So you’re heading off to look at homes abroad. Unlike in the UK, in many countries you’ll need to pay a reservation deposit to secure the property and take it off the market. Being prepared could be the difference between owning the perfect home and letting someone else get it.
No-one knows just how long it will take to find their dream property abroad. If you’re lucky, it could be love at first sight, the perfect apartment or villa springing from nowhere. Or things could take a little longer, as you figure out exactly where and what you want to buy.
Whether you discover it on your first, second or tenth viewing trip, it’s good to be prepared.
Picture this scenario: you unassumingly go to view a property, and perhaps to your surprise it’s exactly what you’re looking for. Everything from the location, to the size, to the style is perfect. But, explains your estate agent, a local buyer is also very interested.
It comes down to who can pay the reservation fee of some €3,000 to €6,000 first. Pay quickly, or risk losing the property you have set your heart on. You didn’t expect to find something so soon, so you haven’t prepared for this. Immediately you’re at a disadvantage – your money is coming from overseas, which means language barriers, authority limits, time differences and so on. The local buyer doesn’t have any of this to content with.
Indeed, if you plan properly, neither do you! If you set up an account with Smart before you head to the airport, this scenario can be infinitely smoother. You can even “pre-fund” your account, with a few thousand pounds converted to euros, US dollars or whatever you need and ready to use instantly when you get there.
With the money in your account already, we can transfer the reservation fee to the vendor’s agent or solicitor immediately. It will certainly save you jumping through hoops to get your money abroad. As a property specialist we work directly with overseas lawyers and agents to ensure a smooth transfer, with no charges from UK banks.
But as well as making the payment quickly and easily, we can also ensure that your money is protected from adverse movements in the currency markets. This is where a Spot Contract can come in handy. It’s a quick and easy solution for those who need to make a one off payment on the day. Change your money via the Spot Contract and it’s ready at the right rate when you need it.
Of course, when you pay a reservation deposit that’s not the end of the story. A few weeks down the line you will need to pay the balance – maybe €50,000 or even €250,000 or more. To see how you can protect yourself when doing that, read next week’s newsletter.