Should you sell your home before moving abroad

Moving is one of the most significant life events and can be really exciting. But when you are moving abroad, it’s a whole other story. Whatever the reason for your relocation, retirement, a work opportunity, or just a need for change, you’re in for some fun and games and some less than amusing moments. When you’re relocating to a different country, you will have to tie up many loose ends. One of the points on your to-do list will definitely be deciding whether to sell your home before moving abroad. Merely making that decision will not be an easy task. However, this article should help you weigh all the pros and cons by providing you with all the information you need.

And when all of that is behind you, you will be able to focus on the exciting part of living abroad. You will be able to start meeting your new neighbors, getting to know a new culture, exploring, etc. 

Sell your home before moving abroad or hold on to it – that is the question.

It’s a difficult question to answer, indeed. There are many points you need to consider before making the decision. Firstly, investigate your city’s housing market. Then evaluate how much you have invested in your property. Finally, think about your future plans carefully. After you have taken everything into consideration, you can consider both options. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both options.

Positive sides of selling 

  • It will give you a massive cash injection to help you start your new life in a new place.

  • You will have a clean slate, a fresh start with no property commitments.

Negative sides of selling

  • If your life abroad doesn’t work out, you will have no place to come back to. Moreover, it is highly likely you won’t be able to afford a house in the same neighborhood.

Upsides of holding on to your property 

  • A healthy passive income from renting the place

  • You will have a place waiting if you decide to return.

Downsides of holding on to your property

  • It will be quite expensive to hire a reliable property manager.

  • There will be taxes to pay, including capital gains tax.

If you decide to hold on to your property

Selling your home is a finite decision and might not be the best option for everyone. Therefore, if you decide to keep it, there are a couple of alternatives.

Keep it as a rental property.

Having a rental property is an excellent source of passive income, as we have already mentioned. If your mortgage has been paid off, it will be an always much-needed additional income. If you haven’t paid your mortgage yet, you will have to notify your mortgage lender, who will convert it to a Buy to Let mortgage. It’s advisable to discuss this thoroughly with your lender as this type of mortgage usually implies higher interest rates and fees. Also, consider potential vacant periods. Don’t make any hasty decisions. Consider all the implications and risks carefully.

Tax implications

Should you decide to rent your home, you will have to pay tax on the income you receive from your tenants. If you are eligible for a personal income, you will have to pay 20% on over £11,500. Otherwise, you will pay tax on all the income you receive from renting your property.

Keep your home for your kids.

If your children are thinking about expanding their family or they are renting a place, it would make more sense for them to continue living in your house. That way, the home stays in the family if you have had difficulty saying goodbye to it. Moreover, your kids can continue paying for the mortgage.

If you decide to sell your home before moving abroad

Should you decide to sell your home before moving abroad, well, you have no alternatives. Selling is a pretty definite move. However, you should do your best to sell it fast. And we will give you a few tips to help you get your home off the market as soon as possible.

  • Declutter mercilessly. Decide what you are taking with you and what you are selling, giving away, donating, or getting rid of. It will take you a while, so start ahead of time. Your house will sell faster with fewer things inside and no clutter. 

  • Set up an open house. Organizing an open house is an excellent idea. However, you should be smart about it and be careful about a few things. Remove magnets from the refrigerator, personal photographs from the shelves, magazines and newspapers from the tables, toys from the garden. And remember, a staged house will sell faster than an empty one. Having some furniture will enable people to visualize their stuff there and better feel the space.

  • Put your house on the market at least three months before your moving date. If you sell your home quickly, it can take anything from two weeks to a month to close the deal. Also, you can agree with the buyer to stay in the house until your moving date.

  • Prepare the paperwork. Have everything you possibly can ready and arrange with your real estate agent and mortgage broker to sign everything online. In case your hose doesn’t sell before you leave, you don’t want to fly back only to give a few signatures. 

  • Do all minor repairs. Ensure that the roof and plumbing are in good condition, but don’t go overboard with other renovations. Fix the little things that will increase the value of the home or make it look more presentable and have a better curb appeal.


So, should you sell your home before moving abroad? It is a big decision, and you shouldn’t make it hastily. Renting it can provide a steady income, and you will always have a place to come back to. On the other hand, selling it will give you a significant financial boost that may provide for a better living in the new country. And finally, you should consider your future plans. Now, the issue here is that we can never know for sure what the future holds. Hopefully, we have given you some insight into what each option entails so you can make the right decision for you. But whatever you decide, make sure you have organized safe transport from the UK and go on to enjoy your new life in a new environment.

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