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Posted May 18th, 2011 by Charles Purdy

Making Property Payments Abroad.

So you’ve decided to make the move abroad. You have made various trips to the country in question, found a property you like and have made an offer which has been accepted. The time will soon come for you to pay the deposit.

The initial deposit for a property abroad is usually anything between 10% and 70%, depending on whether you are buying from a private advertiser, or directly from a developer. If you are buying privately, you will make your offer through the estate agent, and if it’s a new build, the offer will be made directly to the developer.

The most important thing to remember is not to give any money to the estate agent or the developer. Get a private solicitor involved and transfer the funds to them directly when making your deposit. It is how things are done here in the UK and you should endeavour to work via the same principles when buying a property anywhere in the world. Estate agents and developers have been known to ‘disappear’ once they have your money, and this would leave you without a legal leg to stand on.

By sending money directly to an estate agent or developer, you put yourself and your money at risk. Neither have your best interests at heart. An estate agent wants to make a sale and therefore get his commission. The developers also want to make as much money as possible out of a property. Good estate agents will want to keep a good reputation, but how do you know you are with a good agent? Make sure you use referrals and ask around about a reputation, however, still enlist the help of an independent solicitor.

The word ‘independent’ is crucial at this point. Make sure they are not working for the agent or developer at the same time they are working for you as this will be a conflict of interest. In the UK there are strict rules around trust accounts; however this is not the case in many other countries. For example, buying in France is pretty safe on the whole; the notaries there have government controlled accounts which are very secure, but in Italy they are not as secure or safe. It’s always best to ask who else the solicitor is working for; before you tell them the agent or developer you are buying from.

The process of sending the money to your overseas solicitor is as straight forward as sending money between your own accounts. Once you have contacted Smart and agreed a rate of exchange with one of the traders, you will need to provide the solicitor’s trust account details, as well as the reference they require the transfer to go through as, and then you sit back and let Smart do the rest of the work for you! With Smart, funds will reach their destination much quicker than if you used a bank, which can take between 5 and 10 days; Smart takes just 1 to 2 days once the funds have been cleared.

If you haven’t yet collected your FREE report from Smart on "Why Overseas Property Buyers Lose Money… and how YOU can avoid it" get it here.

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