Why it pays to get organised when buying property abroad

If you have plans to go abroad to view some properties that you may be interested in purchasing, we always recommend that you get organised and get in touch with the professionals you will need to assist you, should you find your ideal property, before you go.

We recommend that you get in touch with the following before  your trip:

  • Independent lawyer
  • Currency specialist (if you will need to exchange your funds into euros to make the purchase)
  • Mortgage advisor (if you are likely to require a mortgage)

Being organised can not only save you time and hassle, but also money too. Here’s 5 reasons why it pays to get organised before your viewing trip:


  1. Getting organised will help you to budget for any additional costs

As well as the purchase price there will be other costs associated with the purchase such as purchase taxes and legal fees. By getting in touch with a lawyer before you go out to look at properties you can get accurate information about what these additional costs will be so that you can factor them into your budget.

It can be quite embarrassing having your offer accepted only to realise that you did not leave enough in your budget to pay the associated taxes and fees. Ooops!


  1. Being organised puts you in a good position as buyer

If you are organised and have the details of your lawyer to hand, have obtained your NIE number(Spain) / fiscal number (Portugal)/ Codice Fiscale (Italy) and have your currency exchange account set up, you will be in a position to move quickly (and potentially much faster than other buyers who have not).

Being organised also demonstrates to the seller and estate agent that you mean business. They  will usually take your offers from organised buyers much more seriously and look at your offer more favourably compared to  other buyers who are less organised and could appear to the seller or agent as ‘dreamers’.

If you are getting a mortgage, being in contact with a mortgage advisor and getting them to provide you with an offer in principle will show the estate agents and property sellers that you are able to obtain the funds to make the purchase. You will also be able to check that you can actually borrow as much as you think as the criteria for the mortgage may be different to what you’d expect.

Buyers who are considered to be in’ a good position’ often manage to secure properties ahead of those who are not and sometimes at a lower price.


  1. Being organised means you are more in control and unlikely to make decisions you might regret.

If you have already had the opportunity to speak with a lawyer who you are happy with, you are less likely to make rash, and potentially costly decisions when under pressure to secure your dream property.

Often when on a viewing trip your time is limited, and sometimes you have just a few hours to make important decisions such as signing contracts, paying deposits and deciding which lawyer to instruct.

If you are already in touch with a reputable lawyer, you can quickly arrange for them to review any contracts you are presented with and undertake some initial investigations in relation to the property and the seller to make sure that you are OK to proceed before you commit yourself to the purchase.

Signing a contract without first having it checked by an independent lawyer can cause you big problems and rushing to find a lawyer you means you are more likely to fall into instructing the estate agents ‘recommended lawyer’ which is something that we strongly advise against. (By ‘independent’, we mean a lawyer not connected to or suggested to you by the estate).

If you already have a currency account and are in touch with a trader, you are more likely to get a better deal on your currency then making a rush transfer at the time. This could save you hundreds if not thousands. The services of a currency specialist are free and so is opening an account, so there is nothing to lose!

If you are getting a mortgage, doing the ground work first and getting a mortgage offer in principle means that this can progress more quickly and smoothly and you are less likely to find you have just committed to a purchase you ultimately can not afford!


  1. Getting organised means you will have more opportunity to take advantage of money saving currency exchange options.

The more time you have the more options you will have to take advantage of currency exchange options. Properly considering your currency exchange is the main way to save money on your overseas property purchase. Leaving things to the last minute means that your options are more limited and so are the costs savings.


  1. Being organised means less panic!

We are often contacted by people who have found their ideal property but are struggling to progress the purchase as they did not obtain their NIE/Fiscal Number, did something wrong or instructed a lawyer in a rush that they are not now happy with. Doing your homework and getting things in place early will enable you to have a much more pleasant experience and buy a property in the most safe and cost effective way possible.


If you are planning a trip to view properties abroad and would like any advice about how to get organised, contact Total Buying Abroad on 01244478 911 or at info@totalbuyingabroad.com.

We will be happy to provide you with initial advice to help the process go smoothly should you find your ideal property and can also put you in touch with reputable lawyers, currency exchange companies, mortgage advisors or any other professionals to assist you with your purchase.

Article published: November 8, 2017