House buying and selling transaction – can I use Euros?
Q: I am purchasing a property from a friend under a friendly deal. We both wish for the transaction to be settled in euros. The solicitors are insisting that we settle in pounds sterling. But we don’t want to spend another ca 2% of the purchase price on switching euro into pounds and then back into euro. Can we process the transaction ourselves?
Solicitors are generally risk averse to anything outside their normal procedures, and in this case may have concerns about commission payments, exchange rates and money laundering regulations. We suggest you go back to your solicitors and quiz them as to why they won’t proceed so you can understand it better, and if they won’t proceed as you request, ask if they can recommend another solicitor who will.
If you cut your ties with your current solicitor you will of course have to pay for any services they have provided to date. Finding a new one prepared to process the transaction in Euros may also bring delays. The Law Society can help you find a property solicitor/conveyancer in your area, but you will have to phone round to find one prepared to process a purchase in Euros.
If this is a friendly deal as you say, you could always do the conveyancing yourself. But it is not without risks. The danger of completing the process without solicitors is that they may be unwilling to help with the post completion transactions, so you would have to handle registration with the Land Registry, Stamp Duty payment etc which if not done correctly could cause problems later on.
Speak to your solicitor again and see what they say. We can then help work through the next steps.
HomeOwners Alliance Team
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