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Buying a property overseas? Watch out for these pitfalls

The key thing to remember when buying a property abroad is not to leave your money transfer until the last minute, as you could get stung. Allow yourself enough time to shop around and get the best deal. Many people make the mistake of going straight to their bank without considering other options but this is often the most expensive way to transfer money.

Making payments abroad? Ensure you avoid these pitfalls:
Transferring money overseas to buy a property doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Follow these steps to avoid any last minute problems when securing your dream home in France.

1. Compare rates on a like-for-like basis
The foreign exchange market can be very volatile with rates changing from one minute to the next. If you’re looking for the best rates, remember to compare rates from suppliers at the same point in time. This can be tricky if you’re comparing too many suppliers and is easier to achieve online, but try to keep it within the shortest timeframe possible otherwise the market might have moved by the time you look at provider number five.

2. Don’t leave it until last minute – mitigate your risk!
If you know you’re due to make a payment for your property deposit or mortgage, speak to an expert in advance to make the most of favourable exchange rates or mitigate your risk should the Pound-Euro rate go against you.

3. Consider locking in at today’s exchange rates
Make the most of dedicated payment options from currency experts such as a forward contract which allows you to lock in at today’s rate for transactions up to one year in advance. That means if today’s rate is favourable you’re able to lock it in, so make sure you speak to your currency provider to understand your options.

4. Insist on security and good rates!
Ensure your provider is legitimate and FCA registered, but don’t be afraid to venture away from your bank to transfer the money for your property abroad. Banks have some of the highest transaction fees and poorest rates for international money transfers, so choose a provider that offers you security and good rates. FairFX keeps customer funds in segregated accounts for additional protection.

5. Hidden fees add up!
Before you use a money transfer service, ask about all the fees and charges involved. What is their foreign exchange fee? Do they charge a transaction fee, a “processing” fee or an “out of currency” fee. Don’t get caught out by hidden fees!

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Darren Kilner

Darren Kilner

Darren is Head of Dealing at FairFX. Darren lives and breaths FX, his Mastermind topics are G8 currencies and economic forecasts.

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