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Posted May 1st, 2014 by Charles Purdy

Estate agent, currency specialist and lawyer – a property-buyer’s 3 best friends

Taking your first steps to buy an overseas property can be a daunting prospect, but get a good team around you and you’re halfway there.

Arguably, there are three people who will be key to you making a success of your foreign property purchase, namely a good, honest estate agent, an independent, experienced lawyer and a currency transfer specialist, such as Smart Currency Exchange. Here is a bit more about why each of these really can make a difference.

1. Your estate agent
Getting in touch with a good agent, or agents, is the first step towards a successful property purcase. They should listen to your needs and select properties that fit your wish-list, enabling you to maximise your time when travelling abroad to view properties – your time is valuable.
To help you assess how efficient an agent is, you could call them before you visit, to get a sense of how helpful they are. You could also send them an email and see how quick they are to respond. Don’t be afraid to ask them what their service includes, what their fee structure is and what after sales services they offer. Also, ask for references so that you can talk to people who have used them successfully before. It is important you feel comfortable be able to ask them open questions.

2. Your currency transfer specialist
For most people, buying a property in a foreign currency, ie euros, means having to transfer funds from a UK bank account to a foreign account in the country where the property is. You need to think about this in advance of choosing or viewing any properties, as how and when you transfer money can affect your budget.
The safest and cheapest way to send money abroad is to speak to FCA-authorised currency transfer specialist Smart Currency Exchange – the exchange rate they offer clients is typically 2-4 per cen better than a high street bank’s. Smart will help you to set your budget in both Sterling and the foreign currency in which you are purchasing, and offers these five tips to overseas property-buyers:
1. Understand the consequences of currency fluctuations
2. Use a forward contract to avoid losses by fixing the price of your property
3. Open an account with a currency specialist as soon as possible
4. Know your Sterling budget before you travel
5. Prefund your currency account to minimise inefficiencies
The earlier you open a free account with Smart Currency Exchange, the better. There is no sign up fee or obligation to trade and you will instantly gain access to the expert knowledge of your own personal trader. To open a free account, simply click here.

3.  Your independent lawyer 
Buying property anywhere involves legal procedures and when you add in the complications of different laws and language barriers, it is important that you have someone on your side who understands how things operate and is able to protect your interests. For this reason, it is advisable to employ an independent lawyer, ideally bi-lingual, who is well versed in property sales and who can guide you through every aspect of the buying process. Remember, different countries have different laws. You could take your lawyer’s details on your viewing trip, contacting them if you have any queries or need to sign something or pay a deposit.

To find out more about how Smart Currency Exchange could help send funds abroad and save money in the process, download their free report.

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