Houston real estate is increasingly global with investors from all over the world targeting the Houston Metropolitan Area for residential, commercial and land investment opportunities. Notwithstanding the current price of crude oil and natural gas, international investors are typically long term players and see the investment climate in Houston as increasingly positive over the next several years.

Additionally, property owners from all over the world are increasingly interested in presenting their non-U.S. properties to U.S. buyers and investors, including real estate investors from Houston.  Fortuitously for all of our HAR Members, HAR has the perfect property information channel for marketing and presenting international properties to Houston investors, as well as to real estate investors worldwide – HAR MLS International Area 82 (HAR MLS Area 82).

HAR MLS Area 82 was created by Wayne Stroman, President and CEO of Stroman Realty, Inc., and former Chairman of HAR, in collaboration with our HAR MLS Team of Shawn Dauphine and Nathan Goble, and with the support of  HAR Director of International Programs, Lori Carper, to provide HAR Members with the opportunity to list and sell international properties. Wayne and our HAR colleagues created an international listing platform that is very user (HAR Member) friendly and provides HAR Members with the opportunity to showcase their international clients’ properties not only in Houston, and across Texas, but worldwide as HAR.com, including HAR MLS Area 82 listings, is viewed 24/7 across the globe.

There are several “rules of the road” we need to follow when listing properties on HAR MLS Area 82.  We are bound by HAR MLS Rules and TREC and TAR Rules and Regulations when listing properties, whether they are Houston, or Texas properties, or properties located in an international market.  In addition, we are subject to the host country’s laws when representing real estate in a non-U.S. market.  It is vitally important we have a complete understanding of the real estate laws that govern real estate transactions in foreign markets.

Our HAR MLS rules and regulations that govern Houston property listings are equally applicable to international listings, and at a minimum, include:

  • Insuring that your international client will grant you an “Exclusive Right to Sell Agreement” for purposes of listing the property on HAR MLS Area 82.
  • Obtaining all of the necessary property information that will be required to enter the international property into HAR MLS Area 82. The same property information, and photograph requirements, that are required for a Houston property MLS listing are required for an international property listing.
  • Making sure you know how you are going to get your commission paid for a closed sales transaction in a foreign market. You will need to tie down your commission and payment plan with your international client, if you do not tie this down at the front end of the listing; you are not likely to get your commission paid when the transaction closes in the foreign market.
  • You will need a signed listing contract between yourself and the property owner with written authorization to submit the listing to the HAR MLS.
  • Within the listing agreement, there needs to be language conveying the property listing information to you.
  • You will need the international property owner’s authorization for you, as the Listing Broker, to cooperate with and to compensate other cooperating Brokers.
  • You will need to obtain written consent from the owner of the property for use of any photographs and other listing information for use with the HAR MLS.
  • The Listing Agreement itself for the international property needs to include: (a), the defined property listing price and a description of the property; (b), the defined beginning and ending date of the Listing Agreement; (c), as mentioned earlier, authorization to place the property on the HAR MLS, (d), a statement in the Listing Agreement regarding the requirement to report sales to the MLS similar to the Broker Notice to Buyer-Tenant Document, and (e), the defined compensation offered to cooperating brokers that is not conditional to the cooperating Broker.

Many of us use the TAR Promulgated Form Document “Exclusive Right to Sell Agreement”, TAR 1101, or we have an attorney who is conversant in international real estate draft our Listing Agreements that incorporate the required information for HAR MLS.  Our HAR Management Team and our HAR MLS Department colleagues have developed HAR MLS Area 82 into a very successful listing channel for HAR Members and their international clients.

Real estate is increasing global and our outstanding HAR Team has made the process of listing international properties easy, secure, and highly successful.  Let’s Go Global!

 Bill Gottfried, CIPS