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Can I manage the conveyancing process for my UK property while living outside of the UK?

“I have listed my UK property for sale today whilst living abroad, but before I receive an offer, I need to know if I can manage the conveyancing process from here, or will I have to fly back to handle it appropriately?”

Can I manage the conveyancing process for my UK property while living outside of the UK?

Thousands of non-UK residents successfully sell their UK property without being present, and knowing what is most important, and what other financials are involved can prevent any confusion and stress.

Why communication is the make or break

The most crucial part of the conveyancing process is the communication between all parties. When carried out in the UK, this process would typically involve plenty of telephone calls and postal deliveries of crucial documents that help the process progress. As this is certainly not feasible overseas, coming up with a consistent and clear online method of communication which involves emails and practical, accessible scanning facilities are essential to make sure your conveyancing process is successful.

Whether you chose a licensed conveyancer or your solicitor, aim from the start to be as upfront and clear as possible about your communication expectations. Discuss exactly how you plan to stay involved regularly and what lines of communication work for you.

What are the financial implications?

How you have used the property that you are selling whilst living outside of the UK will impact the amount of Capital Gains Tax you will be due to pay when it sells.

Another thing to consider is the tax laws of the country that you are currently residing in. This may affect how much tax you are due to pay on your sale, depending where you are living.

Will being outside the UK slow down the process?

The average time for the process is around 6-8 weeks. And following on from above, as long as your lines of communication and involvement with the process do not suffer due to you being overseas, neither should the time scale.

However, you still face all the other usual variable of selling your UK property, overseas or not. These involve delays at the fault of the estate agents, mortgage lenders and offers being delayed, slow searches, slow action from the buyers’ solicitor, and chain of the buyer (if they are selling a house to buy your property). All of these can affect the speed of the process but are effectively out of your control.

If you do have a completion date in mind, it is best to let your conveyancer know as early as possible, to attempt meeting that particular deadline, although this is not always possible.

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Last updated: 4 May 2021 at 15:04