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Spanish-speaking real estate agents wanted

Language skills a plus in Texas, survey finds

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Real estate agents who speak Spanish have an edge over their competitors, and real estate companies looking to expand into Hispanic and other growing ethnic populations need to do their homework and not treat all home buyers alike. That was the wake up call given to realty agents today from the results of an ethnic survey commissioned by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. "Home Buying Among Ethnic Groups" examines attitudes and expectations of Hispanics, whites, blacks and Asians. "Hispanics told researchers that they prefer or need to work with an agent who speaks their own language when engaged in real estate dealings," Center Associate Director Gary Maler said. "More than any other ethnic group, Hispanics say they feel uncomfortable handling business transactions in English." The potential real estate market among Hispanics is sizable, with 48 percent of respondents who do not own a home saying they'll likely purchase a home in the next two or three years. The Ce...