What You Need to Know When Buying/Selling a House with Bitcoin
Paul Benson, Owner, Engel & Völkers Park City
- Bitcoin’s value continues to hit record highs. While this buzz is likely to draw new investors to the cryptocurrency, it’s critical that real estate buyers and sellers transacting in bitcoin have an understanding of the technology, beyond just the flashy headlines. Here’s a good starting point.
- Bitcoin exists outside of traditional financial markets. This is one of the currency’s biggest draws for investors who want to avoid the volatility of euros, dollars, and yen, especially in today’s tense global climate. For this reason, real estate professionals can expect to see increased interest in bitcoin among their international clientele.
- The heaviest user demographic of bitcoin is European males between the ages of 25-34. Bitcoin is still very much in its infancy, and not every buyer is ready to do business in the cryptocurrency. The U.S. market especially has been slower to adopt bitcoin for real estate, so brokers and agents here must take that learning curve into account.
- Flexible partners are a must. From real estate agent to title company, sellers must find fluid partners who are comfortable working with bitcoin. Because the currency is so new and its value changes every day, there are payment service providers who will convert bitcoins into dollars to mitigate the risk for wary buyers.
- In the U.S., the bulk of real estate bitcoin deals have been done without a mortgage and are foreign buyers. Bitcoin has garnered more traction abroad than in the U.S. and most of those are cash buyers. For bitcoin sellers, it’s critical to invest marketing dollars in reaching overseas buyers as awareness grows domestically. In the same vein, partnering with an international real estate company is paramount.