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The Chinese are the biggest buyers of overseas properties, having invested over $25 billion in 2015, and having come close to that number in 2016. They are big buyers of properties in the US, Australia, and yes, in the UK.
London is a hot favourite with rich, high net worth Chinese buyers. A London apartment is always a prestigious buy, especially if it’s located in a posh neighbourhood such as Chelsea, Kensington or Notting Hill. Buying an apartment in London is the ultimate sign of success for many wealthy individuals in China and Hong Kong.
So what if your apartment or house in London is not located in one of the fashionable neighbourhoods? Or what if it is located outside London, say, in Manchester, Southampton or Liverpool? You can still make it attractive to Chinese buyers. Follow the tips given here to know how.
#1: Respond to leads ASAP – When you receive leads from China, call them or email them ASAP. The faster you respond, the more likely it is that your offer will be taken seriously. This is, again, not easy, as there are time zone issues. It would help to hire a UK estate agent specializing in overseas property to handle your calls. They would be able to respond faster and, possibly, even have someone working for them in China.
#2: Call them by their Chinese name - It would really help your cause to address your buyer by their Chinese name. Don’t just call them by their surname; use their name in Mandarin while communicating with them. This would cause them to look at your proposal more favourably. If you can hire someone who knows Mandarin to translate your emails for you, that would be a big bonus.
#3: Be upfront with the Chinese buyer – Tell them where you obtained their contact information from and don’t leave them under any doubt about your intentions. Explain why it would make a lot of sense for them to buy your UK property.
#4: Communicate with them on WeChat
WeChat is a Chinese social media app that works as a combination of Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. It is hugely popular in China, it is estimated that 80 percent of China’s high net worth individuals are on it. Ask a potential Chinese buyer to add you on WeChat. It is how Chinese communicate these days and if they feel safe and comfortable enough to add you to WeChat, they might be amenable to your proposal as well.
#5: Don’t get disheartened by failure – It is important to be tenacious when selling property to Chinese buyers. You should follow up with a proposal regularly and be exceedingly patient. Chinese value patience and persistence, and above all politeness. Your goal should be to build your relationship and credibility (called as “guanxi”) with a potential buyer from China till you are able to finish the deal with them.
#6: Sell the lifestyle, not just the house – Selling a house in the UK is all about selling the lifestyle, not just the house. A Chinese investor can easily buy a better or bigger apartment elsewhere that costs much less – why buy a UK property? They do, because it is considered prestigious to buy a UK property. Many wealthy Chinese admire the UK, especially London, and for many it is a dream of a lifetime to own property here. This is something you should use to your advantage to seal the deal. Talk about the neighbourhood and why it’s so special, and how many wealthy foreigners have purchased properties there.
#7: Give them all the information they need – Inform them about the best schools in the neighbourhood, the nearby universities, the best hospitals, shopping malls and parks. Talk to them about the investment opportunities and yields and the potential for a decent rental income to be made. Is there a Chinese community nearby? Talk to the buyer about it. And yes, do mention the local football club – Chinese love the English Premier League!
Follow the tips given here to sell your property to Chinese buyers. Also, hire a UK estate agent with connections in China to handle the sale, especially the online marketing of the property for you.