Posted: Jun 16, 2012 / Real Estate Business
What Realtors should know about helping foreign buyers who want to buy with cash.

The couple from Genoa bought a lovely townhome in Key West’s Truman Annex and secured a solid mortgage to do so. They referred friends of theirs from Rome and London to you so they too could buy a vacation home in Old Town Key West. But. They want to buy in cash. Yikes?! How are you going to handle hundreds of thousands of Euros and Pounds? What about exchange rates? What if the dollar strengthens or weakens between contract and closing?

Fortunately both these new clients are from countries who are part of the Visa Waiver Program so there is no problem in their being legal to buy property in the US. But what about all that cash? No problem, you know of a company that can handle the deal – Moneycorp.

My trusted contact at Moneycorp is Darren Connor - 407.352.5890.

First off, Moneycorp is not a bank. Moneycorp is a foreign currency exchange services provider. Moneycorp established their first office in London in 1962. They now have offices in Spain; Alicante and Marbella, and the US; Orlando, Florida. What are some of Moneycorp’s credentials?

• Moneycorp is a licensed Money Service Business in both UK and USA

• Moneycorp has maintained our ISO 9000 Quality Assurance certification since 1996

• Moneycorp has excellent credit ratings (4A1) with Dun&Bradstreet and other credit agencies

• The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Special Opportunities Fund is the sole institutional investor in the Group, with a total shareholding of 95.25%

What does Moneycorp actually do and why should they be your #1 choice?

The foreign currency exchange market assists international trade and investment by conducting currency conversion. Moneycorp helps a seller in the US to sell property to someone from Italy or England, who pay in Euros or Pounds, allowing the seller to receive US dollars.

“Our margins are about 1% whereas banks can charge upwards of 2.5%.  Fees are typically less than $25 but fluctuate depending on the service clients use; online, over the phone, same day exchange, 3 day exchange, etc.”,  says  Country Manager Laura McLaughlin, head of Moneycorp’s Orlando, Florida USA office.  Darren Connor, Account Manager in Moneycorp’s Orlando, Florida, USA office adds “We provide a free service that monitors exchange rates on the client’s behalf to allow them to lock in when the rate is most in their favor.”


In 2011, Moneycorp provided exchange services to 2.4M customers at a value of £11.1B – or more than $17B. Moneycorp won the The Overseas Property Professional (OPP) Awards for Excellence 2011 for Best Financial Services Provider. In presenting Moneycorp with the Gold Award, the judges noted: “With such a significant turnover, and with a host of first-class partner deals working with their systems, it is evident that customers feel more than comfortable with Moneycorp’s range of services. Moneycorp is a gold standard player in our industry."

Enough of the words. What does currency exchange look like and why is it important to you and your foreign buyer?


The couple from Rome think in € (Euros). The couple from London think in £ (pounds).  They know what they want to spend in those currencies. For simplicity sake lets say the conversion of both those currencies equals approximately $900,000.  As of this moment, $900,000 equals €718,920 for the couple from Rome.  $900,000 equals £581,620 for the couple from London. But currencies fluctuate.  And from the moment the contract for sale and purchase is signed until closing can last 45 – 90 days.

Currencies may only move hundredths of a cent per day but when extended over time and multiplied by hundreds of thousands of dollars, euros and pounds significant changes could result in the amount of money needed to close. For example:

Suppose the couple from Rome signed a contract for sale and purchase for a $900,000 house on March 01, 2012 to close on May 28, 2012.  On March 01 that $900,000 equaled approximately € 675,504. On May 28 that same $900,000 equaled € 716,076 for a difference of € 40,576 or an extra $50,992! All of a sudden that $900,000 house now costs $950,992! All because of fluctuations in currency exchange.


I’m guessing the couple from Rome isn’t very happy knowing they just paid an extra €40,576 all because you didn’t steer them to Moneycorp.


Let’s do the same for the couple from London. On March 01, 2012, their $900,000 contract for sale and purchase equals approximately £ 565,290. On May 28 that same $900,000 equaled £ 574,029 for a difference of £ 8,736 or an extra $5,573. They too are paying more than they expected because of currency fluctuations.


Fortunately, you used Moneycorp. You saved your foreign buyers money, showed yourself to be an expert in international property sales and continued the referral pipeline. Well Done!

If you have any comments, please contact me here.


Note:  Since writing this blog there has been a change of personnel at Moneycorp Orlando. The new Country Manager is Mr. Jordan Tilley and my new Account Manager is Darren Connor.



Additional sources:

Jordan Tilley or Darren Connor, 7380 W Sand Lake Road, Suite 410, Orlando, Florida 32819.

1 407 352 5890