With the UK’s vaccine programme in full swing and spring underway, things are looking up. However, it’s still not possible to travel overseas for a property viewing trip. As a result, the popularity of virtual viewings has skyrocketed. Here’s our guide on how you should prepare for your virtual viewing ‘trip’ and the things to consider beforehand.
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Over the past year, the surge in virtual property viewings has revolutionised the way that estate agents do business. More property hunters than ever are simply relying on virtual viewings before buying or, after viewing a property online, are making an offer conditional on seeing the property within a tight time frame.
Although you still may wish to see the property in-person before you buy, a virtual viewing trip can be a great way to get a feel for the place and narrow your property search. And you never know – you may run into your dream property unexpectedly via a virtual viewing, which is why having your currency sorted beforehand is important.
1. Get to grips with your budget
It’s fairly straightforward to work out your budget in your home currency, but what will it be worth abroad? When looking up the exchange rate, it is important to remember that you’ll often see the “interbank rate”. Regular property buyers won’t quite get that rate – it will be a percentage point or so lower.
It is, therefore, worth getting a quote from us. We’ll be able to advise on the rate you’ll receive for your money. You probably won’t get the same exchange rate at your high street bank and they will often be very vague about rates. Using a currency specialist is the way forward.
2. Be ready to buy
When you spot your dream property, you often have to act quickly! As well as having a lawyer on standby to check the contract, it’s wise to make sure that your money for a deposit is ready and waiting to go.
Getting this money together can sometimes take time – precious time that you’ll waste whilst your property is still on the market! However, if you set up an account with Smart and pre-fund it, this will make the transfer smooth, fast and stress-free.
3. Lock in the property price
In such uncertain times, and at any time for that matter, it’s impossible to predict what the currency markets will do next. The price of a property could change dramatically overnight, possibly by thousands, if the market fluctuates.
Unfortunately, these currency swings have meant that people have had to abandon their dream to buy a home abroad because they didn’t lock in their currency. Some even lose their deposit because a dramatic swing in currency took the price of the home beyond reach.
Don’t let this be you! Before you start your viewings, ensure that you are in touch with Smart. As soon as you agree to buy, you can lock in the current exchange rate for up to 12 months to ensure that you know exactly how much you’ll be paying for your property.