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transferring proceeds of property sale to UK with Transferwise?

transferring proceeds of property sale to UK with Transferwise?

Old Oct 14th 2021, 10:16 pm
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Default transferring proceeds of property sale to UK with Transferwise?

I am selling a property in Italy and requested from the buyer and the notary that they make the payment on completion via transferwise for the obvious reason that the charges would be less than via a bank transfer (I am in the UK so there would be the issue of the different currencies and bank commissions). I have no account in Italy and no euro account here.

My understanding from the little research I have done is that it is possible to use transferwise even for property sales (the sum falls well within transferwise upper limit) however the buyer has said that her notary has said that the only acceptable forms of payment for a property deed (atto) are cheque and bank transfer (bonifico). Her bank also said this (they of course would say that as they have a vested interest).

Can someone who has specific knowledge of Italian rules please confirm if this is the case and if possible provide an objective reference that I can send to the buyer and their notary? If this makes any difference, bear in mind that she would be buying with a mortgage.

What I don’t understand is that with Transferwise (now wise), you can choose bank transfer (bonifico) as your mode of payment so it seems to me that although the platform is wise.com, the actual transaction is effectively a bank transfer so I don’t know why they object. I tend to think it might be because of a lack of familiarity with these new modes of payment. I have also written to wise CS but haven’t had a reply yet.

Many thanks
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Old Oct 15th 2021, 6:01 am
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Default Re: transferring proceeds of property sale to UK with Transferwise?

Just give the notary your IBAN and BIC for wize ( your euro account) and he can make the transfer. He will also need the address of Wize which seems to be a room in Brussels. The account must be in your name though, for antirecycling. Then its up to you to make the switch from euros to sterling.

The rule for notaries is that payments must be made with traceable means, which means bonifici and bankers drafts. Within the euro zone there is no problem for the notary.
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Old Oct 15th 2021, 9:07 am
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Default Re: transferring proceeds of property sale to UK with Transferwise?

I don't see why you can't have the proceeds transferred via an exchange broker. That's how my buyer did it when I sold my place last year. Maybe the rules have changed since then because of Brexit or something, although my cynical hunch regarding Italian business practices and property scams makes me think someone is having you on for the sake of their own profit. I could of course be completely wrong on that but personal experience would dictate otherwise...

Have a look here...

https://www.torfx.com/

Last edited by Jake.White; Oct 15th 2021 at 9:11 am.
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Old Oct 15th 2021, 9:58 am
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Default Re: transferring proceeds of property sale to UK with Transferwise?

Originally Posted by modicasa View Post
Just give the notary your IBAN and BIC for wize ( your euro account) and he can make the transfer. He will also need the address of Wize which seems to be a room in Brussels. The account must be in your name though, for antirecycling. Then its up to you to make the switch from euros to sterling.

The rule for notaries is that payments must be made with traceable means, which means bonifici and bankers drafts. Within the euro zone there is no problem for the notary.
That's the way it works if you have a Wise multi-currency account. I think the OP is trying to use a Wise one-off transfer, which works a little differently and this may be causing the problem, as it is sort of like you buying the currency and then asking the notary to "pay the bill" for you

Easiest way to solve is for the OP to open a multi-currency account with Wise (very easy and free to do) then it works just like you say. The Euro currency account looks just like a normal bank account to the notary
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Old Oct 15th 2021, 10:01 am
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Default Re: transferring proceeds of property sale to UK with Transferwise?

Another option is Currencyfair.......they exchange at a very low cost straight into your uk bank account
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Old Oct 15th 2021, 10:05 am
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Default Re: transferring proceeds of property sale to UK with Transferwise?

Originally Posted by Jake.White View Post
I don't see why you can't have the proceeds transferred via an exchange broker. That's how my buyer did it when I sold my place last year. Maybe the rules have changed since then because of Brexit or something, although my cynical hunch regarding Italian business practices and property scams makes me think someone is having you on for the sake of their own profit. I could of course be completely wrong on that but personal experience would dictate otherwise...

