All You Need to Know About International Home Finding Services

Whether you are moving abroad for work, retirement,

or to be closer to family, finding a home is one of the

most important ways to feel settled in a new country.

Use an international relocation service company to take

the burden of this complicated process off your shoulders.

Moving abroad involves a huge range of tasks, nearly all of them less fun than attending goodbye parties. Your to-do list will be extensive, and many necessary responsibilities that a home finding service would take care of might not be given priority. Packing your belongings and booking flights can seem more important than researching the best neighborhoods, attending house viewings, and signing a rental contract. Before you know it, you have arrived in your destination country without a place to call home.

How Can Home Finding Services Help You?

Home finding services are a great way to find temporary accommodation and your ideal long-term rental abroad. You can even use these services to buy property in a new country, though we always recommend renting before purchasing. Using these services takes the weight of house hunting off your shoulders, so you gain more of what is important: time to settle in your new country.

What are the Risks and Challenges Involved with Finding a New Home Abroad?

Entering the property market without a real estate service is difficult at the best of times—and even worse when you are relocating. This does not mean it is impossible to find a home by yourself. Expats, particularly those who have family or previous experience in the country they are moving to, are often able to easily book temporary accommodation as they search for a more permanent home.


For the vast majority of expats, house hunting from abroad is not quite so simple. What might seem an exciting task can quickly become overwhelming as more and more issues need resolving before your move. However, having a set address is important to ensuring your relocation goes smoothly. You will need this to ship your goods and register with the police in your new neighborhood.


If you are moving for work, your company may provide temporary accommodation and advice about renting long-term. You may also have access to a home if you have a support network in the area, such as family or friends. If you are without these advantages, and without the help of a home finding service, be prepared to do all of the time-consuming arrangements yourself.


Completing Thorough Research

Finding your new home involves heavy research from day one. This is especially important if you are moving with family because the greater your preparation, the less disruption to their lives. To do this, you will need to understand the property market of the country and city you are moving to, and identify reliable property listing sites.


Once you have narrowed down the properties you want to see, you should contact the advertiser to organize a remote viewing. Persistent communication is key, especially in large cities with competitive property markets. Our free E-book has some great checklists for things to remember when house hunting abroad.


Things to Research Before You Go

  • The property market in your new area to help understand what is realistically affordable for you.
  • The best neighborhoods and their amenities (including local schools, parks, grocery stores, public transport, and so on) so you can choose an area based on your needs.
  • Temporary accommodation and short-term rentals in your chosen neighborhood.
  • The best property listing websites for your new location.
  • Whether you can organize online or 3D viewings, or if you have to visit the house in person.

Finding Temporary Accommodation

Remember, even extensive research does not prepare you for actually living somewhere. You might think a neighborhood sounds perfect for you and your family, but within a month of arriving, you might discover somewhere new you would prefer to live.


For this reason, we recommend that you organize temporary accommodation in your new location before you arrive. Renting temporary accommodation for at least three months gives you the freedom to search for your perfect home and live in your desired neighborhood, to see if it is really right for you.


Cultural Differences and Translation

When looking for property in a new country, you need to be able to understand contracts and paperwork, as well as know the important questions to ask. This is less of an issue if you are fluent in the native language of the country where you are moving. However, you may still need a contact in the area who can explain any cultural etiquette you should be aware of when negotiating deals, and any “quirks” of the local housing market.


Finding the best lawyers and translators is yet another research item to add to your list. This ensures you understand your new landlord and rental contract, or the paperwork involved with mortgages and buying a home.


Taking Time Off Work

If you are moving for a new job, one issue to be aware of, whether you use a property finding service or not, is that you will need time off work during your first few months to deal with accommodation issues. Many employers compensate for this as part of your relocation package or are willing to have a more flexible work schedule for the first few weeks.


Even if you have organized your accommodation before you set off, there are a few tasks you will have to complete upon arrival. Depending on the steps you take, this might include house viewings, signing your contract, or visiting municipal offices to legally register your address.


Unless you are given a week to settle-in before beginning work, time off is unlikely to include allowances for exploring your neighborhood or furnishing your home. This means your first few months could be hectic, as your weekends are filled trying to acclimatize to your new environment.


Tasks to Complete (Often During Work Hours)

  • Viewing houses and apartments.
  • Legal issues, such as signing paperwork and registering your address with local officials.
  • Setting up utilities.

Tasks to Complete (Outside of Work Hours)

  • Searching online for housing.
  • Exploring your neighborhood.
  • Furnishing your home.

Moving Abroad?
We Will Help You Through Every Step

CTA Right Background

What is a Home Finding Service?

Home finding services are the easiest way of organizing a place to live before you arrive in a new country. Be aware that these services are also known as international home search services, property finding service, or international real estate services.


