Moving Abroad – The Ultimate Guide
Selling your house to relocate or move abroad can be a very exciting time in anybody’s life. There’s the buzz of starting afresh, possibly with a new job and certainly a different lifestyle. What’s not to like!
Perhaps you are going one step further and moving abroad to emigrate and begin a new life. Whatever decision you make, it’s a huge one. And one that is going to take a fair amount of thought and planning to get right.
Apart from making possible decisions about work and schooling, you’ll need to think about your house. Many homeowners choose to sell up when they move some distance away or move abroad – for a “clean slate”.
In this guide we look at the various options you should consider. From renting out your property to putting your house or flat up for sale. We deal with the likely challenges to selling a property quickly, and the help that is available.
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Moving abroad checklist
Here is a list of actions you may want to take in the weeks building up to your house move. This was provided by checklist.com.
Assuming your move is agreed, an early step is to hire a suitable moving company to deal with your possessions. Sell or store your car if you are moving abroad, and arrange for your post to be redirected. It’s best to put together personal records and important paperwork into a secure file for travel. You’ll need to arrange for any current prescriptions to continue to ensure you have an adequate supply of any medicines whilst travelling. After all, it’s better to be safe.
Pay all the bills at your address, and re-direct or cancel any unecessary subscriptions. You’ll also need to make sure any direct debits are stopped if you are moving abroad unless of course these need to continue. You’ll need to arrange home insurance for your new permanent home. And if you don’t have a new house to move into immediately, then you’ll need to sort out temporary accommodation.
A full list of house move tips is available on the checklist.com website. It’s worth using something like this to ease the stresses of a big move particularly if you’re going to relocate for jobs. If you’re moving abroad, the ExpatFocus website also has some handy tips on preparing your family and friends for this news.
Reducing the hassle to relocate for jobs
Exciting as moving abroad can be, it could also be a nerve-wracking experience. What can add to the initial stress of arriving somewhere new is being unclear about your work situation. After all, most us of today will find the need to relocate for a job at some point in our lives. It’s just a simple fact of life. You may not know people or wonder how your kids will settle in, or about the cost of living.
So, while there could be benefits to living somewhere new, there is a lot to think about too. In an ideal situation, you’ll have planned and managed the big steps you need to take before you relocate. Hopefully, you will have been able to do this months in advance of your move. But that isn’t always possible if you have hit difficulties in selling your property. This could cause real anxiety.
Why is my house slow to sell?
If you are working to a deadline and your property has been on the market for some time, be realistic. There may be several reasons for failure to sell your house.
• Market conditions could be working against your property, or the local area
• The advertising and promotion of your house could be poor
• Your home may be in poor condition or have other aspects that may put buyers off
• Your property could be priced too high (or even low) for the market
Other factors include:
• Your estate agent may not be up to the job. You should choose any estate agent very carefully. Look at reviews and ask family, friends and colleagues about which ones have performed under the same circumstances. From the outset, your agent should work hard to market your property. They will be in the best place to work out just how much your property is worth today.
• Photos of your home are poor quality and putting buyers off. Quality photography that shows your house in the best light really is important. If you aren’t confident of your own photography skills, invest in a professional photographer. Or insist that your estate agent takes good pictures
• Clutter and poor “kerb appeal” of the property. If your house is full of excessive furniture and belongings, this may put buyers off. This is an opportunity to take old furniture and things you don’t need to a charity shop or your local waste depot. For “kerb appeal”, ask yourself how your house really looks to a buyer seeing it for the first time. Think about what they see when they pull up outside
• Selling over Christmas or during the summer holiday season. There can be times when it is simply hard to sell a property due to less interest. These include over the festive season and when people tend to be away. This may be less of a worry if you’re relaxed about your move and can wait a few weeks or months for a sale. If you are due to relocate early in the New Year and haven’t sold by Christmas, that’s a problem…
Why sell when you could rent out your property?
There are reasons why keeping hold of your property when moving abroad could work out well. If you become a landlord, then this could mean extra income while you are away. Your property could be an important asset. If your move doesn’t work out, you could have a home to return to. And it will be one you know well, in a familiar neighbourhood.
However, being a landlord is becoming increasingly complicated these days. There is lots of paperwork, and responsibility. Being the landlord of a property that is some distance away from where you live isn’t easy. You may need to employ a lettings agency to look after it. This will help to ensure your property’s overall condition is being checked regularly. Ask yourself – will it all be worth it?
If you don’t have someone to watch your property, making a clean break may be worthwhile. Selling your house before moving abroad means you could focus all of your energy on making the most of your new life elsewhere.
Making a quick house sale and moving abroad
If you are struggling to sell your house and need a buyer fast there is another option. There are home buying companies that can help when moving abroad. Cash house buyers work faster than a traditional estate agent and could give you a swift release of funds. This cash injection could give you a flying start for your new life when you need it most. But be warned. While there are many of these companies around, you need to make sure they listen to your requirements.
If you do decide to sell your house fast to a cash buyer be careful. Most importantly, ensure your chosen homebuyers are members of a property redress scheme such as The Property Ombudsman or PRS. And be sure to read reviews from their customers to get a feel for how well they have treated their past clients.