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How to Get an International Real Estate License

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Certified International Property Specialists (CIPS) are real estate professionals who use their real estate expertise to expand their business to the global market. Their roles range from assisting people moving to the United States with the sale of their former homes and the purchase of new ones, assisting businesses with expansions into new global markets, assisting buyers looking to invest in overseas properties and more. To be effective in these capacities, a CIPS is trained in areas specific to international business concerns, including issues in financing, taxes, marketing data and strategies, investment trends, currency and exhange rates, regional markets and cross-cultural relationships.

In order to qualify for training to become a CIPS, you must already be a real estate licensee and member of the National Association of Realtors.

Complete a one-day CIPS core course called Global Real Estate: Local Markets, which introduces the fundamental knowledge and skill set that will be required of Realtors practicing international real estate. Pass the course's multiple choice examination with a score of at least 70 percent.

Complete the required one-day CIPS core course called Global Real Estate: Transaction Tools, which introduces necessary tools for presenting currency-specific and area-specific investment information to clients, and pass its multiple choice examination with a score of at least 70 percent.

Complete three of the five one-day CIPS elective courses from among: Europe & International Real Estate, Asia/Pacific & International Real Estate, The Americas & International Real Estate, The Middle East and Africa & International Real Estate, and At Home with Diversity. Pass each course's multiple choice examination with a score of at least 70 percent.

Begin completing the Requirement #2 portion of your CIPS designation application, and tally up how many of the 100 required points in elective credits you have already earned for CIPS eligibility from among experience closing international real estate transactions, college education, fluency in other languages, attendance at international conferences, international business book or article publication and other approved accomplishments listed on the form.

Choose from among the options specified on the form to acquire the remaining points needed for eligibility. You may work toward these anytime before, during or after your completion of your five CIPS courses.

Submit the CIPS designation application form and processing fee to the National Association of Realtors by October 1 for same year approval.

Once approved, submit your annual dues to the National Association of Realtors in order to officially use your CIPS designation.


W.D. Johnson is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and educational consultant. She specializes in writing development, test preparation and college admissions. Johnson graduated as a writing major from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts in 2008.

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