Buyers and sellers of overseas homes wrapping up a deal in time for Christmas are being warned not to waste money by using a bank to move their funds.
Unnecessary bank charges - and fluctuating exchange rates - can have a dramatic effect on the cost of buying your dream home, or as this case-study neatly illustrates, the sale of one too!
Every year, Brits lose thousands of pounds through the poor exchange rates and unnecessarily high transfer fees imposed on them by foreign banks when they send euros or dollars back to the UK.
Using a specialist currency transfer firm like our online partners, Smart Currency Exchange - whose typical rates are 2-4 per cent better than the banks - could save you considerable amounts of money - just ask Patrick Sullivan.
When Patrick sold his Spanish property recently, he sent £160,000 worth of euros back to his UK bank using Smart Currency Exchange, rather than asking his Spanish bank direct to make the transfer. And before selling his property, he was also able to fix an exchange rate to use for the future transfer of the sale proceeds once the sale had completed.
"I knew how long it can take for some house sale transactions to go through, and the euro to sterling rate was pretty good when I first spoke to my trader, so I hedged my bets and fixed my transfer rate in advance," said Patrick. "This also meant I didn't have to worry about the exchange rate when I accepted the offer on my Spanish property." Fixing his exchange rate gave Patrick more than peace of mind - he saved £2,000 thanks to the rate swinging in his favour before completion.
Before selling his Spanish home, Mr Sullivan had saved money by using Smart Currency Exchange to cover the running costs of his property in Spain. "I saved money on smaller transfers through comparing with other currency companies, but I learned that I always got a good rate with Smart, so in the end I stopped shopping around".
"Smart Currency were efficient and made the transactions a breeze. I was well looked after - I had a dedicated trader who dealt with most of my transactions, and if he was not available, other helpful members of the trading team stepped in very effectively. I would definitely recommend Smart to my friends and family."
Like Patrick, are you on the verge of repatriating euros to the UK? Or do you need to send euros or another currency to an overseas bank account as part of a new property purchase?
Unless you already have funds in a particular country, buying an overseas property will always require you to exchange your pounds into another currency, and transfer these funds abroad. Exchange rates should therefore always be a key consideration if you are buying a home abroad.