About 64 percent of international clients typically buy detached single-family homes, which they intend to use for primary residence and for longer than six months. This information is based on the National Association of REALTORS® 2013 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, which captures transactions of REALTOR® respondents with international clients in the 12 months ended March 2013.
International clients include persons who principally reside in another country (Type A) and recent immigrants and foreigners on temporary visas in the U.S (Type B). About 49 percent of REALTOR® respondents reported that their international client was a Type B client.
Resident foreigners include recent immigrants, professional and managerial employees of businesses and institutions, and International students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities who are in the U.S. on a temporary but extended visit; all of these groups may plan on using the property year round for primary residence.
Non-resident foreigners are limited to 6-month stays in the U.S., so these international buyers generally expect to use the property for vacation/rental purposes and as an investment. Purchasing a residential/rental property may be economically advantageous for an international buyer, for the buyer is able to use the property as a secondary/vacation home while being able to rent out the property during the times when the owners are not personally using the property.
There is a good chance of having a foreign buyer, whose expectations and needs may differ from those of U.S. buyers. The site http://www.realtor.org/global provides a substantial amount of information that may be of help to REALTORS® not experienced in dealing with international clients.