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I want to sell my house in the UK, but I live abroad

The Property Buying Company is the right choice if you're looking for speed, convenience and assurance,

Whether you’re moving abroad from UK due to work, retirement or just because you want a change of scenery, there’s no doubt it’s a big life-changing event, which comes with many challenges.

Despite the impacts of Brexit and COVID-19, moving abroad from UK still remains a popular choice amongst British expats. Before going ahead with the big move, there are a lot of different things you need to consider, with what you do with your UK house being the biggest decision to make.

It’s important you decide whether to keep your property and rent it out or whether to sell it and move on. Both options come with their challenges, but you need to make a decision on what is best for you.


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Below you can find out everything you need to know from selling whilst you are out of the country:

Moving abroad checklist

Moving is a stressful process in itself. That’s before you add in the moving to a different country, which just adds more complications into the mix. It’s important you make a checklist before jumping straight in, so you don’t miss off any crucial steps.

Whilst each individual will have different bits they need to organise, the basics of the moving abroad checklist will be the same:

  • Find a moving company to handle the shipping of your possessions
  • Make sure any subscription services know of your new address
  • Ensure there’s something in place for your post to be redirected
  • Sell any possessions you don’t wish to take, whether this is your car, furniture, or gadgets
  • Sell for new home insurance
  • Collect together all personal records and paperwork
  • Let your doctors, dentists, opticians etc know you’re leaving their practice
  • Set up a new bank account in your new country
  • Get new currency


This isn’t an extensive list but provides the basics you will need to think about when it comes to moving abroad from UK.

Should you sell your house when moving abroad from UK?

Before selling your house and moving abroad, you’ll first want to think about what the best option is and whether it may be a better idea to rent instead of sell. Both options come with pros and cons and each individual will have different ideas on what they want to do, so it’s a good idea to think about what’s more suitable for you.

Pros and cons of selling when moving abroad:

Pros:

  • Leaves you with no commitments when you move
  • Gives you a large sum of money to start a new journey

Cons:

  • Could take a long time to sell
  • State of the housing market may be poor, meaning you may not get a great price for your property


Pros and cons of renting out your house when moving abroad:

Pros:

  • Able to get some income out of your old property
  • If you move back to the UK, you have a house to move into

Cons:

  • You will have to pay taxes on your profits, including Capital Gains Tax
  • You will have to hire a management company or letting agent, leaving you with fees to pay
  • If anything goes wrong, you’re too far away to be able to sort it out
  • You're responsible to fix anything that breaks, meaning further costs
  • Will have to convert your house repayment scheme to a ‘buy-to-let’ scheme

Should I sell before or after I move abroad?

You may have decided to sell your house but don’t know whether you should sell it before or after you move abroad. Each of these options will have different strengths and it’s all about deciding which is the best route for you.

Selling before moving abroad:

  • You will have no commitments when you move
  • You will have a nice sum of money to get you started on your new adventure
  • You will be in full control of your sale
  • You may sell it a few weeks before moving, meaning you will have to rent/find somewhere to live before the moving date comes
  • It will be added stress


Selling after moving abroad:

  • Means you will have a house right until moving
  • If you change your mind soon after moving, you will have a house to come back to
  • You will have to pay Capital Gains Tax when you sell it, as it will now be your second home
  • You won't be in full control of your sale

What happens to my house repayments when moving abroad?

There are a few different routes you may need to take when it comes to your house repayments when moving abroad.

The first is that you decide to keep your UK property for yourself and use it if and when you visit the UK. In this case, the good news is that nothing will change in regard to your house repayments.

All you will need to do is ensure you keep up with the monthly payments and it may be a good idea to leave your UK current account open to make things a little simpler. This will also keep your UK credit score healthy – a bonus if you think you may want to eventually move back to the UK.

The second route you may decide to go down is to keep your UK property to rent it out to others. In this case, you must let your house repayments lender know and they will have to convert you onto a buy-to-let scheme.

This house repayment type tends to have higher interest rates and fees compared to a ‘normal’ house repayment scheme, further adding to the costs you may need to pay when deciding to keep your UK property when moving abroad from UK.

The final route you could face is if you decide to sell your UK property before moving abroad. In this case, you will pay off your house repayments and then there’s nothing else to worry about! In this respect, selling your property before moving abroad makes the moving process easier for you.

Can I Sell My UK Property From Abroad?

Yes. This is a fairly straight-forward process.

If you use an estate or online agent then they can do all of the leg work for you regarding viewings and offers. You don’t even 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're selling from abroad then the main thing you need to have is a team you trust, and what we mean by that is estate agents, solicitors and everyone else involved who are reliable and who you know won't let you down.

Capital Gains Tax

You may have to pay Capital Gains Tax on your UK property, regardless of whether you sell it or decide to rent it out. It is a tax which is payable on any profit you make on a UK property, after moving abroad from UK.

