How to Sell a Property in the UK if You Live Abroad

Estimated reading time 5 minutes

Are you living outside of the UK & want to sell your property with minimal hassle or fuss? It can be tricky if you choose to go through a traditional route such as estate agents, with having to organise viewings and chase them up. 

First up, the basics, can you actually sell your property if you’re abroad? The answer is a blessed yes. What’s more, it is a fairly straight-forward process.

If you use an estate agent then they can do all of the leg work for you regarding viewings and offers. You don’t have to come back to the UK to deal with contracts and other legal documents as your solicitor should be able to recommend a trustworthy courier service. It’s also possible for you to give power of attorney to a relative or close friend who can act on your behalf from the UK. If you use cash house buyers like Gaffsy its even easier.

If you’re selling from abroad then the main thing you need to have is a team you trust, and what that means is estate agents, solicitors and everyone else involved who are reliable, who you know won’t let you down.

Choosing The Right Sale Method

Choosing how to sell your property is a big deal anyway, but it’s a bigger deal when you’re living abroad as you have to have a lot more trust that they have your best intentions at heart. Here are a couple of options that you have, and an overview of how this might look when your selling from abroad:

  • Auction: If you’re interested in selling your property at auction, but live abroad, it’s still possible. It will require a lot of conversation with the auction house and you’ll likely need to provide keys for the auctioneer to show potential bidders around the property, however this isn’t always necessary. The main aspect of this is that you need to have a lot of trust in the auction house you choose, so make sure that you read reviews. Communication is also key, so you want to choose an auction house which are easy to get a hold of and are in continual contact.
  • Estate Agent: The most important thing with choosing an estate agent when you plan on selling from abroad is making sure you choose an agent that you can trust. you’ll need to trust that they are making a correct valuation of the property and making the most of its features during viewings, it’s also harder to keep track how they are marketing your property locally. You need to also choose an agent that has the logistical capability of handling a long distance property sale, so it goes without saying that you’ll need an agent able to do the viewings for you.
  • Quick House Sale: The most hassle-free and guaranteed way to sell your property when abroad is to use a quick house sale company such as Gaffsy. You can get your house valuation quickly, and complete your house sale fast with no fees. We’ll organise and pay for the solicitors, keep in constant communication and make the process as easy as possible, on top of that we will buy the property quickly, much quicker in fact than if you were selling through an estate agent.

Choosing The Right Conveyancer

One of the main things to be aware of is that it’s even more important that you choose the right solicitors. Before commiting to a solicitor you should ensure that they can correspond mostly through email or online to make the whole process as smooth and easy as possible.

You might be surprised but a lot of solicitors are still operating in a pre-digital era. Some solicitors will only accept hand written or signed documents which could mean the whole process is stretched out in comparison to choosing a solicitor that is based purely online, which means you don’t have to rely on sending post back and forth which from abroad can cause significant delays and even cause a sale to fall through if the buyer becomes frustrated

This can make things a little bit awkward, you’ve got to try and organise everything over the phone, pick the right solicitors and get a trustworthy estate agent that isn’t going to try. Gaffsy presents an option that is much easier than the traditional route. It is the simplest and cheapest way to sell your property, avoiding costs such as agents’ fees, estate agents’ charges, solicitors’ fees, clearance costs, utility charges, mortgage payments and cosmetic repair costs. This way, you don’t have to worry about pre-modern solicitors, distant estate agents, uncertain auctions, or dreaded capital gains tax. 

Capital Gains Tax 

Something to be aware of when you sell your UK property whilst living abroad, is that you might have to pay Capital Gains Tax. Capital Gains Tax is essentially a tax on any profit you have made on the property, which might apply if you were previously renting out the property. The Government website states that you may be subject to CGT if:

  • You sell a property or land in the UK and make a gain
  • Assets you’ve sold where used in a UK branch of a foreign business
  • You where formerly a UK resident and return within 5 years

In most cases you don’t pay any tax for any tax years in which you, your spouse or civil partner spent at least 90 days in your UK home. To qualify, you must nominate the home as your only or main home when you inform HMRC that you have sold that property. 

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