It is always a difficult time when you put your home on the market and face the prospect of numerous potential buyers coming to visit. For those planning to move abroad, there is even more pressure and timing is also important, as ideally you would want to have sold your UK property before moving into your new home in Spain.
It is probably easier to sell a “lived in” home, rather than an empty one, so you would need to put your house on the market some time before you plan to move. Allow as much time as you can, visit 2 or 3 estate agents in your area and have a set of plans depending on whether you sell quickly or if you have to wait some months. Decide whether you will sell the curtains & carpets with the house? You won’t need carpets in Spain though rugs will be useful. Heavy curtains don’t marry with modern Spanish villas, so leave them or sell them. Think about the white goods too. Most machines will work in Spain but you will need to change all the plugs, and if yours are more than 3 years’ old, you would be better off buying new ones in Spain where you will find a good choice of washing machines, dishwashers, fridges and freezers often on promotion.
When you get your home ready for sale you will probably move things around, take some items off shelves and generally tidy up. This is a good moment to consider what you want with you in Spain and what no longer pleases you or serves a purpose. Removal companies will price your relocation on cubic meterage, so take only what you really think will go well in your new villa or apartment. You should be able to negotiate with your buyers items such as ceiling and wall lamps, garden furniture, and shelving.
If you happily sell quickly, you may have to put your belongings into storage for a while. At the same time as visiting estate agencies, have a look for removal firms that offer storage facilities. You may have decided to rent in Spain for a time and prefer to leave your furniture in the UK until you have found a permanent home, so arranging to put everything in storage in advance will prove to be more than useful when you accept an offer, and begin the sales process. After all, there are so many things to worry about when moving, and you’ll have the added concerns connected to your arrival in Spain.
Talk to your estate agents. Explain that you are selling to move abroad. Be clear about what you want to leave in the property, and ask them to negotiate a price with the buyers for extras, or agree a price to include everything. If you are buying a home in Spain at roughly the same time as selling your UK property, you will probably need to make a trip to deal with the Spanish legalities, so ensure that you are happy for the agent/s to have your keys to show prospective buyers round while you are away. If you have already bought a Spanish property or are renting one, you will already have opened a bank account in Spain. What will you do with the proceeds of the house sale? Perhaps you will only want to move some of the money? - though sterling is at its highest for years against the euro, so now may well be the time to move all the proceeds - but in either case, set up an account with a currency specialist such as Smart Currency Exchange
, to get the best possible exchange rate for your money, don’t just move it through your high street bank.
Selling your UK home and being well organised will make the move to Spain much easier, limiting last-minute panics and allowing you to plan for your future.