Ready to Cash-in on Your Overseas Property?
Here’s how to Avoid Losing Thousands of Pounds in the Process

Perhaps after retiring abroad it’s now time to sell up and enjoy the more affordable health care back home. Or maybe you want to cash-in on your foreign holiday property after seeing it rise in value over the years. Whatever the reason for selling up, it’s vital you understand some of the pitfalls when transferring funds from the sale back home.


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At our experts have scoured the web and utilised industry expertise to bring you trusted currency brokers who can save you time and money. They can also explain clever ways to avoid losing profits to hidden charges – and take the complexity out of getting more of the money back home in your bank account where it belongs.

Overseas property sales made simple

When selling an overseas property, it‘s essential you maximise the currency exchange rate in your favour, failure to do this can cost you thousands of pounds.

We believes that this is where currency brokers can give you the advice you need to succeed, plus better exchange rates than your overseas bank. works with all the market-leading currency brokers who have the power to pass on the best deals to you at the same time as maintaining the very best levels of service.
Benefits of using a currency broker include:

1. Experts in their field. Currency brokers are experts in international payments giving you access to a specialist service banks are unable to provide.

2. Bank-beating exchange rates. Currency brokers can offer up to 1% exchange rates – that’s around 4% less than the banks’.

3. Speedy payments. Depending where the money is being sent from in the world cash will reach your UK bank account in between one and four working days.

4. A 24/7 service. Make time zones a thing of the past – some of the companies we select will work round the clock on your behalf.

5. Easy online transactions. Managing your account online is easy with a wide range of services including rate alerts and the freedom to fix the exchange rate to buy pounds before or after the money reaches your broker account.

Extra benefits of using a broker

One of the extra perks of using a specialist broker is the expert advice and guidance that is freely available to help you make the right decision. For instance, it might be a smart idea to set up a ‘forward contract’. This is when you agree to fix an exchange rate up to three years in advance. That’s brilliant news if you’re worried about fluctuating exchange rates slashing proceeds from the sale.

It’s important to ensure that the overseas bank or third party holding the funds sends the money to your broker in the same currency. We’ve seen scenarios in the past where a US bank assumed money that was being sent to a UK currency broker’s account needed to be sent in pounds so handled the exchange themselves.This meant big losses for the customer since the exchange rate was so bad and what’s more the broker’s bank automatically carried out another conversion back into US Dollars. This resulted in funds being converted twice creating a considerable reduction of the original amount.  The bank realised their mistake and put things right, but it underlines how important it is to make sure that the currencies are correct.

Other insider tips a broker can advise you on include:

Taking control of the exchange rate.
Don’t let your overseas or UK bank decide your exchange rate for you. By fixing it with your broker you can make sure it’s far better than the banks.

Leaving your foreign bank account open.
This way you can wait until all the proceeds are in place before alerting your broker to make the transfer.

Remember if a third party such as a lawyer is receiving funds on your behalf you will need to provide the broker handling the transaction with evidence on the source of funds to satisfy anti-money laundering regulations, You can achieve this by sending a copy of the property contract or letter from your lawyer. However, this is not required if you are sending proceeds of a property sale, sale of other assets or savings directly from an overseas bank account in your name.

Look at our case study to see how you could save:

Case study: How we helped the Newtons save on selling up

When Trish and Mike Newton decided to take a close look at their finances they decided it was finally time to sell their Spanish holiday home. After all, the maintenance costs were high considering they visited Spain a lot less often than they had anticipated. So, looking for a quick sale they agreed a sell price of €250k, with the buyers providing a 10% deposit within seven days and the remaining €225k within a month.

Thinking ahead, the Newtons asked their Spanish bank for an idea of the exchange rate they’d receive when transferring the money into their UK bank account. They were dismayed with what they were told – as the amount in pounds sterling was a lot less than they’d hoped. To add insult to injury they were also reminded they’d be a 0.5% withdrawal fee to move their own money out of the account! This worked out at a whopping €1250 on €250,000.

Their UK bank wasn’t much better. Nat West confirmed they couldn’t reveal the exchange rate until the Euros reached their UK bank account, at which point they would be automatically converted into pounds.

Getting control over their cash

This left them no control over the exchange rate on offer and meant they had to accept whatever rate the bank decided on. However, while they were out having dinner in Spain some fellow Brits recommended having a look at to research the most cost effective way of moving the sale proceeds back to the UK. After carrying out some research on the UK’s top foreign exchange brokers they decided to get in contact with one of our brokers to compare the best Euro exchange rate they could offer against their bank and find out what their options were for the exchange.

They were delighted to discover that they could offer an exchange rate 3% better than the banks’. Plus, their dedicated dealer let them know about the benefits of a ‘forward contract’. This currency hedging tool allowed them to fix an exchange rate and the amount they would receive for the house in pounds protecting them from the risky foreign exchange markets.

They couldn’t have been happier with the results. Trish and Mike saved €7,500 (£6,250) on the €250,000 they sold the property for and received the payment in pounds safely and securely in their UK bank within two working days of the proceeds being received by their notarie in Spain. As advised they also managed to negotiate with their Spanish bank to waive the 0.5% fee for moving money out of their account.

Their Spanish holiday home may be a memory, but the proceeds from the sale definitely gave the Newtons some extra cash to toast the future.

Want to follow the Newtons’ lead? Fill out our contact form to find out how our experts can help you.

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