Estate Agent?

While we did say international real estate, an international real estate agent can deal with international homebuyers interested in purchasing property in the United States, or he could facilitate US citizens in the purchase of properties overseas or international real estate speculation. Also, an international real estate agent could also be an agent that wants to expand their businesses in other countries, meaning that while they can be from the US, they could sell a UK citizen a property in Japan. Special licensing and accreditations are required in order to pursue this career path, with various courses that cover everything from exchange rates and currency to cross-cultural relationships, and everything inbetween.


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International real estate agents aren’t limited to their country of residence as they can live wherever their job takes them. The international part of their title means that they don’t necessarily have to be US citizens. They are the middle man, or woman, that helps a citizen of the world sell their home, wherever it may be, and buy another one, wherever they might want. They can also give advice about the current real estate market climate in certain parts of the world depending on what they specialized in.

Becoming an International Real Estate Agent

There are several steps involved in becoming an international real estate agent in the US. If this is something that you are interested in pursuing, the following path will give you the necessary requirements to become one. 

  1. Education - Considering the much broader aspects of this career path, besides a high school diploma or a GED equivalent, you would benefit from a degree that focuses on real estate as it will provide you with the skills necessary to tackle this particular real estate field like marketing, brokerage, property appraisal, investment, and law.
  2. Certifications and Licenses - as any real estate agent, you need a general real estate license, but as real estate laws can vary, depending on the state, check with the real estate board in your state what classes and tests are required. Once you complete the coursework you pay the fee and the state board will mail your license.
  3. CIPS certification - in the US the   National Association of Realtors only recognizes the Certified International Property Specialist (CPIS) certification which is valid for three years. Once you complete the course that focuses on local markets, transactional tools, and specific areas in the world that may be different than those in the US, you will need to fill out an application that measures your competence in international real estate with the payment required.
  4. Select your interest area - while you can aim for the globe, focusing on a particular area makes it possible for you to better understand the culture and customs of the area. Once you are established in one area, you can further expand.

Besides these steps, all you need is determination, networking, and hard work.

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