Have a look here...

https://www.torfx.com/
Currency brokers are cheaper than banks, but more expensive than Wise, which has a highly automated, low cost, high scale model
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Old Oct 15th 2021, 12:18 pm
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Default Re: transferring proceeds of property sale to UK with Transferwise?

The notary has to give the final destination of the money. If its a euro sale, then you are paid in euros which need to be banked - a tx account is not a final destination, so the notary needs to know where the money will end up - ie the clients account. Wize on the other hand gives you a european iban which is a personal account as far as the notary is concerned if, as Alan PT says, its a multi currency account. A buyer can use a tx service but must supply not only the tx company's accounts but the deriving bank details. If you're using the notary's dedicated account, then he will want to pay the seller only and not go through third parties.
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Old Oct 16th 2021, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: transferring proceeds of property sale to UK with Transferwise?

Thanks all for the helpful replies
My only experience of transferwise was one-off transfers as you say Alan I wasn't aware of this option that modicasa and you explain which seems to be essentially like opening a bank account. I think I see why the exchange broker thing would not work in this case but thanks anyway for the suggestion
I guess I would then need to transfer those euro to my UK bank account but would benefit from transferwise's lower conversion rates but need to look into this.
I've also read that Starling bank has euro accounts for UK customers, I'm not sure what would be the better option and whether either would be signicantly more advantageous than just getting a bonifico to my UK account (I've used wise a lot for small sums and while it is cheaper than going via banks, the savings that they declare are always pretty inflated in my experience).
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Old Oct 16th 2021, 8:24 pm
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Default Re: transferring proceeds of property sale to UK with Transferwise?

Originally Posted by memorylane View Post
Thanks all for the helpful replies
My only experience of transferwise was one-off transfers as you say Alan I wasn't aware of this option that modicasa and you explain which seems to be essentially like opening a bank account. I think I see why the exchange broker thing would not work in this case but thanks anyway for the suggestion
I guess I would then need to transfer those euro to my UK bank account but would benefit from transferwise's lower conversion rates but need to look into this.
I've also read that Starling bank has euro accounts for UK customers, I'm not sure what would be the better option and whether either would be signicantly more advantageous than just getting a bonifico to my UK account (I've used wise a lot for small sums and while it is cheaper than going via banks, the savings that they declare are always pretty inflated in my experience).
Even easier than that, the Wise multi-currency account gives you both a euro and pound account (and some others, if you want): https://wise.com/gb/multi-currency-account/
1) Your notary pays you in Euros, using the euro account details
2) You choose when you want to move the euros to pounds (either all at once or in portions, when the exchange rate feels good to you) and transfer it into your Wise pound account
3) You transfer from your Wise pound account to your UK bank - this looks just like any UK to UK bank transfer, quick and cheap

Most of the savings on large amounts come from the exchange rate used - most banks sneakily "load" the exchange rate, moving it by a few fractions in their favour, which actually makes quite a profit but is hard to spot if you are not looking carefully. Wise (and Starling I think) use the published mid-market rate without any loading

I know I sound a bit like an advert for Wise, but I'm just a really big fan of what they do. Having had to make a lot of Dollar/Pound and Pound/Euro changes over the last 10-15 years, it's soooo much easier and cheaper now, mostly due to them disrupting the market
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Old Oct 16th 2021, 8:39 pm
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Default Re: transferring proceeds of property sale to UK with Transferwise?

We used both Wise (then TW) and CF (CurrencyFair), whilst we preferred the latter for larger amounts, and the way it worked, both were superb. Can't recall what made us think Starling was not a patch, but I would check that out for yourself.
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Old Oct 17th 2021, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: transferring proceeds of property sale to UK with Transferwise?

Alan, I share your enthusiasm for Wise (at least in the way that I've used it until now). Geordie I also tend to think the Starling bank route not as appealing, thanks for the headsup re currencyfair which I didn't know of.
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Old Oct 17th 2021, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: transferring proceeds of property sale to UK with Transferwise?

I used Starling for the purchase of my property last year and found them excellent. I've been using my Euro account to pay my IMU and TARI.

Exchange rates are excellent and they are really swift with the transfers (pardon the pun)
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