When to sell UK house

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  • When you've decided to move to Canada, the timing of the sale of your UK house is tricky.

  • The times at which the different elements of the process fall into place rarely are neat and tidy.

  • The ideal would be:
    • Decide to move to Canada
    • Receive job offer in Canada
    • Receive work permit application approval
    • Put UK house on market, and have it snapped up immediately
    • Hire removalists to pack and ship your household goods to Canada
    • Climb on a plane bound for Canada

  • In real life, however, it is common for a work permit to come through but for the applicant's UK house to sit on the market for a long time.

  • BE forum members who have faced this situation have handled it in various ways.

  • Sometimes one spouse has gone ahead to Canada and has started his/her job while the other spouse has stayed behind in the UK to sell the house and supervise the packers.

  • But the house selling process sometimes takes months and months, and families find it tough to be apart for extended periods.

  • You also have to consider the extra costs associated with maintaining two households.

  • One idea to consider is to put your UK house on the market once you've done a recce trip to Canada, have received positive feedback from potential Canadian employers, and are confident that you're work permit material (but before you've even applied for your work permit).

  • Then, if your UK house sells before your Canadian work permit has come through, you can rent in the UK on an interim basis.

  • If your work permit comes through and your UK house hasn't sold yet, you may need to reconsider your asking price so that your house will move more quickly.

  • You may be reluctant to lower your asking price, but keep in mind the experiences of some British expats who have found that they have lost that difference (and sometimes more) through the extra costs associated with maintaining two households for many months.

  • Also do not underestimate the wear and tear on your nerves when your family is living apart.

  • Of course there also are some expats who choose not to sell their UK houses but to rent them out while they check whether or not Canada is for them.