Buying a holiday home abroad is an exciting investment but it can also be a daunting one. The process for buying foreign property is different to buying property in the UK, and therefore things can sometimes go awry. However, being prepared can pre-empt some of the most common pitfalls.
Four things that can go wrong
- Account names – A common pitfall is sending us funds from an account that holds a different name to the client. For example, funds arriving from a client’s Ltd company account rather than their personal account as expected. It would be possible in this instance to have the purchase go through the Ltd company but then it would be an asset of the business rather than the client.
Due to our compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations it’s important that funds arrive from the expected account.
- Documentation – At the start of the process all our clients are provided with very clear instructions on what documents are required in order to continue with the transaction.
If the client does not have the relevant documents, due to the regulations Optimal Currency has to comply with the transfer could be delayed and potentially may not be able to go through.
- Wrong account – On rare occasions funds can be deposited into the wrong account, which is why we have a six-eye check on any bank account details which are provided to us offline. We verbally repeat the account details to the client, then send the payment instruction to them to verify before the payment is made. If despite this, funds are still in the wrong account it is usually possible to retrieve them, but it can be a lengthy process. Utilising our secure portal to instruct your onward transfer is the quickest and safest way of telling us where to transfer your funds.
- Better rate – Sometimes after a client has agreed a rate and fixed a contract with us to purchase currency, the market moves and another provider offers a more competitive rate. Typically this is after the event and due to the time is not comparing ‘apples to apples’. We make it clear that the rate changes from day to day, minute to minute even, and can go up or down. We are very customer focused and want to ensure our clients are happy with the service and therefore before making a commitment to a rate, we encourage clients to check with their bank on the day to assure them ours is the more competitive.
If 2020 taught us anything it is that we cannot predict everything that can go wrong with international transactions, but as a customer-focused business we endeavour to make the process as stress-free as possible. With experienced brokers allocated to your transaction, they are able to monitor the situation and keep you up to date on what is happening and offer advice as necessary.
If you are thinking of purchasing a holiday home abroad and want to find out more about the process give us a call today.