If you’re looking to buy a property overseas, it is a good idea to take a viewing trip. However, it is important to consider the following three top tips to make sure your visit is successful.
By working through these guidelines, you could be well on your way to an overseas property purchase!
- Find a reliable agent
Finding a good agent is the best way to ensure your viewing trip is a success – a reliable agent will listen to your needs and select properties that fit your criteria. This means your time abroad is planned effectively and efficiently.
Before you pick an agent, ensure they cover the area that you wish to buy in and have suitable properties for your needs. Don’t pick an agent simply on one property that you have your heart set on, as this might have sold before you travel.
To assess how reliable an agent is, call them before you leave, to determine how helpful they are. It is also advised that you send them an email, checking how quickly they respond. You should ask them what their service includes, how their fees are structured and if they offer an after-sales service. Request references from other customers, so that you understand how efficient they are in practice.
- Sending money abroad
In most cases, if you are buying a property in a foreign currency, you will need to transfer funds from a UK bank account into a foreign account in the country you are buying in. Think about doing this before you go – you may need to put down a deposit on your viewing trip if you find a property you like.
The safest and most cost-effective way of getting your money overseas is using a currency exchange specialist. They will help you set your budget in both sterling and the foreign currency of the country you’re looking at, and explain how exchange rates can move and what effect this will have on your purchase.
Expert firm Smart Currency Exchange has five top tips for overseas property buyers:
- Know the consequences of currency fluctuations.
- Use a forward contract to avoid losses by fixing the property price.
- Open an account with a currency specialist as soon as possible.
- Set your sterling budget before you travel.
- Prefund your brokers currency client account to minimise any inefficiencies.
- Hire an independent lawyer
Buying a property is always a complicated process, but if you’re purchasing abroad, different laws and languages can complicate things further. It is therefore vital that you have an independent, bilingual solicitor on your side that will help you understand the market in your chosen country and protect your interests.
The lawyer must understand the property buying process and be able to guide you effectively. If you must pay a deposit or sign any agreements on your viewing trip, it is a good idea to have your solicitor’s details with you, so that you can check everything is clear.
Viewing properties overseas can be an exciting prospect, but your trip must be planned thoroughly to make it as successful as possible. It is important that you know what to do at each stage, or have professionals on hand to guide you.