If you decide to sell your house before you move, you won’t have to pay Capital Gains Tax, as long as you can prove:

  • The property was your main residence when you sold it
  • It was only used by your family and no more than one other lodger throughout the time you owned it
  • The total area of land doesn’t exceed 5,000 square metres


If you sell your house but the sale doesn’t go through until after you have moved abroad, then you will be susceptible to the tax, as it will not have been your main residence at the time of the sale.

If you keep your UK property when moving abroad then you will have to pay Capital Gains Tax on any profits you make through renting out the property.

All things considered, a quick house sale before you move away from the UK could be the most ideal option and will allow you to avoid paying any Capital Gains Tax.

Costs of moving abroad from UK

Putting aside the price you will pay for your new home, there are a lot of costs involved in moving abroad from UK:

  • Legal fees (for both buying a new house and selling your old house, if you choose to sell your UK property)
  • Stamp Duty (on your new abroad property)
  • House repayment fees
  • Buying flights
  • Shipping costs of furniture and other goods
  • Bills on your new house (water, electric, heating)
  • Council tax (or your new country’s equivalent)
  • Service charge (if you buy a house on a development)
  • Income tax
  • Capital Gains Tax (if you keep your UK property and rent it out)
  • Currency conversion fees


The number of costs stacks up quickly, suggesting it may be a good idea to sell your house before moving abroad, as it will give you a chunk of money to be able to buy a new house and start your next adventure, without needing to worry about getting work or money from your pension straight away.

Choosing The Right Conveyancer

Sell My House From AbroadOne 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 corresponde 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 in the pen & papers 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 fustrated.

Can I get a quick house sale when moving abroad from UK?

If you’re looking at moving abroad from the UK and so want to sell your house quickly, this is something that is achievable.

Take a look at your options to help you choose the right sale method:

  • 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 it's 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 left field alternative, us! We can buy your house quickly, and handle everything for you. 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 of course buy the property in as little as 7 days.


Why are we the right choice?

Here at The Property Buying Company, we’re able to offer you a quick cash sale, with our average completion time at 2-3 weeks, so you can tick ‘sell house and move abroad’ off your checklist.

We will cover all your fees, including any solicitor’s costs, and we complete in a timescale of your choice. We’re also a genuine cash buyer you can trust, with hundreds of good reviews on Trustpilot, and we’re a member of The Property Ombudsman and The National Association of Property Buyers.

We take the stress and hassle out of moving house. With us, there’s no need to hold multiple viewings and have back and forth conversations with potential buyers. If you’re looking to get a fast sale when moving abroad, why not get a no-obligation cash offer from us?


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As cash buyers, The Property Buying Company can buy your property from you, even if you live abroad. We make the whole process of selling from abroad as easy as it possibly can be, we handle absolutely everything for you including organising the solicitors and we'll even cover the costs, we can also complete to a timescale to suit you. We're transparent from the start and will tell you straight away that we unfortunately can’t pay the full price for your property, but we will pay a fair price including all the costs we cover and the timeline that we are able to purchase within.

Our service is perfectly suited from selling from aborad, our team of property experts make it a seemless property sale, with no stress or hassle.

  • We cover all your costs & including solicitor fees
  • Our customer service & support is fantastic
  • We can buy your home in a timescale to suit you, and can do so in as little as 7 days
  • We deal with properties of all values & types

To find out how we can help you today, call us on:

0800 024 8444
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How much can you get from our we buy any house service?

Complete a few details to see if your property qualifies and get a cash offer – remember we buy any property, in any condition, in any location!

5 simple steps to having your property sold!

Our quick (but thorough) 5 step sale process means we can buy your house fast and at a great price

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  • 01.

    Check to see if your property is eligible check now

  • 02.

    Receive an offer from us within 24 hours

  • 03.

    We’ll visit your property & formalise our offer

  • 04.

    We’ll instruct solicitors and pay all fees

  • 05.

    Exchange contracts & complete as usual

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Why choose us as your cash house buyers?

We’re one of the leading we buy any house UK companies for residential/commercial property and land in England and Wales. We buy using our own cash house buying facility meaning we can offer the best prices in our industry and complete the sale quicker than anyone else.

Your options Average sale length Typical cost to you
The Property Buying Company 2-3 weeks £0.00
Other House Buying Companies 2-10 weeks £1000
Property Auction 6-10 weeks £2500-£5000
Online Estate Agents 16-52 weeks £1000(upfront)-£5000
Estate Agents 16-52 weeks £5000

Unlike most of the other options available to you, we are not a broker or middle man, meaning you skip the fees and get a sale quickly and easily.

The Property Buying Company is registered with the Property Ombudsman and is a member of the National Association of Property Buyers

National Association of Property Buyers The Property Ombudsman
900+

Properties bought by us
for cash

£124,614,944

Of our own money spent buying
property for cash

2-3 weeks

Average time taken from initial offer
to completion