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A Solution for Buyers and Sellers

With the slowing down of the worldwide property market over the last couple of years, many people have found themselves trapped in a home they are desperate to sell, and unable to move on to the next stage in their lives. Whether you have a home in the UK to sell and wish to buy in Bulgaria, or vice versa... What do you do in this all too familiar situation, where you have run out of options and viewers, and don't want to lower your asking price any further? Property swap of course!

We spoke to Ann Hansen of International Property Swap about how property swapping works. "Permanent property swapping is a fairly new idea,  but in the USA, which suffered a property crash a couple of years ahead of the rest of the world, permanent property swapping has already caught on in a big way. Now however, it seems we have caught on to this phenomenon, with several new websites appearing over the last year, matching up buyers and sellers in the UK, Europe and worldwide.

Most people have heard of a temporary house swap, where 2 families, often in different countries, mutually agree to swap homes for a money saving 2 week vacation, but permanent house swapping is a new concept for people to understand and brings up all sorts of questions.

Probably the easiest way to explain a permanent property exchange is to think of it as 2 parties agreeing to 'buy' each other's properties. The properties don't have to be of the same value, and just like a conventional buy and sell situation, you can move up or down the property ladder. If you are swapping to a property of a higher value than your own, then you will of course have to arrange finance to cover the differential which is to be paid to the other party.  One thing to bear in mind is that even though money may not exchange hands, you will still be liable to pay the appropriate taxes in the country where the property is located, so you must factor this into your budget. There are many benefits of house swapping, like avoiding the dreaded property chain, and savings can be made if you arrange the transaction without the involvement of an Estate agent. Remember though, that it could be beneficial to use an Estate agent to smooth the way of the transaction, and help with negotiations.

Permanent property swapping is often likened to match making or dating for homes, and this is a good analogy, because both parties have to be well matched.and fall in love with each others properties before a swap takes place. This is where property swap websites can help find that perfect match, or specifically someone who has what you want, and vice versa.  With several websites to choose from, all offering varying services and charges, from flat fee advertising only, to agent like services charging commissions fees, why not give house swapping a go, and you could be making that move sooner than you think!"

If you have a property you would like to swap, then contact Ann Hansen at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the International Property Swap site