These companies offer assistance with a range of tasks, from advising you on the property market in your new country to negotiating your rental contract. You will reduce your stress levels, and save precious time and effort, if you get a direct relocation services manager who will oversee the property search on your behalf.


Understanding Your Needs

Whether you are looking to invest in property or prefer a home rental service, the company you turn to should always understand your needs. Your background, family situation, and aspirations are all important elements for figuring out the location and type of property you need. Make sure you are able to directly speak with an advisor from any home search service you choose.


Questions to Think About

  • Are you looking to rent or to buy?
  • What is your lifestyle?
  • What are your housing preferences?
  • What are your family needs?
  • What are your financial requirements?

What do Home Finding Services Include?

In general, a home search or finding service should cover end-to-end care. From the moment you reach out to them, to the moment you move into your new home, you should feel supported through your decisions. At a minimum, this means you should trust the service you employ. Choose a company you believe capable of working on your behalf to find your dream home.


Good Advice

All companies should offer you a consultation, ideally by phone or Skype. This ensures that they fully understand your property wants and needs. More established companies will also offer guides to the country and city you are moving to. These guides help you become an active participant when deciding where you will live.


A relocation services manager will help you choose the neighborhood that suits you by providing full information about the area. This includes local demographics, details about public and private schools available, and maps exploring public transit, houses of worship, grocery stores, and other important community services.


End-to-End Care

The service provider that you choose will provide assistance based on whether you want to rent or buy a property. They will help you find appropriate properties to view, either online or in person. A relocation services manager will also advise you on the current property markets in your new country, and help you understand what you can realistically expect for your money.


If you do decide to move forward but are unable to complete the paperwork before you move, the service provider should also organize temporary accommodation for you. This may come at an extra cost, depending on the package you have chosen.


Services Available: Renting a Property

  • Negotiation of your lease.
  • Screening the rental contract.
  • Collecting and notarizing your paperwork.
  • Inspections before you move in.
  • Continued support when liaising with the landlord.

Services Available: Buying a Property

  • Organize legal necessities, such as surveying the house or apartment.
  • Assist you when making an offer, and with completing all necessary paperwork.
  • Representation at the notary.
  • Organizing utilities and providing an area orientation.
  • Selling or renting your home on your behalf when you leave the country.

What are the Benefits of a Home Finding Relocation Service?

Reduces Stress

Anyone who has moved homes has an idea of how stressful relocating can be. International real estate services ease this burden by taking a time-consuming task off your hands and presenting you with a number of ideal property options based on your needs.


Focus on What Matters

Spend your spare time at goodbye parties with friends and family, rather than frantically searching the internet for a place to live. When you arrive in your new country, you can focus on the reason you are there—your new life.


Make a Comfortable Decision

Being a foreigner who does not understand local business proceedings or a country’s culture can carry certain risks. Namely, you might agree to a property deal at a far higher price point than locals, or you may not realize important local clauses are missing from your contract. With an expert home finding service, you can have peace of mind that you are being treated legally and fairly.


Settle in Faster

With nearly all the big decisions being made before you move, you can ease into your new life and quickly become part of your new community.


Get Extra Support

Most providers have follow-up services in place, such as connecting you with recommended local tradesmen. If you decide to repatriate, or move elsewhere, the team can also help you leave your rental contract or sell your house.

CTA Left Background

Our Essential Relocation Services Make It Easy.


How Much Does a Home Finding Abroad Service Cost?

There are no set costs for most real estate relocation services. You will have to discuss your details with the provider to receive a quote. This is because you are creating a tailored package by choosing the different services you will need, potentially at different price points. For example, there will be different costs if you want to travel to your new country for house viewings before your relocation, or if you prefer virtual viewings.


Make sure that you ask the provider for a detailed list of everything covered in their fee. If you are moving for work, you can also check with your employer to see if any additional costs are covered in your relocation package.

How Do Our Tailored Home Finding Services Work?

Our InterNations GO! international relocations experts can connect you with highly recommended and dedicated home search services to make home finding abroad a breeze.


Simply fill out our contact form to speak to our team of expats who have been through it all before. They can offer you reassurances and advice, as well as specific information about international real estate services in the country where you are looking to buy or rent.

Additional Services You Might Be Interested In

InterNations GO! has a range of services that can be tailored to suit your individual needs. Whether you are moving abroad alone or as a family, we assess your situation and provide expert guidance to help you make your international relocation as smooth as possible.


We Help You GO!

We offer guidance on visa applications and help you find a home overseas, even before you arrive in your new country.


We Ease You In

Once you have moved abroad, our settling-in services help you register with local authorities. We then make you feel like a local with tailored language and cultural training.


We Bring You Together

From school searches to pet relocation, we help you and your loved ones stay strong together.