Buying a property abroad is often the
realisation of a personal dream and probably
represents one of the greatest expenses of your
life. As part of the purchase process, you will
inevitably need to transfer a sterling sum into
another currency in order to pay for your
property. This vital element of the purchase
process - one that is often overlooked - can
make a huge difference to the price, in
sterling, that you will have to pay for your
Exchange rates change constantly and 10%
fluctuations in a relatively short space of time
are not uncommon. This could effectively
increase, by 10% or more, the sterling amount
that you will have to pay.
There are various organisations that can convert
your sterling into whichever currency you need.
Specialist currency dealers will normally offer
you a better rate of exchange than your bank and
provide a more personalised service. Foreign
exchange companies like Moneycorp often offer a
proactive service to their clients, using their
expertise to monitor exchange rates on the
clients' behalf in order to achieve the best
possible rate of exchange.
If you ask your bank to send the money you
should expect them to charge you for doing so.
The local bank may also make a substantial
charge for receiving the money. A reputable
currency trader may well be able to reduce those
overseas charges substantially by sending the
money via a cheaper route.
Your currency can be delivered any time within
two years at an exchange rate fixed at the time
of purchase. This is called 'forward buying' and
it will help you secure an exchange rate at an
advantageous level even if you do not have all
your sterling available to transfer at the time
of purchase. Forward buying removes the risk of
adverse currency movements that could lead to
the sterling value of your overseas property
increasing between the time of signing and the
contract and the actual payment.