Interactive Guide Index
- Critical Factors I Need To Consider
- Should I Sell My House If I Live Abroad?
- Three Practical Tips For Selling A House When You Live Abroad
- Final Thoughts
Can You Sell Your House In The UK Whilst Living Abroad?
Are you thrilled with your second home abroad and feel that your UK home is dispensable? Did you rent out your house to travel/tour but never intend to return?
Perhaps you have a new work assignment overseas and want to relocate permanently? Or maybe you live abroad but have an inheritance (house) in Britain that you need to sell?
Do you identify with any of the above? You may be wondering if you can sell your house in the UK whilst living abroad, especially when considering the current challenges associated with international travel.
However, it is possible. But there are some critical factors about the process that you may need to consider.
Critical Factors I Need To Consider
Anyone selling a UK property but resides outside its borders is exposed to certain potential bumps.
Whether it is taxation, currency exchange issues, or unpleasant delays and timeframe surprises, being informed will help you navigate your property sale more comfortably.
Some of the crucial issues to consider when selling your UK property from abroad include:
You may be liable to pay Capital Gains Tax on profits made from any property sale in the UK, even if you live abroad. How much is due, if any, is best calculated by a tax professional.
In addition, HMRC provides tax advice on any property sale in the UK. Also, you must notify HMRC that you have sold your home with 30 days of ownership transfer even if you don’t qualify for taxes.
Currency Exchange Risk
Selling your property while living overseas exposes you to dynamic exchange rates. So, you should explore options that help you minimize the risks of sometimes severe financial losses.
Exchange rates fluctuate consistently, and a sudden 1% drop can result in a substantial loss in your sale when transferring the money in and out of the UK.
A specialist currency broker/company can help protect you from drastic losses. In addition, these professionals can advise you on the ideal time to transfer funds to achieve the best possible exchange rate.
Knowing What May Cause Delays In The Sale Process
The average timeline to complete a property sale in the UK is between 70-120 days. However, many things can interrupt your sales process, whether you live abroad or not.
Some common issues that can delay your sale’s process include:
- Mortgage lenders (offers being delayed).
- Delays caused by estate agents.
- Slow searches.
- Buyer’s chain (if they are selling a property to buy your house).
- Slow action from the buyers’ solicitor(s) and more.
All of these can influence the pace of the process but are out of your control. Also, remember to consult with a professional to ensure that you’re taking all necessary steps and precautions during your property sale process.
Should I Sell My House If I Live Abroad?
You may need to consider a few things. First, if you are moving abroad for a short period, maybe for a work contract that could last for a year, renting out your house for the short term may be more appealing.
With this process, you would earn some income from your house, and if things don’t work out, you would have your home to return to.
However, renting your apartment might mean hiring a letting agent who will charge a management fee between 10-15% of the monthly rent. Also, don’t forget tax due to HMRC on income from rentals.
But what if you’re moving permanently? Perhaps you’re retiring and looking to move someplace fun?
With a permanent move abroad, it may be more rational to sell your UK apartment. That could generate some money to kickstart your new overseas
Three Practical Tips For Selling A House When You Live Abroad
- Choosing A Practical Estate Agent Who Won’t Let Your Property Dwindle On The Market.
You can sell your house via the traditional approach by hiring an estate agent in the UK to manage the transaction. The agent will do the necessary listings and hold viewings of your property.
However, the most critical thing to remember when choosing an estate agent if you’re selling from abroad is hiring someone you can trust.
You must trust the agent to make a correct valuation of your property and utilise its features during viewings.
You should also select an agent with the logistical capability to handle a long-distance property sale.
Yet, there’s no guarantee that your home will sell quickly, which can be a challenge if you want a fast sale. Furthermore, you may need to consider the estate agent’s fees which will cut into any potential profits from your property sale.
- Getting The Right Solicitor
Choosing the right solicitor is vital to your sale’s process. You might be surprised, but many solicitors still operate in the pen and paper era. As a result, many will only accept handwritten or signed paperwork, prolonging the entire process.
Before committing to a solicitor, make sure they correspond mostly via online mediums (e.g., emails). That makes the entire process as easy and seamless as possible.
You wouldn’t have to send posts back and forth, which can create significant delays and even lead to a “deal collapse” if the buyer grows frustrated.
- Choose A Reliable Buyer
An easier and faster way to sell your house from abroad is to contact a quick property buying company.
They provide competitive cash offers to buy your property, and the best part is that you will never pay a penny in fees for the transaction. That means no charges from an estate agent or a solicitor.
Furthermore, since they are fast buyers, the sale process moves significantly quicker than adopting the more traditional estate agent approach.
It is a less stressful and hassle-free way to sell your UK property while living abroad.
Selling your house while living abroad can be a complex business. First, you will need to consider if it’s your best option. Then, there’s the added tax complication. Make sure you get the best advice for your specific situation.
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About Richard Mews
Richard has 31+ years of property experience, has been Chairman of several regeneration committees and has helped more than 600 homeowners and landlords get easy, stress-free personal solutions for selling their property. Richard’s goal is to give you unbiased help to receive a quick house sale, even if that means not working with him.